National Historic Landmark

The Soldiers Barracks at Fort Mifflin.
The American Legation in Tangier, Morocco, was the first National Historic Landmark on foreign soil.
Mohonk Mountain House, a resort hotel on Shawangunk Ridge; site of 1895–1916 conference that led to establishment of Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague
Original 1963 National Historic Landmark plaque at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
The Chicago Board of Trade Building in Chicago, Illinois is an iconic landmark in Chicago and the United States

A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Of over 90,000 places listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places, only some 2,500 are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.

A National Historic Landmark District may include contributing properties that are buildings, structures, sites or objects, and it may include non-contributing properties. Contributing properties may or may not also be separately listed.

Creation of the program

Prior to 1935, efforts to preserve cultural heritage of national importance were made by piecemeal efforts of the United States Congress. In 1935, Congress passed the Historic Sites Act, which authorized the Interior Secretary authority to formally record and organize historic properties, and to designate properties as having "national historical significance", and gave the National Park Service authority to administer historically significant federally owned properties.[1] Over the following decades, surveys such as the Historic American Buildings Survey amassed information about culturally and architecturally significant properties in a program known as the Historic Sites Survey.[2] Most of the designations made under this legislation became National Historic Sites, although the very first designation, made December 20, 1935, was for a National Memorial, the Gateway Arch National Park (then known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial) in St. Louis, Missouri. The first National Historic Site designation was made for the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on March 17, 1938.[3]

In 1960, the National Park Service took on the administration of the survey data gathered under this legislation, and the National Historic Landmark program began to take more formal shape.[4] When the National Register of Historic Places was established in 1966, the National Historic Landmark program was encompassed within it, and rules and procedures for inclusion and designation were formalized. Because listings (either on the National Register, or as an NHL) often triggered local preservation laws, legislation in 1980 amended the listing procedures to require owner agreement to the designations.[5]

On October 9, 1960, 92 properties were announced as designated NHLs by Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton. The first of these was a political nomination: the Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City, Iowa was officially designated on June 30 of that year, but for various reasons, the public announcement of the first several NHLs was delayed.

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