Thursday, November 16, 2006

Monument of States

This month the National Trust announced the winners of the 2006 National Preservation Awards, including Hampton Inn's Save-A-Landmark program. According to the program's website, the goal is "to identify and help refurbish some of our nation's historical, fun and unique roadside attractions." Promoting cultural and heritage tourism seems appropriate for a nationwide hotel chain.

In Florida, the Save-A-Landmark program refurbished the Monument of States near Kissimmee. This is a World War II-era piece of commemorative folk art, the brain child of Dr. Charles Bressler-Pettis. Pettis solicited donations of rocks from every state, and assembled them into a 50-foot-tall tower symbolizing national unity. The pre-Disney roadside attraction was fading a bit when Hampton Inn, in conjunction with AAA South, cleaned it up in November 2001.

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