MILAN — The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources has announced that the Nansen Ski Jump in Milan has been honored by the United States Secretary of the Interior with placement on the National Register of Historic Places, for both architecture and its important role in the history of U.S. ski jumping.

Built in 1938, Nansen Ski Jump retains most of its original design as a competitive ski jumping complex and is likely the most intact nationally prominent historic ski jumping facility in the United States.

Rated as a 65-meter hill when it was built, Nansen was largest ski jump in the U.S. at the time and is one of only a few pre-World War II ski jumps of its class in the country that still exist and possess integrity. The jump’s three major elements include a manufactured steel in-run tower, a landing hill and an outrun.

Also dating to 1938 are a three-step spectator terrace carved into the face of the landing hill and a parking lot built to accommodate spectators, many of whom stayed in their cars and honked their horns when a good jump was made.

The sports complex added several features in 1963 that also contribute to its historic importance: a two-story judges’ hut with nine viewing openings and a 250-foot landing hill stairway that improved access for competitors and spectators. That same year, the jump was re-rated as an 80-meter hill when the tower height was increased.

Nansen Ski Jump was part of a planned bid for New Hampshire to host the 1944 Winter Olympics, with Nordic events taking place in Berlin, alpine events at Cannon, ice boating on Lake Winnipesaukee, figure skating in Conway and bobsledding on Mount Madison. The Games were cancelled due to World War II.

Over the decades, Nansen was the site of several U.S. National Ski Jumping Championships, Olympic Ski Jumping qualifying events, U.S. Nordic Combined championships and other major regional, national and international competitions.

Much of the site, including the jump’s steel towers and wooden runway, was built with help from the National Youth Administration, a relief program for unemployed young people that was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 to combat the effects of the Great Depression. One of several projects the NYA completed in the Berlin area, Nansen was highlighted in the organization’s final report in 1944 as one of its major construction projects.

Administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of historic resources worthy of preservation and is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archaeological resources.

Listing to the National Register does not impose any new or additional restrictions or limitations on the use of private or non-federal properties. Listings identify historically significant properties and can serve as educational tools and increase heritage tourism opportunities. The rehabilitation of National Register-listed commercial or industrial buildings may qualify for certain federal tax provisions.

In New Hampshire, listing to the National Register makes applicable property owners eligible for grants such as the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program or LCHIP (lchip.org) and the Conservation License Plate Program (nh.gov/nhdhr/grants/moose).

For more information on the National Register program in New Hampshire, please visit nh.gov/nhdhr or contact the Division of Historical Resources at 603-271-3583.

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