Vikingsholm is a unique estate on Fannette Island in Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay. One of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western United States, Vikingsholm was the vision of Lora J. Knight, a transplant from Illinois connected through her first marriage with the Union Pacific railroad. Knight conceived a Scandinavian motif for her summer home in the fjord-like bay, and in 1928 contracted her nephew, the Swedish architect Lennart Palme, to design the building. They traveled together through Norway and Sweden, taking inspiration from medieval and later architectural features of the region.
The imaginative final product was a 38-room castle featuring a sod roof and hand-crafted iron and woodwork. Vikingsholm was built with local trees and stone; its only imported features are Swedish leaded glass windows. Today, the castle forms part of Emerald Bay State Park. It was inscribed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
ARG Conservation Services was retained to repair the deteriorating hand-carved dragon motif fascia on the roof-ends. After evaluating various methods, the firm’s skilled sculptor, carpenter, and wood carvers hand-fabricated and installed new wood segments, maintaining continuity with the original design.