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Adlai Stevenson Home designated a National Historic Landmark

April 24, 2014
The Adlai E. Stevenson Historic Home, located within Captain Daniel Wright Woods Forest Preserve in Mettawa, has been designated a National Historic Landmark (NHL) by the United States Secretary of the Interior. The Stevenson Home is one of only four sites in the 2014 set of designations.

On Wednesday, April 23, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis marked National Park Week by announcing the designation of four new national historic landmarks. The designations are the first of Secretary Jewell’s tenure, and they join 2,540 other sites across the country recognized as places that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.

The announcement was made as part of National Park Week, an annual event honoring the natural beauty and cultural heritage contained in America’s national parks. The National Historic Landmarks Program is one of more than a dozen programs administered by the National Park Service that provide states and local communities technical assistance, recognition, and funding to help preserve our nation’s shared history and create close-to-home recreation opportunities. These four new national historic landmarks are as diverse as our American heritage, telling stories of triumph and tragedy, of dedicated public service and artistic beauty,” Secretary Jewell said. “As part of a nationwide network of unique, historic sites, they help ensure the journey we have taken as a nation is remembered and interpreted both now and for future generations.”

“As the National Park Service approaches its Centennial observance in 2016, we are seeking ways to highlight and share the breadth of the American experience,” said Director Jarvis. “These new national historic landmarks showcase the rich, diverse, and complex history of our nation’s story, as well as drive tourism and boost local economies.”

"To earn this distinction is a great honor for the Stevenson family, the Forest Preserves, and for all of Lake County because Adlai Stevenson was such an important and influential figure in the political history of Illinois and of the United States," said President Ann Maine, Lake County Forest Preserves. "We hope the designation will increase interest in the place where Stevenson wrote speeches, hosted dignitaries, reflected on world events and found solace in the landscape. We also expect that the status as a landmark will boost tourism, drawing many people from within Lake County and elsewhere in the state and country to visit and learn more about this American statesman."

The Lake County Forest Preserves now has two National Historic Landmarks––a portion of the Fort Sheridan Historic District and the Adlai E. Stevenson Historic Home. Of the 2,540 National Historic Landmarks in the United States, 86 are located in Illinois, and Stevenson is the first 20th century Illinois politician to have his home deemed a national landmark. The estate is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated Illinois Historic Site. National Historic Landmarks are different from properties on the National Register of Historic Places, which consists of over 80,000 properties.

Visit the Stevenson Home
Public tours of the Stevenson Home are led by our Cultural Resources staff and offered throughout the year. Registration is still open for the upcoming May 4 public tour. Learn more.

Guided group tours are also available for high school, community and other groups. Call 847-968-3422 for details and to register your group.

Self-guided trails around the property are open 6:30 am–sunset, daily. Interpretive signs provide historical information about the site. The peaceful setting allows visitors to experience the historic landscape similar to how it appeared when Stevenson lived at the house.

The service building houses exhibitions about Stevenson's life and career, and is open 9 am–5 pm, daily, April–October. Restrooms are available when the service building is open.

2014 National Historic Landmark Designations
Adlai E. Stevenson II Farm, Mettawa, Illinois

The Adlai Stevenson II Farm was the home of the twice-nominated Democratic candidate for the presidency and Ambassador to the United Nations. As U.N. Ambassador during the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Adlai Stevenson, Stevenson played a major role in Cold War politics during the mid-20th century. The farm was Stevenson’s home for most of his adult life and is closely associated with many of his important activities.

The Detroit Industry Murals, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan

Between July 1932 and March 1933, Diego Rivera, a premier leader in the 1920s Mexican Mural Movement, executed the Detroit Industry mural cycle, considered the United States’ finest, modern monumental artwork devoted to industry. It depicts the City of Detroit’s manufacturing base and labor force on all four walls of the Detroit Institute of Art's Garden Court. Considered by many scholars to be Rivera’s greatest extant work in the United States, Detroit Industry is an exemplary representation of the introduction and emergence of mural art in the United States between the Depression and World War II.

George Nakashima Woodworker Complex, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Internationally-renowned furniture designer and woodworker George Nakashima is recognized as one of America’s most eminent furniture designer craftsmen. Nakashima’s work expresses a worldview that is based upon a unique set of circumstances, including his formal education in architecture, his exposure to European Modernism, Eastern religious philosophy, and traditional Japanese craft traditions, including instruction from Issei carpenter Gentaro Hikogawa while both were confined at the Minidoka Relocation Center, one of 10 internment camps established for Japanese Americans during World War II (and whose site is today administered by the National Park Service). As a self-proclaimed “woodworker,” Nakashima became an important voice for the artist craftsmen helping to create a new paradigm for studio furniture production in the postwar period. The George Nakashima Woodworker complex is significant for its innovative Japanese-influenced International Style structures designed by Nakashima and built under his direct supervision.

1956 Grand Canyon TWA-United Airlines Aviation Accident Site, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

On June 30, 1956, a Trans World Airlines Super Constellation L-1049 and a United Airlines DC-7 collided in uncongested airspace 21,000 feet over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, killing all 128 people onboard the two flights. The tragedy spurred an unprecedented effort to modernize and increase safety in America’s postwar airways, culminating in the establishment of the modern Federal Aviation Administration. Other improvements that resulted from the crash included nationwide radar coverage, a common military/civilian navigation system, and the development of technologies such as collision avoidance systems and flight data recorders.

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, private property owners, and other partners interested in nominating properties for National Historic Landmark designation. Completed nominations 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 and technical preservation advice.

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