National Historic Landmark

National Historic Landmark
Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin is a National Historic Landmark
The American Legation in Tangiers, Morocco, is the only 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
National Historic Landmark plaque at Dealey Plaza, Dallas Texas.

A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance. Out of more than 80,000 places on the National Register of Historic Places only about 2,430 are NHLs.

A National Historic Landmark District (NHLD) is a historic district 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.



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


NHLs are designated by the United States Secretary of the Interior 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 and other U.S. commonwealths and territories, five in U.S.-associated states such as Micronesia, and one in Morocco.[1][2]

There are 128 ships or shipwrecks that are NHLs.


About half of the National Historic Landmarks are privately owned.[3] The National Historic Landmarks Program relies on suggestions for new designations from the National Park Service, 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, an NHL is automatically added to the Register upon designation. About three percent of Register listings are NHLs.[4]

See also


  1. ^ National Park Service (November 2007). "National Historic Landmarks Survey: List of National Historic Landmarks by State" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-07-01 
  2. ^ The counts and locations of NHLs are described most accurately in List of National Historic Landmarks by state. This extends, and corrects errors from, the National Park Service's "National Historic Landmarks Survey List of National Historic Landmarks by State", also referenced.
  3. ^ National Historic Landmarks Update, National Park Service, October 2004
  4. ^ "Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 65". US Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 

External links

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