Two New Mexico sites named 'National Historic Landmarks'

Posted at: 10/17/2012 2:40 PM
Updated at: 10/17/2012 2:43 PM
By: staff

Two New Mexican locations have just been named "National Historic Landmarks" by the Department of the Interior.

According to the department, historic landmarks are places or structures that "possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States."

Currently there are only 2,527 designated national historic landmarks and 592 national natural landmark sites across the country that bear this national distinction.

The two new sites in New Mexico named Wednesday are:

The San José de los Jémez Mission and Gíusewa Pueblo Site

San José de los Jémez Mission and Gíusewa Pueblo Site is associated with the spread of Spanish control northward in New Spain into the present-day American Southwest from 1598 to about 1639 and is an early representation of the intersection of European and native cultures.

Denver & Rio Grande Railroad San Juan Extension (Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad), Conejos and Archuleta Counties, CO and Rio Arriba County, N.M.

In terms of length, scale of operations, completeness, extensiveness of its steam operations, and state of preservation, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad San Juan Extension is one of the country’s best surviving examples of a narrow gauge system from the peak of American railroading, roughly 1870 to 1930.

The National Historic Landmarks Program, established in 1935, is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The agency works with preservation officials and other partners interested in nominating a landmark.

Completed applications are reviewed by the National Park System Advisory Board, which makes recommendations for designation to the Secretary of the Interior.

If selected, property ownership remains intact but each site receives a designation letter, a plaque, and technical preservation advice.

To see the entire list, visit the U.S. Interior Department site here.