U.S. Landmarks Timeline
Find out when some of the most historical sites in the U.S. became national landmarks.
The U.S. began the National Historic Landmark Program to recognize and preserve the country's cultural heritage. Although efforts began as far back as the 1930s, when Congress passed the Historic Sites Act, the program became official when a list of designated landmarks was published in 1960.
A National Historic Landmark is defined and recognized by the U.S. government as a building, structure, object, or district that has national historic significance. The U.S. government has designated 2,532 National Historic Landmarks as of 2014. States and cities designate landmarks as well. Here's a list of some of the most well known landmarks in the U.S., their locations, and the date when they were declared landmarks.
Gettysburg National Military Park
Since 1933, this park has been in the care of the National Park Service, which continues to preserve the park and present the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address to visitors. The park remains one of the most popular landmarks in the United States.
Jan. 29, Brooklyn Bridge
The first steel wire suspension bridge, it connects Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Oct. 9, Taos Pueblo
Belonging to a Native American tribe, this is believed to be the oldest inhabited building in North America. It has been consistently inhabited for an estimated 1000 years.
Dec. 19, Alamo
The site of the famous 1836 Battle of the Alamo, this former 19th century fortress and 18th century mission is now a museum.
Jan. 20, Bunker Hill Monument
Located in Charlestown, near Boston, this was the site for most of the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill fighting.
Dec. 29, Edgar Allan Poe House
This was the Philadelphia home of author, poet Edgar Allan Poe.
May 23, Central Park
One of the most visited city parks in the world, this Manhattan site was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.
June 23, Hull House
Founded by Jane Addams, this was one of the first settlement houses in the country.
Dec. 21, New York Public Library
Located in Manhattan, this is one of the largest and most visited libraries in the United States.
Oct. 15, Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool
Jan. 7, Wright Home and Studio
Located near Chicago in Oak Park, this is the former home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright.
May 11, Fallingwater
This house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. Time called it Wright's "most beautiful job."
Dec. 8, Grand Central
Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal is the largest train station in the world, based on the number of platforms. The terminal is known for its Beaux-Arts architecture.
Nov. 13, Vietnam Veterans Memorial
This national monument honors U.S. service members who fought in the Vietnam War. Completed in 1982, it is located in Washington D.C., northeast of the Lincoln Memorial.
Feb. 4, Governors Island
Located in New York harbor, it served as a military base for several branches from 1783 until the late 1990s.
July 27, Korean War Veterans Memorial
This memorial honors all who served in the Korean War. It is located in Washington D.C.'s West Potomac Park.
Aug. 20, Hoover Dam
When this dam was completed in 1935, it was the world's largest concrete structure and the largest hydroelectric power producing facility. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the dam in a ceremony on Sept. 30, 1935 as seen in the photo below.
Jan. 17, Alcatraz Island
June 24, Empire State Building
The world's tallest building from 1931 to 1972, it remains a major tourist attraction in New York City.
Feb. 27, Boston Common
This Boston park is the oldest in the U.S., established in 1634.
Feb. 27, Adler Planetarium
The oldest and first planetarium in the western hemisphere.
May 28, Gateway Arch
This St. Louis landmark is the tallest man-made monument in the country. Opened to the public in 1967, it is based on a design by architect Eero Saarinen.
June 18, Golden Gate Bridge
Designated a California Historical Landmark, this suspension bridge connects San Francisco to Marin County across the mile-wide Golden Gate strait.
May 5, USS Arizona
The remains of the USS Arizona, attacked by the Japanese during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, is the centerpiece for a memorial, located on the island of Oahu, just west of Honolulu.
June 29, Flatiron Building
Located across from Madison Square park, the Flatiron Building is considered the world's first skyscraper. It is known for its triangular design.
June 29, McGraw Hill Building
This Manhattan building was the first in the U.S. to be built in Art Deco style.
Nov. 4, Holland Tunnel
This tunnel connects Manhattan to New Jersey. It is one of the earliest ventilated tunnels and is considered a civil engineering landmark.
Aug. 5, Fenway Studios
Built in an Arts and Crafts style for artists in 1904, this building is located near Fenway Park in Boston.
Jan. 20, John Coltrane House
This is the former Philadelphia home of jazz great John Coltrane.