National Historic Landmark

National Historic Landmark

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A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building
Building
In architecture, construction, engineering, real estate development and technology the word building may refer to one of the following:...

, site, structure
Structure
Structure is a fundamental, tangible or intangible notion referring to the recognition, observation, nature, and permanence of patterns and relationships of entities. This notion may itself be an object, such as a built structure, or an attribute, such as the structure of society...

, object, or district
District
Districts are a type of administrative division, in some countries managed by a local government. They vary greatly in size, spanning entire regions or counties, several municipalities, or subdivisions of municipalities.-Austria:...

, that is officially recognized by the United States government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 for its historical significance. Out of more than 80,000 places on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 only about 2,430 are NHLs.

A National Historic Landmark District (NHLD) is a historic district
Historic district (United States)
In the United States, a historic district is a group of buildings, properties, or sites that have been designated by one of several entities on different levels as historically or architecturally significant. Buildings, structures, objects and sites within a historic district are normally divided...

 that is recognized as an NHL. It may include contributing properties that have buildings, structures, sites or objects, and it may include non-contributing properties.

History


On October 9, 1960, 92 properties were announced as designated NHLs by Secretary of the Interior Fred Andrew Seaton
Fred Andrew Seaton
Frederick Andrew Seaton was United States Secretary of the Interior during Dwight Eisenhower's administration.-Biography:Seaton was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up and attended high school in Manhattan, Kansas...

. The first of these was a political nomination, Sergeant Floyd Grave and Monument in Sioux City, Iowa
Sioux City, Iowa
Sioux City is a city in Plymouth and Woodbury counties in the western part of the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, a decline from 85,013 in the 2000 census, which makes it currently the fourth largest city in the state....

 as officially designated on June 30 of that year, but for various reasons the public announcement of the first several NHLs was delayed.

Criteria


NHLs are designated by the United States Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

 because they are:
  • Sites where events of national historical significance occurred;
  • Places where prominent persons lived or worked;
  • Icons of ideals that shaped the nation;
  • Outstanding examples of design or construction;
  • Places characterizing a way of life; or
  • Archeological sites able to yield information.

Overview of current NHLs


Of the 2,442 or so current NHLs, 3 states, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York account for nearly 25 percent of the nation's NHLs. In addition to these states, cities within these states, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City (each separately) alone have more NHLs than 40 out of the 50 states. There are NHLs in all 50 states. There are 74 in the District of Columbia, 15 in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 and other U.S. commonwealths and territories, five in U.S.-associated states such as Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia or FSM is an independent, sovereign island nation, made up of four states from west to east: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. It comprises approximately 607 islands with c...

, and one
American Legation, Tangier
The Tangier American Legation is a building in the medina of Tangier, Morocco. The first American public property outside of the United States, it commemorates the historic cultural and diplomatic relations between the United States and the Kingdom of Morocco...

 in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

.

There are 128 ships or shipwrecks that are NHLs.

Other


About half of the National Historic Landmarks are privately owned
Property
Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

. The National Historic Landmarks Program relies on suggestions for new designations from the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

, which also assists in maintaining the landmarks. A friends' group of owners and managers, the National Historic Landmark Stewards Association, works to preserve, protect and promote National Historic Landmarks.

If not already listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

, an NHL is automatically added to the Register upon designation. About three percent of Register listings are NHLs.

See also

  • American Water Landmark
    American Water Landmark
    An American Water Landmark is a landmark within the United States or Canada that is a historic location and is associated in some way with water...

  • List of National Historic Landmarks by state
  • List of National Register of Historic Places entries
  • Listed building, a similar designation in the UK
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

  • National Natural Landmark
    National Natural Landmark
    The National Natural Landmark program recognizes and encourages the conservation of outstanding examples of the natural history of the United States. It is the only natural areas program of national scope that identifies and recognizes the best examples of biological and geological features in...

  • United States Memorials

External links