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Ode to the City - We Call Home

Author winterkjm
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#1 | Posted: 12 Feb 2017 00:41 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I live in Los Angeles, California. This community of world heritage travelers has a high amount of users from Europe and Asia. Spread over numerous cities, each of you are by in large experts of your city, state/province, country, and some of you entire continents! I wonder, what do our experts consider "outstanding" right in their own backyards? What special sites lie within your cities boundaries that perhaps deserve world heritage status or at least consideration? For a moment, ponder which sites are special to you, whether its a tentative nomination or not even nationally designated. I would love to see what some of you post, who knows, it may even enrich our collective travel experiences.

My Ode to LA: 6 sites of Modern Architecture 1893 - 1963

Bradbury Building - 1893 (Full Album HERE)

Bradbury Building

Greene & Greene: The Gamble House - 1908 (Full Album HERE)

The Gamble House (Pasadena)

Movie Palaces on Broadway - Los Angeles - 1918 to 1931 (Full Album HERE)

Movie Palaces on Broadway - Los Angeles

Hollyhock House - 1921 (Full Album HERE)

Hollyhock House

Watts Towers - 1921 to 1954 (Full Album HERE)

Watts Towers

Neutra VDL Research House II - 1932, 1963 (Full Album HERE)

Neutra VDL Research House II

What special places are found in the place you call home? Can any of them be considered "outstanding"? I don't really know if all six of these sites above are worthy of WHS status, but they are special to me, and would be exciting to see nominated.

Author Allan
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#2 | Posted: 12 Feb 2017 18:01 
I feel like I'm kind of cheating at this, as I not only live in Edinburgh, but that my appartment is actually within the WHS boundry. Along with the nearby Forth Rail Bridge, I feel quite well represented here.

That said, I grew up in a small, boring town in rural Scotland. There is almost nothing of interest locally. However, while far from 'outstanding' and never likely to become a WHS, I do feel that the Halmuir Ukrainian Chapel (http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/lockerbie/ukrainianchapel/) needs much better protection and recognition than it currently recieves, even if only a national level. This tiny chapel was constructed by Ukrainian POWs after WWII, and is mostly constructed using prefabricated materials available from the camps. The building was never intended to be permanent, and along with the much more famous Italian Chapel in Orkney (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Chapel), I believe these are the only two surving POW churches in Scotland. The building is the only surviving testament to the legacy of the POW's, many of whom never returned to Ukraine again. As I said, I doubt very much that they would warrent an inclusion as a WHS, but very few people know about them, and I feel these very unusual and fragile buildings need all the love they can get. It definitely hold a special place in my heart.

Don't know if that's what you were looking for, but I didn't feel I had a lot of potential options!

Author nfmungard
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#3 | Posted: 13 Feb 2017 14:15 
Love the idea. Will need a few weeks / months to gather pics of all the different places of my home town, Hamburg.

Author meltwaterfalls
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#4 | Posted: 13 Feb 2017 17:22 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Oh thanks for this winterkjm, and thanks for giving me the tips to properly explore LA a few years ago, it really did go up in my estimations after my last visit.

Whilst I wouldn't be lobbying for London to get anymore WHS (four is a pretty decent score already) I still think there are plenty of places that are worthy of additional exploration. I will try and have a think and come back with some of the additional locations, however I have already proposed the Pubs of London

London Pubs
and I have a talked of my fondness for the Inns of Court.
Inns of Court

In regards to my hometown of Portsmouth, it was a conversation with Solivagant about it that played a role in starting the Aspiring to be on the T-List thread. I was in contact with a small team that were pulling together the proposal to add it to the UK's t-list. It never materialised, I think because priority was given to Chatham Dockyard.
Portsmouth Dockyard
I think the docks themselves in Chatham are slightly more extensive and better preserved than those of Portsmouth, however the Portsmouth proposal was much larger world first Cultural Seascape, that included extensive underwater archaeology, fortifications and maritime infrastructure spread over many different landscapes and what is touted as the best preserved Roman Fortification North of the Alps.
Portchester Castle


And as of this weekend I will have a new home, so whilst it won't be a city I can fill you all in on the potential World Heritage Site prospects of England's newest National Park, the South Downs.
South Downs National Park

Hmm I will try and sort those images out, they have come out tiny.

Author winterkjm
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#5 | Posted: 13 Feb 2017 21:44 
The pub image makes me want to alter my current reservation (Denmark/Sweden in June) to a long layover in London! It was a tough choice, but in the end I decided months ago on a short layover in London, because I didn't think I could do the city justice with only 6-7 hours.

