Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary

For Immediate Release:
February 21, 2006
John Wright 202-208-6416

Secretary Norton Announces the Designation of 12 Sites
as National Historic Landmarks
"It is through these landmarks that we preserve and share our history
with future generations."

WASHINGTON-Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton today announced the designation of 12 sites in 11 states as National Historic Landmarks. The designated sites were recommended by the National Park Advisory Board for their diverse history and because they contain aspects of America's national heritage.

"National Historic Landmark designation recognizes and preserves America's diverse cultural and architectural heritage," Norton said. "These national treasures are exceptional places that shed light on our history and help explain our past."

The newly designated landmarks range from modern architecture in Plano, Ill. to a Civil War battlefield in Petersburg, Va. National Historic Landmarks are recognized by the Secretary of the Interior as nationally significant properties of exceptional value in representing or illustrating an important theme, event, or person in the history of the Nation.

The National Historic Landmark designation is the highest such recognition accorded by our nation to historic properties. These special places are the actual sites where significant historical events occurred, or where prominent Americans worked or lived, and represent the ideas that shaped our nation. Fewer than 2,500 historic places carry the title of National Historic Landmark.

"It is through these landmarks that we preserve and share our history with future generations," Norton said.

A list of the National Historic Landmarks approved by Secretary Norton is attached. Additional information on the National Historic Landmark program can be found on the NPS website at

The new National Historic Landmarks announced today are:

Priscilla, West Sayville, N.Y. - Priscilla is a classic Long Island Sound and Great South Bay oyster dredging sloop, built in 1888.

Navesink Light Station, Highlands, N.J. - From 1828 to 1949, the twin towers of Navesink served as one of the principal lights for guiding ships into New York Harbor.

Portland Observatory, Portland, Maine - The Portland Observatory is the only known surviving example of a maritime signaling station, once prominent fixtures along the coast and in important port towns relaying messages from ship to shore.

William J. Rotch Gothic Cottage, New Bedford, Mass. - Designed in 1845 by Alexander Jackson Davis, the Rotch Cottage is one of the finest Gothic cottages in the United States. It received immediate national attention for its masterwork.

Farnsworth House, Plano, Ill. - Farnsworth House is a nationally significant example of modern architecture and an exemplary work of renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Lincoln Park Lily Pool, Chicago, Ill. - Designed by Alfred Caldwell, the Lily Pool is an exquisite hidden garden in Chicago's Lincoln Park that symbolically celebrates the history of the Midwest.

Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Detroit, Mich. - Built for the Ford Motor Company in 1904, the Piquette Avenue plant is where the company initially achieved quantity production of technically-advanced, yet inexpensive, automobiles.

Murie Ranch Historic District, Moose, Wyo. - Murie Ranch is the most important property associated with Adolph, Olaus and Margaret (Mardy) Murie, whose studies and advocacy changed the way the federal government and scientific community study and manage natural lands and their wildlife populations.

Silver Mound Archeological District, Jackson County, Wisc. - The area is nationally significant for its role in the initial settlement of North America. The first Americans explored an expansive stretch of land with no prior knowledge of the landscape. Silver Mound was a critical resource for the population reliant upon stone tools for their survival.

Hotel Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Fla. - Hotel Ponce de Leon was the first major commission of John M. Carrere and Thomas Hastings, whose firm designed many significant buildings in the United States and abroad during the 1885-1925 period. Carrere and Hastings was one of the leading architectural practices in the U.S. during that period.

Petersburg Breakthrough Battlefield, Petersburg, Va. - The surviving battlefield landscape, including Union staging area, attack corridors and Confederate earthworks, represents a key historic resource associated with the end of the Civil War.

Rabideau Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, Blackduck, Minn. - Rabideau CCC camp is one of the best surviving examples of a CCC camp and has the largest surviving collection of resources in the United States.