Historic Landmarks and Buildings

  • Martin Luther King Jr. National Site

    Martin Luther King Jr. National Site

    Fun Facts The African American fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha first began discussing the idea for a memorial in the 1980s. Martin Luther King Jr. joined the fraternity in 1952 when he was studying theology at Boston University. In 1996, the House and Senate approved the idea and in 1998, President…


  • The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (St. Louis Cathedral)

    The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (St. Louis Cathedral)

    The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States. Fun Facts Situated in the French Quarters of New Orleans, this cathedral was built in 1718 when New Orleans belonged to France. It was named for Louis IX of France. The original…


  • Alcatraz

    Alcatraz has been closed since 1963, but it’s still well-known as America’s strongest (and scariest) prison. Fun Facts Alcatraz Fort was built on Alcatraz Island, 1.25 miles off the coast of San Francisco in the 1850s. It was used as a military fort until 1910 when it was refurbished and…


  • The Transamerica Pyramid

    The Transamerica Pyramid

    Maybe you think of Egypt when you think of buildings shaped like pyramids. But a more modern pyramid can be found in San Francisco. Fun Facts John R. Beckett, CEO of Transamerica, wanted a building that would not block light to the street. He hired architect William Pereira to design…


  • Bunker Hill Monument

    Bunker Hill Monument

    On June 16, 1775, the colonial militia in Boston received word that British soldiers, who were stationed in Boston, planned to place troops in the surrounding countryside of the Charlestown peninsula, which would give them even greater control over Boston Harbor. The militia stole to the peninsula at night, built…


  • Lincoln Memorial

    Lincoln Memorial

    After Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, many people felt a memorial should be made in his honor. Getting it built took more than 50 years. Fun Facts The first memorial was built in 1868, three years after Lincoln’s death. Later, Clark Mills proposed a design for a larger memorial but it was…


  • National Museum of African American History and Culture

    National Museum of African American History and Culture

    Near the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. sits the National Museum of African American History and Culture, part of the Smithsonian Institution, and the largest museum for African American culture in the country. Fun Facts Leaders began discussing the idea for a national museum on African American culture in 1915,…


  • The Fisher Building

    The Fisher Building

    The Fisher Building, designed by Albert Kahn, was completed in 1928. It’s often called “Detroit’s largest work of art” because of its art deco style, lavish interiors, and marble finishes. Fun Facts The Fisher Building sits in the New Center area of Detroit and rises 30 stories. Joseph National Finch,…


  • Ellis Island

    Ellis Island

    Ellis Island sits in New York Harbor and was one of the busiest immigration processing centers from 1892 to 1954. During this time, more than 12 million immigrants came through Ellis Island in search of a better life. Not all of them were allowed to enter the country though. Fun…


  • Griffith Observatory

    Griffith Observatory

    The Griffith Observatory sits in the hills above Los Angeles with a view of the ocean, Hollywood, and downtown L.A. When it opened in 1896, it was only the third planetarium in the country. Fun Facts The observatory is in Griffith Park, a 3,015 acre public park. It was commissioned…