Tip-Top House

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Tip-Top House
Tip-Top House is located in New Hampshire
Tip-Top House
Location Mt. Washington State Park, Sargent's Purchase, New Hampshire
Coordinates 44°16′14″N 71°18′14″W / 44.27056°N 71.30389°W / 44.27056; -71.30389Coordinates: 44°16′14″N 71°18′14″W / 44.27056°N 71.30389°W / 44.27056; -71.30389
Area less than one acre
Built 1853
Architect Samuel F. Spaulding; Joseph S. Hall
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 82001673[1]
Added to NRHP January 11, 1982

The Tip-Top House is a historic former hotel in Mount Washington State Park in Sargent's Purchase, New Hampshire, United States. It is the oldest surviving building on the summit of Mount Washington, and believed to be the oldest extant mountain-top hostelry in the world. It currently features exhibits concerning the mountain's history. Located adjacent to the summit building, it is open (small fee) to visitors from early May to early October.[2]


The Tip-Top House in 1908

It was erected on Mount Washington in 1853 to compete with The Summit House, a nearby hotel established in 1852. Built by Samuel F. Spaulding at a cost of $7000, The Tip-Top House was made of rock blasted from the mountain. On clear days, a telescope was placed on its flat roof to create an observatory, although in the early 1860s, the flat roof was replaced with a pitched roof. Beginning in 1877, the building functioned for seven years as a printing office for Among the Clouds, the mountain's newspaper.[3]

When the newspaper moved to a different location, The Tip-Top House was abandoned and fell into disrepair. A three-story, 91-room hotel was built atop Mount Washington, together with a weather observatory. All of these buildings were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1908, except The Tip-Top House, which was renovated to function again as a hotel. When The Summit House was replaced, however, The Tip-Top House burned; it was rebuilt as an annex to The Summit House, then abandoned in 1968. Now a state historic site, The Tip-Top House was restored in 1987, including its flat roof.[2] Today, the structure is surrounded by other buildings and parking lots.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

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