At landmarks throughout history have stood as symbols of civilizations and culture. From Archimedes of Athens to King Xerxes of Persia and Hannibal of Carthage – landmarks have helped us imagine and tell stories we wouldn’t otherwise.
The National Park Service Advisory Board reviews properties for possible landmark designation and submits its recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior for final consideration and designation.
1. Federal Hall
New York is known for being a city that thrives through change, so it should come as no surprise that many iconic buildings in New York City may not be their original versions.
Federal Hall, for instance, stands in as an homage to George Washington’s inaugural ceremony and represents its symbolism within American democracy.
Built as New York City Hall in 1700 and serving as the initial protest of taxation without representation, it later became Congress headquarters when George Washington took his oath of office here in 1790. Later replaced by another building in 1842; giant vaults were installed to store millions of dollars worth of gold and silver within its walls.
2. Trinity Church
Trinity Church has long been an iconic part of New York City. Constructed in 1698, its Gothic Revival spire still marks it out from anywhere around town.
Only two churches in New York received Royal Charters from King William III to operate independently as Anglican parishes in the colony, making this church one of the only two beacons that welcomed ships into New York Harbor along Broadway.
Trinity Church played an active part in the American Revolution. Trinity was the first church to hold President George Washington’s inaugural service and later consecrated their second building on that land in 1790.
3. Brooklyn Bridge
At home and around the globe, man-made historical landmarks are truly astounding and truly amazing. Ranging from statues to bridges, there’s an array of breathtaking buildings from which we can choose.
The Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic symbol of strength and vitality for New York City, linking Manhattan with Brooklyn across the East River. As one of its historic landmarks, the bridge serves as an iconic connection point between these two boroughs.
To build the bridge, workers excavated the river bed and installed large wooden boxes known as caissons into it – airtight chambers filled with pressurized air which prevented any water infiltrating through.
John Roebling, the architect behind this bridge project, was unable to oversee its construction directly and so his wife Emily took his instructions directly to the site every day. Within several years of hard labor, caissons had been set into place on solid foundations while towers had been raised up above.
4. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are iconic landmarks that represent American freedom and opportunity, so why not discover their history, design, and construction on an exciting day trip!? Join this tour.
People from every corner of Europe poured through Ellis Island looking for refuge and opportunity in America, fleeing famine, drought, war and religious persecution.
Immigrants to Ellis Island were subjected to lengthy medical and legal inspections upon arriving, which are documented at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum by interpreters working there.
5. Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore in South Dakota bears the faces of four American presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
Doane Robinson, a South Dakota historian, wanted to highlight Western history on the Black Hills. He believed that carving an image with people relevant to Western history would draw tourists into the region.
Gutzon Borglum began carving Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln into 1927 after it was decided they should all be depicted on stone sculptures at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Lincoln Borglum served as project supervisor until 1941.
Borglum had an idea while creating the monument that included creating a room behind Lincoln’s head to house some of America’s most significant documents – this space became known as “The Hall of Records.”