One of the first major efforts to preserve historic houses was undertaken in 1858 with the restoration of Mt. Vernon, home of President George Washington. It was felt that the preservation of his home was vital so that future generations could see a house that played an important part in history through the events that took place there and learn about the people who lived there. A plaque was placed there and as with most home restorations the plaque was paid for by private funds.
New Orleans is famous for it's sightseeing especially around the French Quarter and Jackson Square and everything is well marked. A city known for it's "visitor friendly" atmosphere has excellent street signs and building plaques help people see places and things they might not have noticed otherwise. Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has been re-building to get back to the historical venue it once was.
A very unusual historic house is "The Narrowest House" located in Greenwich Village. There's no address marker as it's only 10' wide and was built in 1873. It's official address is 75 1/2 Bedford Street (located between #'s 75 and 77). It was the residence of several famous people including Margaret Mead and poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Throughout it's many renovations, it still remains at 1500 square feet with 3 floors and a basement combined. The last time the house was for sale was at a price of $2.7 million. Another famous house is the Vanderbilt Marble House that was built by William Vanderbilt and given as a birthday gift to his wife. It has 500,000 cubic feet of white marble. Seven years after the house was built, they divorced.