Focusing on the beauty of National Landmarks

Think of the gilded elegance of the Academy of Music, the Middle-Earth ambiance of the Moravian Tile Works, the menacing towers of Eastern State Penitentiary, or the sadly fading glory of the Cruiser Olympia.

The Philadelphia region is filled with potential subjects for the National Historic Landmark Photo Contest, which over the past 10 years has been intended to inspire visits and appreciation for those places that represent the American story. The 11th anniversary contest began July 19 and the closing deadline is Sept. 10. Winners will be notified by Sept. 24 through their Flickr accounts.

National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic sites designated by the Secretary of the Interior for their value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Fewer than 2,500 places bear the distinction.

But there are plenty to shoot in Philadelphia and surrounding counties. In the city, a few examples are the Athenaeum, Boathouse Row, Christ Church, Cliveden, John Coltrane House, Fairmount Water Works, Friends Hospital, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Memorial Hall, Mother Bethel AME Church, City Hall and the PSFS Building. In the ‘burbs, the sites include Andalusia, Beth Sholom Synagogue, Pearl Buck House, Delaware Canal, Grey Towers, Merion Cricket Club, Valley Forge and Washington’s Crossing. A full list, covering every state, is available here.

Contestants can enter up to 10 photos, but only one image per landmark. The object is to capture the meaning and essence of the site. Winners will be chosen by National Park Service employees nationwide who will vote on the entries.

“America’s history is all around us — and too often it just fades into the background,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. “The photo contest is a great way to encourage people to explore these incredible places and share their experiences through images. All it takes is a camera and a sense of adventure.”

Click here for complete details on the contest.

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