Yesterday the National Trust for Historic Preservation unveiled its 2016 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. To mark this announcement, Preservation Leadership Forum pulled together resources that provide context, lessons learned, or additional information about the threats each of these sites is facing.
Since 1988 the National Trust has used the 11 Most list to raise awareness about threats to some of the nation's greatest treasures. The list, which has identified more than 270 sites to date, has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts that only a handful of sites have been lost.
The National Trust also recently announced our platform for ReUrbanism, which outlines the key role preservation is playing in the resurgence of cities. Our research suggests that older buildings are one of the most powerful tools we have for continued urban revitalization, so our 29th annual 11 Most list features several historic places located in America’s urban areas:
El Segundo Barrio and Chihuahuita Neighborhoods—El Paso, Texas: Centers of Latina/o community life for more than a century, these neighborhoods are now experiencing increased demolition.
Embarcadero District—San Francisco, California: One of the nation’s most beloved historic areas, the Embarcadero must adapt to the threats of seismic vulnerability and sea-level rise.
The Sunshine Mile—Tucson, Arizona: An architecturally rich commercial corridor populated by smaller-scale midcentury buildings, many of which could be lost if a new transportation plan moves ahead. (Read this 2014 Forum Blog post to learn more about the Sunshine Mile.)
The rest of the 2016 11 Most list includes sites that speak to the broader narrative of the American past, ranging from the oldest building at Lincoln University to the Milwaukee Domes, a Modernist marvel. Take a look, and make sure to act now to save these valuable historic places.
Lions Municipal Golf Course—Austin, Texas: Widely regarded as the first municipal golf course in the South to desegregate, “Muny” is an unheralded civil rights landmark facing development pressure.
Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall—Lincoln University, Pennsylvania: The oldest building on the campus of the first U.S. degree-granting institution for African Americans, this hallowed building currently stands empty and faces an uncertain future.
Bears Ears—Colorado Plateau, Utah: The 1.9 million–acre Bears Ears cultural landscape features a world-class collection of archaeological sites, cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and ancient roads that illuminate 12,000 years of human history. It is now threatened by looting, mismanaged recreational use, and energy development.
James River—Jamestown, Virginia: Jamestown, America’s first permanent English settlement, was founded on the banks of the James River in 1607. The river and landscape—which were also featured on the 2013 11 Most list—remain threatened by a proposed transmission line project that would compromise their scenic integrity.
Charleston Naval Hospital District—North Charleston, South Carolina: The district played a prominent role as a primary re-entry point for American servicemen injured in Europe and Africa during WWII. Now threatened by a proposed rail line, this important historic resource is at risk of being largely destroyed.
Delta Queen—Houma, Louisiana: This steamboat was built in 1926 and today is among the last of her kind. Federal legislation that would enable this prestigious ship to return to overnight passenger cruising remains the key to securing the Delta Queen’s sustainability and future.
Historic Downtown Flemington—Flemington, New Jersey: Historic buildings at the core of the town that hosted the Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial are threatened by a development proposal that would demolish the iconic Union Hotel along with three other adjacent historic buildings.
Mitchell Park Domes—Milwaukee, Wisconsin: A beloved Milwaukee institution for generations, a unique engineering marvel, and a highly significant example of Midcentury Modern architecture, the Milwaukee Domes are now facing threats of demolition.