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Kansas World Heritage Site

 
Author KSTraveler
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 24 Feb 2013 20:29 
With my local passions aside, I think Kansas could have a shot at potentially having a site on the World Heritage List during the lifetime of the World Heritage Program. However, it would be nice to get an opinion on the chances that Kansas ever gets a World Heritage Site and any potential nominations that could become World Heritage Sites from the state.

Currently, I think that Kansas could potentially have a shot at the following two nominations:

1. Tallgrass Prairie/Prairie Ecosystem Heritage
This nomination could be a serial location of both the Konza Prairie, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, a location which has been commended by UNESCO for private-public land management. Currently less that 1% of world tallgrass prairie remains, most of it which is largely located in Kansas

2. American Civil Rights Movement Heritage
Civil Rights movement sites in Alabama are currently located on the United States tentative list. Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, a site commemorating a key Supreme Court decision, is a location in Kansas that was recommended by the National Park Service as a potential extension to the tentative list nomination.

Any feedback would be great!

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 25 Feb 2013 00:33 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I think nearly all US states could potentially have sites that have the OUV to be inscribed. Kansas in particular doesn't really stand out when I think of potential nominations, but your suggestions are indeed interesting.

For the US in general (Nomination themes that are underepresented)

Civil Rights Movement
Desert National Parks
Praire/Plains Natural Sites
Early High-rise/Skyscrapers
20th Century Architecture (Greene & Greene, Richard Nuetra)
Film History/Theatres
Slavery/Underground Railroad
NASA/Space exploration
Art Deco
Mining/Gold Rush
Native American Rock Art/Pictographs/Petroglyphs

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 25 Feb 2013 09:01 
I like the idea of looking at local sites that you know well and seeing about their viability as WHS, I have done the same myself.

Whilst there are biases, it does give you a better context for understanding local history and the list better.

In regards to your 2 nominations; these would be my initial personal thoughts.

KSTraveler:
1. Tallgrass Prairie/Prairie Ecosystem Heritage

This really isn't a field (pun half intended) I know much about, however the idea of Prairie land getting on the list doesn't initially fill me with joy. The natural sites on the WH list roughly tend to be the more spectacular examples, with the less spectacular but similarly important ones pushed off to the Biosphere list. To my eye I can't see how that the proposal meets the criteria for inscription on the WH list and perhaps is better placed by protection via the Biosphere reserves programme.
But I am in no way knowledgeable on natural sites, and I may well be biased by the reason given for the inclusion of the Great Plains of Molvania :)

KSTraveler:
2. American Civil Rights Movement Heritage

I'm always in a bit of a muddle about these sites. As a soft woolly liberal (in both the classical European and American sense) preserving and promoting sites that brought about greater equality is something that I would really support.
However I am still not sold that these sites are of outstanding UNIVERSAL value, as basically they relate to legal processes in one country. It certainly had an effect outside of the USA culturally, but many other countries didn't have the same legal forms of segregation (though de facto segregation would almost certainly occurred).

And playing Devil's Advocate, would it lead to other countries putting forward similar proposals, The Ministry of State Property, Moscow for its role in the Abolition of Serfdom in the Russian Empire, Catholic University of Leuven for its role in Belgian Language equality, or anything that France could loosely associate with something to make sure they managed to put forward 3 sites in that particular year.

In saying that Robben Island has already been inscribed so perhaps I am just needlessly picking holes. And the US has done well in getting other distinctly political sites inscribed (Statue of Liberty & Independence Hall).


I don't know Kansas at all well so don't really know what else to propose, however are there any sites around Wichita that still have an association with the building of early aircraft that would be viable?

Author KSTraveler
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 25 Feb 2013 15:06 
Thanks for the feedback. I think that in order for a site to be nominated, it should at least be known by those who are avid world travelers and followers of the World Heritage Program.

On an aviation nomination, I know that Wichita has an aviation museum located in its original airport's administration building. This museum documents the early aviation industry of the city and has aircraft and engines on display.
URL

This museum could potentially be grouped with the Kansas Cosmosphere Museum in Hutchinson, Kansas. This museum documents rocketry from the German V1/V2 to an Apollo/Soyuz joint mission. The museum also has the original Apollo 13 capsule and the largest collection of US/Russian space artifacts in the world.
URL

This nomination could also potentially be linked to the Dayton Aviation sites currently on the United States Tentative List

Author KSTraveler
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 4 Jan 2014 13:39 | Edited by: KSTraveler 
I think that this may be a stretch, but a consultant for a historic preservation plan for Topeka, Kansas, thinks that the Kansas capitol building deserves WHS listing.

http://www.kansascity.com/2014/01/02/4725560/consultant-kansas-capitol-so-stunning.ht ml

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 4 Jan 2014 16:09 
I read that yesterday, you beat me to posting it :)

I was quite surprised by the statement "There is nothing like it anywhere else".
Really? It looks practically identical to many of the US state Capitol buildings I have seen, as well as those of 3 of Kansas' 4 neighbouring states.

It would be quite a stretch to get the Historic City of Topeka on the list.

Best of luck to them in the urban regeneration project though.

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 Kansas World Heritage Site

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