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Endangered History
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Sites of Diversity Dominate 2015 List of America's Most Endangered Historic Places
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Email The Author: pr@savingplaces.org
Website: http://www.preservationnation.org/who-we-are/press-center/press-releases/2015/2015-11-Most-Endangered.html#.VYrOQ-t8vww

The National Trust for Historic Preservation today unveiled its 2015 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places®, an annual list that spotlights important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. More than 250 sites have been on the list over its 28-year history, and in that time, only a handful of listed sites have been lost.

The National Trust’s 28th annual list shines a spotlight on historic places that help to tell the story of our nation in all its diversity. Our most diverse list ever, the places on the 2015 list focus on chapters in our history that have sometimes been overlooked, reinforcing the message that preserving the full American experience means everyone has a seat at the table and that all voices are heard.

Sites on the 2015 list include: The Grand Canyon, one of America’s most iconic and beloved National Parks and a sacred site for many Native American tribes, it now faces several development proposals that would disrupt its pristine majesty; the A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham that once hosted Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights leaders at an important time in the movement, but now sits vacant and deteriorating; Miami’s Little Havana, a symbol of the American melting pot for generations, now threatened by zoning changes that could forever alter its historic neighborhood character; and The Factory disco in West Hollywood, an important place for gay men to proudly and openly celebrate their identity, now threatened with demolition for a new development.

“For more than a quarter century, our list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has called attention to threatened one-of-a-kind treasures throughout the nation and galvanized local communities to help save them,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “This year’s list is our most diverse ever, and reflects our commitment to recognizing and preserving all the facets of our diverse history. From the LGBTQ history of the Factory in California to the Cuban-American heritage of Miami’s Little Havana to the civil rights legacy of the A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, these sites tell American stories that have been overlooked for too long. We hope this list inspires more Americans to join us in the ongoing effort to save the places that tell the full story of our nation.”

Members of the public are invited to learn more about what they can do to support these 11 historic places and hundreds of other endangered sites at www.PreservationNation.org/places.

The 2015 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places (in alphabetical order):
  • A.G. Gaston Motel - Birmingham, Ala. This motel played host to Martin Luther King Jr. and served as a “war room” for leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Now vacant and badly deteriorating, it can be restored as part of a new Civil Rights center.
  • Carrollton Courthouse – New Orleans, La. Built to serve Jefferson Parish before the city of Carrollton was annexed by New Orleans in 1874, this is one of the most significant landmarks outside of the French Quarter. After decades of use as a school building, it is now vacant and for sale with no preservation protections in place.
  • Chautauqua Amphitheater – Chautauqua, N.Y. A beloved National Historic Landmark that has occupied a special place in American culture for well over 100 years, the “Amp” is threatened by the Chautauqua Institution’s plans to demolish it.East Point Historic Civic Block– East Point, Ga. East Point City Hall, City Auditorium, City Library and Victory Park form a contiguous block that has been the heart of downtown East Point since the 1930s, but is currently suffering a potential fate of demolition by neglect.
  • Fort Worth Stockyards – Fort Worth, Texas. This historic district attracts millions of visitors each year to experience Fort Worth’s emergence as a center of the American livestock industry. A large-scale redevelopment project would forever alter the character of the stockyards historic district.
  • The Grand Canyon – Ariz. A beloved international icon and a sacred place for several Native American tribes, the Grand Canyon is threatened by development proposals ranging from tourist resorts to mining.
  • Little Havana – Miami, Fla. A symbol of the immigrant experience and the American melting pot, Little Havana’s scale and character is threatened by zoning changes and lack of protection for its many historic buildings.
  • Oak Flat – Superior, Arizona. A sacred site to the San Carlos Apache and several other Native American tribes, Oak Flat is threatened due to a land exchange provision included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 that would open the site up to mining.
  • Old U.S. Mint – San Francisco, Calif. A National Historic Landmark built in 1874 and one of the very few downtown buildings to survive the 1906 earthquake and fire, the Old U.S. Mint is increasingly at risk as decades of neglect and inattention take their toll.
  • South Street Seaport – New York, N.Y. The focal point of the early maritime industry in New York, the South Street Seaport today features some of the oldest architecture in the city. A tower and other development proposals threaten to dramatically alter a historic neighborhood that has endured for generations.
  • The Factory – West Hollywood, Calif. The Factory was built in 1929 to house the Mitchell Camera Corporation. After being adapted to serve many other uses, The Factory re-opened in 1974 as Studio One, an influential disco for gay men that became a hotbed for celebrity performances and AIDS activism. It is currently threatened by a development proposal.
Follow us on Twitter at @savingplaces and join the conversation using the hashtag #11Most

America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has identified more than 250 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.  

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Posted: June 24, 2015
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