MONROEVILLE, Ala. (WKRG) — The iconic Monroe County Courthouse in Monroeville has been named a National Historic Landmark.

Fewer than 3 percent of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places are NHLs. The designation is the highest recognition bestowed by the federal government and reflects the national importance of the site to the American people.

The courthouse attained international prominence as the inspiration and stage for one of the most beloved books in American history, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” written by Monroeville native Harper Lee and published in 1960. The Academy Award-winning film based on the book was released two years later. For the trial scenes, the set designers modeled the movie set exactly on the courtroom in the Monroe County Courthouse.

“The story from the Monroeville Courthouse brought worldwide acclaim to Harper Lee through its telling in To Kill a Mockingbird and also painted a portrait of Alabamians moving toward social justice at a time when we needed this positive image,” said Eddie Griffith, Alabama Historical Commission Chairman, in a statement. “By its designation as a National Historic Landmark, we note its importance to all Americans and to those from around the world who make the pilgrimage to Monroeville to stand in that courtroom and reflect on the values of a system of equal justice.”