Sloss Furnaces has the unique distinction of being the only publicly held industrial site in the world. Other communities in countries as far away as France have modeled their preservation efforts after those that have transformed Sloss Furnaces into the cultural center it is today.
A National Historic Landmark is a site where Americans can touch their own history. A National Historic Landmark situates time in space and thus gives us doors and windows into our national past. It may indicate either the place at which a significant historical event (such as a battle or the signing of a document) occurred, or a place where important individual Americans (presidents, for example) worked or lived or were born or died, or a place (a building or a battlefield) that provides information about our past or about the origins of the ideas that are most important to us as Americans. National Historic Landmarks allow us to approach in space what has gone beyond us in time. At National Historic Landmarks we can enter the penumbra of the past and feel it, and connect with that which has come before.