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Wednesday, January 18, 2017


AMERICAN CLASSIC. Vintage image of icon architect Richard Neutra posed at his Silver Lake (Los Angeles) home.  The well-recognized founder of mid-century “California Modern” architecture was cited by the U.S. Department of the Interior for two National Historic Landmark designations in 2016
The roster below highlights the newest architecture historic landmarks compiled from the overall list of the Department of Interior’s 24 recently minted National Historic Landmarks.

The National Historic Landmarks Program recognizes historic properties of exceptional value to the nation and promotes the preservation efforts of federal, state, and local agencies and Native American tribes, as well as those of private organizations and individuals.

“These 24 new designations depict different threads of the American story that have been told through activism, architecture, music, and religious observance,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “Their designation ensures future generations have the ability to learn from the past as we preserve and protect the historic value of these properties and the more than 2,500 other landmarks nationwide.”

If not already so recognized, properties designated as National Historic Landmarks are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

On April 20, 1970, community residents occupied Chicano Park in San Diego, California, in an ultimately successful effort to prevent the construction of a California Highway Patrol substation on land where the City of San Diego had promised the neighborhood a community park. Representative of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, Chicano Park has become a cultural and recreational gathering place for the Chicano community and is the location of the Chicano Park Monumental Murals, an exceptional assemblage of master mural artwork painted on the freeway bridge supports.

The Neutra Studio and Residences (VDL Research House) in Los Angeles, California, is associated with Richard Neutra, a nationally and internationally seminal figure of the twentieth century Modern movement in architecture. During the 1940s, as Neutra’s work evolved, he also became the well-recognized founder of mid-century “California Modern” architecture. The VDL Research House is the only property where one can see the progression of his style over a period of years and is among the key properties to understanding the national significance of Richard Neutra.

As one of the three New Deal greenbelt towns built by the Federal Government, the Greenhills Historic District in Greenhills, Ohio, shaped the federal response to the Great Depression and represents highly important aspects of New Deal policy, an important period in the evolution of the American suburb. The village is an outstanding representation of the American Garden City movement and a nationally significant historic residential suburb.

The Keim Homestead in Oley, Pennsylvania, is an exceptionally intact example of early German American domestic vernacular architecture. Constructed ca. 1753, the main house and the ancillary building (which served in effect as an extension of the main dwelling under a separate roof), together represent methods of construction, elements of architectural decoration, and patterns of dwelling and domestic outbuilding layout and design that were characteristic of the German American tradition of the mid-eighteenth century.

Constructed in 1758, Schifferstadt is an outstanding example of a Georgian-period house influenced by German American cultural and construction traditions, located in Frederick, Maryland. With its exterior Georgian architectural style and many ethnically Germanic features on the interior, the house embodies how German immigrants chose to retain much of their cultural heritage within their houses while exhibiting their social and economic status on the exterior.

This massive early-20th century enlargement of New York’s canal system was an embodiment of a Progressive Era emphasis on public works. The New York State Barge Canal was built explicitly to counter the growing monopoly of railroad corporations over the American economy. The spine of the canal is a direct descendant of the Erie Canal, which opened the interior of North America to settlement and commercial agriculture, transforming the Atlantic economy.

As headquarters for Petrified Forest National Park in Apache County, Arizona, the Painted Desert Community Complex is the largest and the most fully articulated expression of the decade-long Mission 66 program which addressed postwar national park needs for up-to-date facilities and improved visitor experiences, while limiting impacts to natural resources. Designed by renowned architects Richard J. Neutra and Robert E. Alexander in the International Style, the complex contains the many park headquarter functions including a new property type—the visitor center.

Constructed in 1860 as the Allen’s Mill Bridge, EldeanBridge in Miami County, Ohio, is an excellent example of nineteenth-century covered bridge construction and its span is a rare surviving Long truss, a highly significant nineteenth-century timber truss type. Eldean Bridge is the most structurally intact of less than a dozen surviving Long truss covered bridges in the United States.

Constructed in 1876 by J. J. Daniels, one of the nation’s most prolific covered bridge builders, West Union Bridge in Parke County, Indiana, is an outstanding, intact example of the Burr truss, a highly-significant American timber bridge type that was widely used for a century. West Union Bridge is one of the most visually impressive and structurally intact of approximately 180 surviving Burr truss covered bridges in the United States.

Built in the late 1920s, Omaha Union Station in Omaha Nebraska, is one of the most distinctive and complete examples of Art Deco architecture in the nation. The station outstandingly expresses the style’s innovative and diverse surface ornamentation inspired by the machine age. As one of the earliest Art Deco train stations designed by the Union Pacific (UP) Railroad, its ultra-modern appearance was a major departure from previous railroad station designs.

The George Read II House was built for the son of a Delaware signer of both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. His was a prominent Delaware family. The house is an exceptional example of Federal style architecture in the mid-Atlantic region and is especially valuable in understanding the evolution of American architecture during the early years of the nation. It is a rare survivor that exemplifies the city of Philadelphia where the Federal style was first manifested.

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