Allan:
Halmuir Ukrainian Chapel

I do not know about world heritage status, but this is some interesting obscure history!

Author nfmungard
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#6 | Posted: 14 Feb 2017 02:38 | Edited by: nfmungard 
meltwaterfalls:
lobbying for London to get anymore WHS (four is a pretty decent score already)

An approach like in Paris where the whole inner city is inscribed would probably be easier than adding each component individually (similar to Seoul). Seriously, splitting Paris up would give you 5 WHS immediately:

* Tour Eiffel & Champs de Mars
* Louvre
* Centre Georges Pompidou
* Notre Dame & Île de la Cité
* Sacre Coeur & Montmarte
...

And I didn't even try hard.

The old pubs are pretty great and would be a nice addition. But maybe old pubs of Britain would be the better fit (btw, the Japanese should do the same). The wharfs of London would be a nice extension to Greenwich; harbors a Hamburgian passion. Unfortunately, so many have been modernized.

Author meltwaterfalls
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#7 | Posted: 14 Feb 2017 06:35 
winterkjm:
It was a tough choice, but in the end I decided months ago on a short layover in London, because I didn't think I could do the city justice with only 6-7 hours.

Fair enough, we all have to make the tough choices, though with 6-7 hours you could certainly do justice to the Pubs of London, I speak from extensive experience :)

Feel free to ignore this stuff if you already have plans but depending on your priorities for the stop over, it would be pretty easy (though expensive) to tick off the two most iconic London WHS (Tower and Westminster) and getting between the two will give you a sense of central London along the banks of the Thames. Or if you wanted to relax, stretch your legs (and I assume you will be flying to/from Heathrow) then Kew is easy to get to. Whilst Greenwich is lovely (probably my favourite London WHS) logistically it is a little tougher to get to from Heathrow, though if you are flying from London City airport it will be just across the river.

Author Assif
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#8 | Posted: 14 Feb 2017 08:15 
As it happens my life involved moving around quite a bit. Funnily though every place I used to live at had some involvement with the WHS scheme.
Originally I am from Tel Aviv, the centre of which is inscribed. I can't think of further sites of OUV, although there some plans involving neibouring Old Jaffa. My teenage years I spent at Caesarea (Israel), which is a TWHS. After moving to Europe I spent 3 years in Freiburg (Germany), which tried to inscribe its cathedral in vain. Then I moved to Vienna, where I spent further 3 years. Vienna has two inscriptions (centre and Schönbrunn) and another two intiatives (Grinzing and Steinhof). Steinhof would make a great WHS I think. On I moved to Bad Homburg (Germany) for the next 4 years which has the largest Roman fort in Germany (Saalburg) inscribed as a part of the Limes. It also intended an inscription as a spa town together with the international intitiative, but failed. Now I have moved to Hamburg which has two sites inscribed (Wattenmeer and Speicherstadt+Kontorhausviertel. It now has two aspirants (Altona Jewish cemetery coming next year and the observatory in Bergedorf which is still attempting an inscription together with La Plata, Argentina). I will try and think of further ideas for the cities I live/used to live in.

Author GaryArndt
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#9 | Posted: 14 Feb 2017 15:15 
I'm from a small town in Wisconsin called Appleton.

The only thing which would possibly be of possible world heritage interest would be its role in the early development of electricity.

It was home to the world's first hydroelectric plant and also home to the world's first home which was built wired for electricity.

I am not aware of any sites which deal with early 19th century electrification.

Author winterkjm
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#10 | Posted: 14 Feb 2017 18:43 
GaryArndt:
I'm from a small town in Wisconsin called Appleton.

I am originally from a town of 300 people, close to Hayward, WI. Small world!

