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PSFS Building (Philadelphia) & French Quarter/Vieux Carré

Author pikkle
#1 | Posted: 22 Dec 2014 18:04 | Edited by: pikkle 
I was just curious about a possible inscription for the PSFS building in Philadelphia. It's not particularly a style that I love, but I do recognize its importance. As many probably know, it was the first example of an International Style skyscraper constructed in the United States. However, recognizing that the Empire State Building and the Chicago School skyscrapers haven't been inscribed, I realize PSFS is unlikely. But it may be worthy. URL

Another site that I have not seen mentioned and something that would make up for the complete lack of "old towns" or "old quarters" in the U.S. is the French Quarter (with a possible Garden District extension). I really don't understand how this has not been inscribed. It represents a mixing of so many cultures and the creation of a new one. From Spanish, to French, to Creole, to American - there are few places like it and I believe if this was in the islands it would probably be listed. I know Bourbon Street is a little wild, but that's part of the culture. Furthermore, places like the Old Ursuline Convent, the U.S Mint, the Spanish Cabildo, St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, are historic and architectural treasures. It amazes me when I go to New Orleans to be in a square named after an American war hero and president, surrounded by an architectural ensemble of Parisian style landscaping(gardens, benches, lampposts, fences, etc.) funded by a French creole Baroness who also built the matching Pontalba Buildings which help form architectural coherence in the 1840s on each side of the square URL.

Furthermore, the north side has three 18th c. buildings - one being the extraordinary St. Louis Cathedral, built by the French an the Cabildo and Presbytere flanking the cathedral, built by the Spaniards. If anything Jackson Square seems to have a claim - but with Poverty Point just getting listed, does it have a chance? Is this just the U.S. policy? But I really think UNESCO should be able to request in an instance like the French Quarter.

Author pikkle
#2 | Posted: 22 Dec 2014 18:15 
I apologize if any of the writing is incoherent - I'm stricken with the flu!

Author winterkjm
#3 | Posted: 22 Dec 2014 20:27 
It has been discussed often (here and elswhere) why the US lacks a historic district on the world heritage list. Universal approval in a entire historic district of all property owners is challenging to say the least. There are only (3) historic centers that have either pursued or are in pursuit of world heritage status.

1) Savannah (Georgia) 1995 Deferred
2) Charleston (South Carolina) URL
3) Colonial Newport (Rhode Island) Mentioned by NPS as a property of future consideration

On a side note, there is a French Creole nomination that has been shelved for further consideration. This may or may not be included in the US tentative list in 2016.

French Creole Properties of the Mid-Mississippi Valley, Illinois and Missouri (Serial Nomination - 7 properties)
- Fort de Chartes
- Church of the Holy Family
- Pierre Menard House
- Felix Valle House
- Amoureux House
- Guibord Valle House
- Boldue House

Author pikkle
#4 | Posted: 22 Dec 2014 21:19 | Edited by: pikkle 
Having been to Charleston, which I really love, I don't see it beating out the French Quarter in terms of OUV, historical importance, and human ingenuity (plus its actually on the T-list), but it might have a chance. It's certainly beautiful and extremely well preserved. It has some interesting Huguenot heritage sites that might give it a fighting chance, as well.

I also have to say that I could get behind the Newport listing - as long as it included both the colonial sites and the Newport fin de siecle mansions, which are the perfect image of an era. I love Newport and it's definitely a great candidate. It encapsulates colonial heritage and also the highly underrepresented late 19th-early 20th c. American heritage.

I know that certain large cities are unlikely to ever get districts listed, but I'm ever hopeful for New Orleans.

I really like that serial nomination and even though I've only visited one of the sites, it's quite an interesting proposal and would represent some of the cultural heritage that is incapable of representation in cities of a certain size.

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 PSFS Building (Philadelphia) & French Quarter/Vieux Carré

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