10 Unique National Historic Sites of the United States

Union Station, Los Angeles.
Union Station, Los Angeles.

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the official list of historical sites of significance in the United States of America. It is maintained by the National Parks Service (NPS) and its main objective is the preservation of historical sites with significant contributions to the American history and heritage. Its extended goals also incorporate identification, coordination and protection of the historical sites. The sites are nominated and eventually evaluated for inclusion in the list following a four step criteria. The sites are evaluated based on their importance to the history of USA, their association to a life of a personality of historical significance, their importance to yield information or likelihood of doing so in the future and in general for being unique in terms of construction, workmanship or possessing high artistic values.

10. Union Station - Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It was designed in a style that combines Art Deco, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne style. The tiled floor was designed to reproduce the pattern of a Navajo blanket. It is the largest operational train station in the western United States .

9. Plymouth Rock - Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth Rock is a commemorative site that marks the journey of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. The granite canopy was designed by the famous architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White.

8. Wright Brothers National Memorial - Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

In Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina there is a memorial to the Wright Brothers, commemorating the first successful flights. Wilbur and Orville Wright had made the journey from their home in Ohio as they had heard that the location in North Carolina had steady winds that would be advantageous to them. It was added onto the NRHP in 2001.

7. Breakers Mansion - Newport, Rhode Island

The Breakers is a Vanderbilt-style mansion located in Newport, Rhode Island. It has been on the NRHP since 1994.

6. New York City Hall - New York, New York

New York City Hall is the seat of the government of New York City. Its construction took nine years, from 1803 to 1812. It was been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1966. It has existed as a backdrop for many famous movies including Ghostbusters. A massive five year renovation of the building was started in 2008.

5. The Old Mill - Little Rock, Arkansas

The Old Mill, officially known as the T. R. Pugh Memorial Park, is a re-creation of a mill from the 1880s located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. It is most famous for having been featured in the classic American film, "Gone With the Wind". The Old Mill has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2010 and is a popular location for wedding photos today.

4. Register Cliff - Guernsey, Wyoming

Register Cliff is a cliff composed of sandstone. It is notable for its inclusion in 19th century guidebooks documenting the Oregon Trail. Many of those traveling on the trail chiseled the names of their families into the cliff. It was an indicator to those traveling that they were on the correct path. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1969.

3. Mission San Xavier del Bac - Tucson, Arizona

The Mission San Xavier del Bac is a Catholic mission located just south of Tucson, Arizona. It was founded in 1692 and is a famous pilgrimage site for visitors who arrive on foot and on horseback. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

2. Etowah Mounds - Cartersville, Georgia

The Palace of Fine Arts was constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, California. It was rebuilt in 1965.

1. Washington Monument - Washington, D.C.

The Washington Monument is an obelisk (meaning a tall, four-sided monument) located in Washington, D.C. It was built to commemorate the first President of the United States, George Washington. It is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk at 555 feet. The monument is currently closed to visitors until 2019 while the elevator is modernized.


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