National Trust For Historic Preservation Announces 2010 List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places®

May 19, 2010

2010 List Includes Pagat, Guam, Virginia’s Wilderness Battlefield, and America’s State Parks & State-Owned Historic Sites

WASHINGTON, May 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Trust for Historic Preservation today unveiled the 2010 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places®, an annual list that highlights important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. National Trust president Richard Moe announced the 2010 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. Richard Moe, announcing his 17th and final 11 Most list as president of the National Trust, has elevated a more inclusive, broadly-encompassing preservation movement typified by this year’s list.

Among the 2010 endangered sites are:

  • Hinchliffe Stadium, one of the last remaining Negro League ball parks, played host to such legends as Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard and Dizzy Dean and now stands vacant and dilapidated;
  • America’s State Parks & State-Owned Historic Sites, facing uncertain futures and the closure of many parks and significant historic places due to state budget shortfalls coast to coast;
  • Wilderness Battlefield, site of one of the most important engagements of the Civil War and the first meeting of legendary generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, now battling a big box retailer; and
  • A treasured prehistoric cultural site revered by the Chamorro people of Yigo, Guam, threatened by a planned massive military buildup that will put irreplaceable ancient artifacts at risk.

“While the 23rd annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places is, by definition, about historic places, it’s also about neighborhoods and communities that contribute to the quality of life in America and the people who work hard to preserve them,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “These endangered places – from a Civil War battlefield to the farthest U.S. territory in the Pacific – are enormously important to our understanding of who we are as a nation and a people.”

The public is invited to learn more about what they can do to support these and hundreds of other endangered sites, experience first-hand accounts of these places, and share stories and photos of their own at www.PreservationNation.org/11Most.

The 2010 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places was made possible, in part, by a grant from History(TM).

To download high resolution images and video of this year’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, please visit http://www.preservationnation.org/about-us/press-center/.

The 2010 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places (in alphabetical order):

America’s State Parks and State-Owned Historic Sites — This year, nearly 30 states have experienced cuts to parks’ and sites’ budgets, and a recent survey estimates as many as 400 state parks could close. These state park systems include places of national significance — from Native American historic sites to Revolutionary War forts to Civil War battlefields to country estates — and welcome an estimated 725 million visits every year.

Black Mountain, Harlan County, Ky.Nestled at the base of Eastern Kentucky’s rugged Black Mountain, the historic mining towns of Benham and Lynch are working hard to define a future beyond coal. The towns, which have revitalized their main streets and created well-respected heritage tourism sites, now face the threat of multiple surface and deep mining permits on and around Black Mountain — a move that would be tremendously harmful to Black Mountain’s natural beauty, fragile ecology and growing tourism industry.

Hinchliffe Stadium, Paterson, N.J.Once the pride of Paterson, N.J., Hinchliffe Stadium is one of the last surviving ball parks of baseball’s Negro League. Today, the 10,000-seat, poured-concrete Art Deco stadium that was home to the New York Black Yankees and legendary player Larry Doby, is closed and dangerously deteriorated.

Industrial Arts Building, Lincoln, Neb. For nearly a century, this dramatic trapezoidal exposition space with natural skylights, intricate roof trusses and a four-story fountained interior, has showcased the best of Lincoln, Neb. Despite its long, proud history, the Industrial Arts Building will soon meet the wrecking ball unless a developer steps forward to rescue and reuse the building.

Juana Briones House, Palo Alto, Calif. In the heart of Silicon Valley stands the oldest structure in Palo Alto, built by one of the original Hispanic residents of San Francisco, a pioneering woman who was a rancher, traditional healer and entrepreneur. The 1844 adobe home is a rare reminder of California’s rich Spanish and Mexican history. Today this California State Historic Landmark sits abandoned, deteriorated, exposed to the elements and threatened by demolition.

Merritt Parkway, Fairfield County, Conn. — Spanning 37.5 distinctive miles and celebrated for its diverse collection of decorative bridges and lush, natural landscaping, Merritt Parkway remains, 70 years after it was constructed, one of America’s most scenic roads. To accommodate increased traffic on the parkway, the cash-strapped Connecticut Department of Transportation is not performing necessary maintenance and has moved to realign roads, replace bridges and redesign interchanges, all at the cost of the parkway’s unique character.

Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Washington, D.C. A major landmark of African American heritage and one of the most important religious institutions in the United States, Metropolitan A.M.E. Church’s red brick Victorian Gothic-style building, completed in 1886, hosted the funeral of congregant Frederick Douglass in 1895 and Rosa Parks a century later. Years of water infiltration and damage caused in part by adjacent construction projects have compromised the structure, prompting the dedicated congregation to launch a national capital campaign to rescue and restore this irreplaceable house of worship.

Pagat, Yigo, Guam The island of Guam, the westernmost United States territory in the Pacific, is home to the Chamorro people who maintain a thriving culture dating back thousands of years. With the United States military’s announced plans for a massive buildup on the island, many residents are concerned about the potentially devastating impact on the island’s cultural resources, including one of Guam’s most treasured sites, the ancient Chamorro settlement of Pagat.

Saugatuck Dunes, Saugatuck, Mich. Along the shores of Lake Michigan, the 2,500 acres that comprise the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Area boast a spectacular, sparsely-developed landscape of sand dunes, water, woods and wetlands. Home to several endangered species and a large number of significant historic and archeological sites, Saugatuck Dunes and its surrounding community are threatened by a proposed 400-acre residential development, to include a marina, hotel, restaurant and retail complex.

Threefoot Building, Meridian, Miss. For 80 years, this 16-story Art Deco, lavishly decorated, granite-clad skyscraper has been a mainstay of downtown Meridian, Miss. Although a developer expressed interest in rehabilitating the deteriorated building, the City of Meridian has been unable to provide gap financing or other incentives and locals fear that Threefoot’s bright future may end in demolition.

Wilderness Battlefield, Orange and Spotsylvania Counties, Va. One of the most significant and bloodiest engagements of the Civil War, the Battle of the Wilderness marked the first time that legendary generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant faced off against one another. It is here — in an area known for its rolling landscapes and distant Blue Ridge Mountain views — that Walmart intends to trample on American heritage by constructing 240,000 square feet of “big box” commercial sprawl within the historic boundaries of Wilderness Battlefield and immediately adjacent to the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park.

America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has identified more than 200 threatened one-of-a-kind historic treasures since 1988. Whether these sites are urban districts or rural landscapes, Native American landmarks or 20th-century sports arenas, entire communities or single buildings, the list spotlights historic places across America that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. The designation has been a powerful tool for raising awareness and rallying resources to save endangered sites from every region of the country. At times, that attention has garnered public support to quickly rescue a treasured landmark; while in other instances, it has been the impetus of a long battle to save an important piece of our history. The list has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts across the country and rallying resources to save endangered places that, in just two decades, only seven sites have been lost.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation (www.PreservationNation.org) is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., eight regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories.

SOURCE National Trust for Historic Preservation

Source: newswire

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