Buildings, sites, and structures with fascinating backgrounds
Thanks to the Historic Site Act of 1935, the United States could begin safeguarding buildings and other culturally significant sites and open them to the American public to help preserve physical pieces of the nation's history and educate its citizens on their heritage. Since then, 2,600 National Historic Landmarks have been established all over the 50 states as well as commonwealths and territories. Ranging from the humble home where a famous writer was born to awe-inspiring overlooks traversed by Lewis and Clark on their legendary exhibition, it may seem like the only thing these landmarks has in common is the unmistakable bronze plaque that marks their designation and historical significance. How varied can they be? There's tugs, schooners, victory ships—and those are just the boats (yes, there are boats). Due to the diversity of these sites, there is variety in the histories they are designated by the Department of the Interior to preserve. It's a big part of what makes National Historic Landmarks so interesting. You never quite know what a landmark has in store for you until you read the plaque—and even then there's often more to the story. One that can only be told by an expert guide or in the following gallery.