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New Orleans streetcar line among nine new historic landmarks

New Orleans streetcar line among nine new historic landmarks
A St. Charles Line streetcar decorated for the holidays. The New Orleans streetcar line has been designated a National Historic Landmark. (Ann Heisenfelt / Associated Press)

The next time you hop a St. Charles Line streetcar in New Orleans, you'll be riding on a newly minted National Historic Landmark.

A golf course in New Jersey, explorer Robert Peary's summer house in Maine and a General Motors building in Michigan are among nine sites added to the more than 2,500 landmarks across the country.

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"These nine sites add to a nationwide network of unique, historic places that represent the complex journey that we have taken as a nation," Sally Jewell, secretary of the Interior, said in an announcement last week.

The designations, which began in 1935, don't come with funding (though they may bring some tourism dollars), and they don't mean sites are suddenly open to the public (though some may already allow visitors).

Rather, National Historic Landmarks identify places with "exceptional value and quality" in telling our story and defining our heritage.

And they teach us something too.

The Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., demonstrates how a golf course designed by Albert Tilinghast first incorporated nature into its design.

The GM Tech Center shows off the talent of Modernist architect Eero Saarinen, who designed the company's campus in Warren, Mich.

North Pole explorer Peary's house was built in 1904 on a ledge on Eagle Island, Maine, facing the open sea, a testament to the man's life passion. (A nonprofit group looks after the home and welcomes summer visitors.)

And the St. Charles Line was singled out for being the nation's oldest operational street railway, dating to 1923-24, the announcement says.

Others additions to the list include a lattice truss bridge in Vermont, the only covered wood aqueduct in Indiana, former Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins' homestead in Maine, patent medicine creator Lydia Pinkham's house in Massachusetts, and the Art Deco-Mayan Revival style Maitland Art Center in Florida.

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