Golden Gate Park: Japanese Tea Garden -NRHP

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The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park was originally built for the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. It is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States.

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After the World’s Fair, Makoto Hagiwara modified the Japanese Village exhibit into a permanent Japanese Tea Garden, importing many of the elements from Japan. He was the caretaker until his death in 1925, when his daughter took over for him until she was forced into an internment camp during WWII.

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During the War, the garden was renamed the Oriental Tea Garden and Chinese servers took over at the tea house. The Hagiwara home and Shinto Temple were destroyed. The garden was restored to the Japanese Tea Garden after the signing of the peace treaty with Japan.

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After visiting the nearby  Science Academy, we visited the Tea Garden, took a stroll through the lovely landscaping and had tea at the tea house.

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Location: 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designation declared: 10/15/2004

Date of my visit: August 14, 2012

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The drum or moon bridge is designed to look like a full circle when reflected in the water. It is also intended to make people slow down and appreciate the garden.

Princeton Historic District: Princeton University – NRHP

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Princeton University is one of the nine Colonial universities founded before the American Revolution. It dates back to 1746, when it was The College of New Jersey in Elizabeth and then moved to Newark. In 1756, it moved to its current site in Princeton, New Jersey into the original Nassau Hall building.

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The college was renamed Princeton University in 1896 has consistently been ranked the USA’s top university over the past two decades. Many influential people have graduated from the institution including two US presidents and twelve US Supreme Court justices. It is currently around $66,000 a year to attend Princeton, if you can get in.

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After the completion of Nassau Hall (a national landmark on its own), the campus continued to expand around it. Today, the Princeton campus sits on 500 acres with many gorgeous Collegiate Gothic style buildings and some more modern architecture on the south side.

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A friend from out of town wanted to photograph the architecture, so we drove down to the campus only to find it was move-in day for the students and abuzz with activity. The good thing about this is that there were plenty of people to offer directions and we were able to ride the campus bus from the parking lot to the historic section.

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Location: 125 Faculty Rd., Princeton, NJ

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designated or established: June 27, 1975

Date of my visit: 9/3/2016

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The Princeton University Chapel opened in 1928, replacing an older one that had burned down.

Coit Tower – NRHP

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Coit Tower is a 210-foot tower in Pioneer Park on Telegraph Hill, one of San Francisco’s seven hills.  The tower was completed in 1933 using funds from Lillie Hitchcock Coit’s bequest to beautify the city of San Francisco.

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Coit was an eccentric socialite who wore pants, smoked cigars, gambled in mens-only clubs and liked to chase fires. She is said to have pitched in to help the firemen fight a blaze near her home. This was considered unusual behavior for a lady in those days.

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The tower is dedicated to the firefighters who died in the city’s long history of fires. Some say the structure resembles a fire hose nozzle, though the architect insisted that was a coincidence.

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Visitors can buy a ticket to the observation deck on top. We rode in the old-time elvator, complete with elevator operator, to the top to see the panoramic views of the city and the bay.

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Location: 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designated/established: 1/29/2008

Date of my visit: 8/16/2012

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View of Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower from Lombard Street.

Navy Pier: NRHP

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Navy Pier is on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan and is 3300 feet long with 50 acres of attractions and restaurants. It is the top leisure destination in the Midwest, so on our weekend in Chicago, we had to visit.

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Navy Pier first opened in 1916 as the Municipal Pier and served multiple purposes. It was a freight dock, expositions were held there and later it served as a prison for WWI draft-dodgers. In honor of WWI Naval Veterans, it was renamed Navy Pier in 1927.

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The Navy used it as a training center during WWII, complete with living quarters, shops a theater, eateries and a hospital. After the war, the University of Illinois used it as a campus until they outgrew it.

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By 1989, the pier had fallen into disuse and begun to deteriorate. The city organized a redevelopment committee. In 1995, the pier had it’s grand re-opening as a modern retail and entertainment complex.  When we visited, it was undergoing another metamorphosis for the 2016 Centennial.

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Location: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designated or established: 9/13/1979

Date of my visit: 5/23/2015

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Chicago Harbor Light: NHRP

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At the end of Chicago’s famous Navy Pier, you can see the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse in the Chicago Harbor in Lake Michigan. The light was built in 1893 for the Chicago World’s Fair and then moved to its current location in 1919. One of the Fresnel lenses on display at the Wold’s Fair was installed in the Chicago Light when the fair was over.

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The light is a modified spark plug design (it is taller) and a boathouse and fog signal room were added on later. It was added the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It is still an active navigational aid and is not open to visitors.

In 2005, the Coast Guard offered the lighthouse to the government. The Department of the Interior transferred ownership to the City of Chicago in 2009.

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Location: East of Navy Pier, Chicago, IL 60611

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designated or established: 7/19/1984

Date of my visit: 5/23/2015

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Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal

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The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal in Jersey City was one of five passenger railroad terminals on the Hudson Waterfront during the 1800s to 1900s. Hoboken is the only one of the five still in use today.  The Jersey City, or Communipaw, terminal was built in 1889 and operated through 1967.

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Along with nearby Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the terminal was part of the immigration era. Over ten million immigrants entered the country through this station.

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The terminal is on the National Register of Historic Places and was incorporated into Liberty State Park. It was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and reopened in 2016.

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Today the terminal is a museum and is also where you can get tickets for the ferry to Ellis and Liberty Islands.

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Location: 1 Audrey Zapp Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Designation: State Park, NRHP

Date designation declared: 9/12/1975 NRHP

Date of my visit: 2014, 2016, 2018

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Dawn on a cold March day in 2018

Battery Maritime Building – NRHP

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Visitors to Governors Island National Monument will pass through the historic Battery Maritime Building. It is located in Lower Manhattan, next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

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This Beaux-Arts structure was built in 1909 to serve as the Municipal Ferry Pier. Since 1956, it has served as the ferry terminal to Governors Island.

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At first used by the Army to access the military base on the island, management was assumed by the Coast Guard in 1966 when Governors Island became the largest Coast Guard base in the country.

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In 1996, the Coast Guard moved its base to another location. In 2001, 22 acres on Governors Island, including two of the historic forts were designated a National Monument managed by the NPS. The remaining 150 acres were sold to New York City to be managed by the Trust for Governors Island. The Trust now manages the ferry terminal, shuttling visitors via a $3, eight-minute trip to the island, between May and October.IMG_2861

The Battery Maritime Building is constructed of cast iron, steel, zinc and copper. It was restored to its original appearance in the early 2000s.

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To see my other Governors Island posts, please click below:

  • Battery Maritime Building
  • Soissons Landing and Castle Williams (Coming Soon)
  • Liggett Hall (Coming Soon)
  • Fort Jay and The Hills (Coming Soon)
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Guide Mario showing the group the difference between now and then: the view of the  New York City skyline from the ferry.

Location: 10 South St, New York, NY 10005

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designation declared: 12/12/1976

Date of my visit: 9/11/2018