Author Solivagant
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#11 | Posted: 14 Feb 2017 20:40 | Edited by: Solivagant 
We live in the North of UK in a conurbation often called "Teesside" but consisting of a number of previously separate towns - in particular Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough. The former has a long history as a market town and a one time port as well as being a terminus of the World's first public railway to use steam locomotives in 1825 ("The Stockton and Darlington Railway"). The latter developed in the mid 19th C as an "Industrial power house" based originally on Iron and steel (later chemicals too) which grew in a couple of decades from a few farm houses to a town nicknamed "Ironopolis" and whose motto was "Erimus" (Latin = "We shall be"!).
The entire area has suffered de-industrialisation and the problems associated with it. It stands apart from the major industrial areas of Tyne/Wearside to the north and West Yorkshire to the south with remarkably wild countryside and coast around it. The nearest existing WHS is 45 miles away to the SW at Studley Royal/Fountains Abbey. The twin Monastery of Wearmouth/Jarrow T List site and failed UK nomination lies around 40 miles to the north together with the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall.
It is perhaps typical that the only activity regarding a possible WHS within these 2 towns arose from a German initiative. A plan to inscribe a number of further Transporter Bridges exists in Germany based on its examples in Osten and Rensburg. Middlesbrough possesses a working example built in 1907 and was invited by the German organisation to join - I can't see it progressing!!
The N Yorkshire coast contains fine scenery and (Jurassic) Geology - and indeed was significant in the development of "Geology" as a science. Pioneering work to show that geological strata could be identified and correlated using the fossils they contain took place there in the early 19th C. Scarborough has a fine purpose built Museum of Geology dating to 1829 (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotunda_Museum ). The "Jurassic niche" has of course been adequately covered by the Dorset/Devon WHS.
It has often been noted that UK has no very early Railway site to represent its role in that aspect of history. The reasons are clear -very little remains of those first activities. However Stockton on Tees has, almost accidentally, preserved what is claimed to be the World's first Railway Booking office" from around 1830!! This unprepossessing building stands empty and unloved among wasteland and light industry - see https://www.flickr.com/photos/bolckow/sets/72157615748863405/ . As for the rest of the original "Stockton to Darlington Railway" line - well, the only remains are "archaeological". The line itself got re-routed fairly early on and it requires "faith" to follow its orginal straight line to the south of Stockton along a copse now overgrown with trees. A few remains of the orginal track and examples of tickets can be seen in Stockton's town museum housed in a large country house alongside whose grounds the first line orginally ran. The owner back in 1825 was apparently most upset that this new fangled object should pass by his property creating noise and smoke!

Author meltwaterfalls
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#12 | Posted: 15 Feb 2017 07:08 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Solivagant:
Middlesbrough possesses a working example built in 1907 and was invited by the German organisation to join - I can't see it progressing!!

Do you have any idea why not?
I always get the feeling that outside of small circles in the UK (Heritage and tourism 'industries') there is a general ambivalence to WHS, if people even know about it at all. But I would have thought that it would have had some appeal to a place like Middlesbrough.

Author Solivagant
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#13 | Posted: 15 Feb 2017 07:55 | Edited by: Solivagant 
meltwaterfalls:
Solivagant:
Middlesbrough possesses a working example built in 1907 and was invited by the German organisation to join - I can't see it progressing!!
Do you have any idea why not?

I was referring to the entire idea of an extension to the existing Vizcaya Bridge - including the German Transporter Bridges. How many Transporter Bridges does the List "need"? Does it really need every working one (plus some not working - E.g Buenos Aires). Is it really likely to be successful? Perhaps it is true that European countries are far more "bullish" about their chances of inscription than is UK -hence every wine region etc etc etc!
Middlesbrough did "interact" with the Germans following their invitation - ie. It didn't do a "Brexit" on them! See this from 2011 -
http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/local-news/transporter-bridge-bids-prestigious-unes co-3683652
and this from Dec 2013
http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/gwentnews/10874372.Newport_Transporter_Bridge_g roup_seeks_UNESCO_status/?ref=nt
Since then ....... media silence!
Back in Jun 2013 I did exchange some e-,mails with both the UK and German reps on this matter and was told
"Spain will actively support the extension of Bilbao, but we will seek this support only when we have things sorted out in our specific countries".
I was also told that Dr Christopher Young of English Heritage commented that "the (T) list was already closed in 2009. He also mentioned that the british transporter bridges "simply did not make enough noise"...
Generally I got the impression that "English Heritage" (EH) was not being that "helpful" - the persons involved didn't seem that knowledgeable about the difference in "roles" in this matter between EH and the DCMS - the "power" to add to T Lists of course really lies with the latter - though they will no doubt listen to "experts" from EH for advice etc

Author meltwaterfalls
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#14 | Posted: 15 Feb 2017 10:45 
Solivagant:
I was referring to the entire idea of an extension to the existing Vizcaya Bridge - including the German Transporter Bridges. How many Transporter Bridges does the List "need"? Does it really need every working one (plus some not working - E.g Buenos Aires). Is it really likely to be successful?

Ah that makes more sense.
Whilst I have worked well with people from EH and now Historic England, your impression that they may not be the most helpful to "outsiders" isn't exactly a shock to me, they have felt somewhat closed in the past.

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