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11 Historic Sites Join ‘Endangered’ List

Friday, May 21, 2010

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A Negro League stadium, historic cathedral, Civil War battlefield and eight other historical sites are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage, according to a new “endangered” list by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Hinchliffe Stadium

The vulnerable sites and structures make up the organization’s 2010 list of “America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” The annual list highlights examples of architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.

Metropolitan AME Church

National Trust president Richard Moe announced the list at Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan A.M.E. Church—the national cathedral of African Methodism, a landmark of African American heritage and civil rights advocacy, and one of this year's endangered places.

“The 2010 list underscores the great cultural, geographic and historic diversity of places across the country that tell our collective story,” the Trust said in a statement. The choices reflect “a more inclusive, broadly encompassing preservation movement.”

“America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” has identified more than 200 threatened one-of-a-kind historic treasures since 1988. The list has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts and rallying resources that only seven sites have been lost in two decades, the Trust says.

Although the list focuses on specific sites, it also raises concern “about neighborhoods and communities that contribute to the quality of life in America and the people who work hard to preserve them," said Moe. "These endangered places …are enormously important to our understanding of who we are as a nation and a people."

For more information on these and hundreds of other endangered sites, visit www.PreservationNation.org/11Most.

The 2010 list (in alphabetical order):

• America's State Parks and State-Owned Historic Sites. Nearly 30 states have been hit with park and site budget cuts this year, and a recent survey estimates as many as 400 state parks could close.

• Black Mountain, Harlan County, Ky. Two historic mining towns face the threat of multiple surface and deep mining permits on and around Black Mountain—a move that would devastate the mountain's beauty, ecology and tourism industry.

• Hinchliffe Stadium, Paterson, N.J. One of the last surviving ball parks of baseball's Negro League, the 10,000-seat, poured-concrete Art Deco stadium is closed and dangerously deteriorated.

Industrial Arts Building

• Industrial Arts Building, Lincoln, Neb. Nearly a century old, this dramatic trapezoidal landmark will soon be torn down unless a developer steps forward to rescue and reuse it.

• Juana Briones House, Palo Alto, Calif. The oldest structure in Palo Alto, this 1844 adobe home reflects California's Spanish and Mexican history. Today it is abandoned, deteriorated and at risk of demolition.

• Merritt Parkway, Fairfield County, Conn. Needed maintenance, replacement and redesign of this 37.5-mile parkway have been deferred by state budget cuts. The scenic parkway is known for its decorative bridges and natural landscape.

• Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Washington, D.C. A landmark of African American heritage, Metropolitan A.M.E. Church was the funeral site of both Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks. Years of water infiltration and damage have compromised the structure.

• Pagat, Yigo, Guam. Faced with plans for a massive military buildup on the U.S.’s westernmost Pacific territory, residents are concerned about the potentially devastating impact on its ancient sites and indigenous people.

• Saugatuck Dunes, Saugatuck, Mich. The 2,500-acre Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Area is home to wetlands, historic and archeological sites, and several endangered species. Plans for a nearby 400-acre residential and commercial development threaten all of these.

• Threefoot Building, Meridian, Miss. This 80-year-old, 16-story Art Deco skyscraper is seriously deteriorated and may face demolition without additional funds or development.

• Wilderness Battlefield, Orange and Spotsylvania Counties, Va. The site of the first bloody engagement between the armies of Gens. Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, the battlefield is being considered as the site of a 240,000-square-foot Walmart store. The development would also be immediately adjacent to the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park.

   

Tagged categories: Historic Preservation

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