Courtyard at Cooper Molera
April 3, 2020

Commerce and Industry: A Virtual Tour of Four National Trust Historic Sites

Next up on our virtual tour of the National Trust’s 27 historic sites: those specifically related to Commerce and Industry.

In our first tour to Sacred Places, we recognized that defining characteristics of the United States include religious freedom and diversity. Similarly, the National Trust’s four sites related to commerce and industry represent the varied experiences of Americans in their vocational pursuits, running the spectrum from entrepreneurial endeavors to the hardship of immigrant labor.

Now an economic superpower, the United States only emerged as such a little more than 100 years ago, and the places we’ll visit contribute to telling the full story of that emergence. Below we’ll travel through time on a coast-to-coast tour, starting with Cooper Molera Adobe and the Gaylord Building.

While Cooper Molera Adobe and the Gaylord Building focus on commercial enterprises, Hotel de Paris Museum and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum represent the domestic side of workers' lives. Hotel de Paris opened in response to a silver mining boom in Colorado, providing lodging and gourmet meals for miners and traveling businessmen. The Tenement Museum recreates the living conditions of New York's immigrant workers who built new lives in America; often lived in or on the edge of poverty despite full-time employment; and built a foundation for generations of Americans to come.

Just in time for spring (well, at least for much of the country), our next tour will highlight National Trust Historic Sites that feature beautiful landscapes and gardens. See you next time.

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Dennis Hockman is editor in chief of Preservation magazine. He’s lived in historic apartments and houses all over the United States and knows that all old buildings have stories to tell if you care to find them.

Announcing the 2021 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

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