Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Elaine Sevy
For Immediate Release: Sept. 9, 2004

Secretary Norton Announces Designation of Eudora Welty House in Mississippi as National Historic Landmark

Seven other Sites in Six States Added to National Historic Landmark List


WASHINGTON- Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced today that the home of Eudora Welty located in Jackson, Miss., has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Today's announcement also includes seven other historic structures in six states including Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, New York and Wisconsin.

"Eudora Welty was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. She wrote all of her prize winning works in this house," Norton said. "She received the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Medal of Freedom. She was the first living author to have her works published in the prestigious Library of America series, thus joining Faulkner, Hawthorne, Melville and Twain."

The 79-year-old Tudor-style home was constructed by Welty's father in 1925 and donated to the State of Mississippi when she died in 2001, at the age of 92. The garden Eudora Welty and her mother cultivated over the years has been restored and is open to the public. Plans are now underway to open the house as a museum.

The National Historic Landmark designation is the highest such recognition accorded by our nation to historic properties. These special places embody the actual sites where significant historical events occurred, or where prominent Americans worked or lived, and represent the ideas that shaped our nation.

"National Historic Landmarks preserve America's diverse cultural and architectural heritage," Norton said. "These unique places are windows to our history that shed light on our past and inspire our children and future generations."

Norton also announced the designation of seven other sites in six states as National Historic Landmarks. The new sites are as follows:

Kenworthy Hall, Perry County, Ala. - Kenworthy Hall (built 1858-1861) ranks as among the most intact surviving examples of architect Richard Upjohn's distinctive asymmetrical "Italian Villa" style. Internationally known for his church architecture, and represented by nine existing National Historic Landmarks, Upjohn became one of the most original practitioners of domestic design in antebellum America.

The Navajo Nation Council Chamber, Window Rock, Ariz. - This unique building stands today as a symbol of the New Deal revolution in federal Indian policy during the 1930s, advocating reconstitution of tribal organizations, restoration of tribal land base and promotion of traditional Indian culture. It remains the center of government for the Navajo Nation, the largest Indian tribe and the largest reservation in the United States. The building features murals and other artwork depicting the Navajo Nation's history.

Swedenborgian Church, San Francisco, Calif. - Described as one of California's earliest pure Arts and Crafts buildings, this complex represents a unique collaboration of many influential architects and craftspeople. In England during the late 1880s, the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States sought to unite social reform, architecture, art, and the decorative arts. The hallmark of buildings in this style was their open plans and their straightforward but beautifully finished and furnished interiors. Established in 1895 and still an active church, the three buildings and connecting garden that make up this religious complex are little changed from the time of construction.

Isidore Heller House, Chicago, Ill. - Begun in 1896, the Isidore Heller House represents the most important surviving example of Frank Lloyd Wright's quest to design geometric architecture. The structure illustrates Wright's transition in style from the influence of his mentor, Louis Sullivan, to the development of the Prairie Style of architecture.

Eagle Island Camp, Franklin County, N.Y. - Adirondack Camps had a strong and lasting influence on the design of rustic buildings developed in the national and state park systems during the 20th century. Developed from 1903-1920, the Eagle Island Camp represents the best surviving work of William L. Coulter, one of the six major architects known for their prominence and influence in camp design. Eagle Island Camp has served as a Girl Scout camp facility for more than 50 years.

Camp Pine Knot, Hamilton County, N.Y. - Designed by William West Durant, an innovator in the field of Adirondack Camp design and one of the promoters of the Adirondack area, Camp Pine Knot is an exceptional and highly influential example of rustic architecture. Established in the late 1870s, Camp Pine Knot now operates as an outdoor education and recreation center through the New York State College System.

First Unitarian Society Meeting House, Shorewood Hills, Wis. - An internationally recognized premier example of Frank Lloyd Wright's late Usonian architecture, unusual for its nonresidential application. Usonian design refers to what Wright termed as an artistic house of low cost for an average citizen of the United States. Considered a highly personal expression of Wright's own religious faith, the First Unitarian Society Meeting House (built 1949-1952) exemplifies national trends in post-World War II American culture for its suburban location and modernist design.

The National Historic Landmark designation is an official recognition by the federal government of a historic property's national significance. Today, fewer than 2,400 historic places bear this distinction. The National Park Service nominates new landmarks, with assurances of consent by private owners, and provides technical assistance to existing landmarks. National Historic Landmarks also are eligible for competitive grants and tax incentives. For more information visit:




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