BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — Federal officials have granted landmark status to a Moravian historic district in eastern Pennsylvania.

The Interior Department announced Wednesday that the 14-acre neighborhood in the city of Bethlehem is one of 27 new national historic landmarks.

The department says it’s an outstanding example of Moravian architecture and town planning for an 18th-century communal religious society. Moravians were Protestant immigrants from eastern Europe.

The nonprofit Historic Bethlehem Partnership has been working for about a decade to achieve landmark status. Partnership president Charlene Donchez Mowers (DON’-chez MOW’-urs) told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the group is thrilled.

Mowers says she expects tourism will increase because of the new designation for the Historic Moravian Bethlehem Historic District.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE