America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places is an annual list that spotlights important examples of our nation’s architectural and cultural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. Almost 300 places have been on the list over its 31-year history, and in that time, fewer than 5 percent of listed sites have been lost.
The National Trust’s 31st annual list includes a diverse mix of historic places across America facing a range of challenges and threats, from deferred maintenance to inappropriate development proposals to devastation wrought by natural disasters. And, for just the third time in the history of the list, this year's 11 Most includes a 12th site placed on “Watch Status.” Watch Status means that a specific threat to a historic site appears to be growing, but can be avoided or controlled through collaboration and innovation.
Learn more about these historic places, and what you can do to support them, below.
Annapolis’ City Dock Area
Among the most historic urban spaces in America, a current proposal to re-zone portions of the Colonial Annapolis Historic District—undermining local laws and policies that have protected the historic district for over 45 years—threatens to damage the area’s quality of life and heritage tourism economy, as well as permanently diminish its charm and unparalleled views.
Ashley River Historic District
Charleston, South Carolina
One of the most iconic areas in the South Carolina Lowcountry, the Ashley River Historic District exemplifies the Palmetto State’s layered cultural heritage. But it is currently threatened by an annexation proposal that could lead to zoning changes and intensive development that could irreparably damage the historic landscape. Sign the petition.
Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte Memorial Hospital
Omaha Indian Reservation, Nebraska
Named after the first Native American licensed to practice medicine in the United States, and believed to be the first hospital constructed for any Indian reservation without federal funding, the Memorial Hospital is currently unoccupied and facing an uncertain future.
Hurricane-Damaged Historic Resources
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Along with terrible loss of human life and natural ecosystems, the 2017 hurricanes damaged thousands of historic and cultural resources throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. With another hurricane season already here, recovery efforts for these historic properties continue to face significant challenges due to limited materials, financing, and preservation expertise.
Isaiah T. Montgomery House
Mound Bayou, Mississippi
Established by former slave Isaiah T. Montgomery, Mound Bayou was one of the earliest all-black municipalities, located in the Mississippi Delta following the Civil War. Today, Montgomery's home is in urgent need of stabilization and rehabilitation.
Both Denver’s first commercial block and first historic district, Larimer Square has for decades been a pioneering national model for revitalizing neighborhoods through preservation. But now it is threatened by an inappropriate development proposal that calls for partial demolition of several buildings, the potential construction of two towers, and weakening the groundbreaking ordinance that has long protected the famous square. Sign the petition.
Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses
Widely considered the oldest houses built by African Americans in Connecticut, the Freeman Houses help to tell the unique story of the free black community in the North prior to the Civil War. The houses have been vacant for many years and are badly deteriorating.
Mount Vernon and Piscataway National Park
Mount Vernon, Virginia, and Accokeek, Maryland
Dominion Energy has proposed constructing a gas compressor station directly adjacent to Piscataway National Park. This project has the potential to negatively impact the historic view from Mount Vernon and the natural beauty of Piscataway National Park.
Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and California
Known as America’s “Mother Road,” Route 66 is an internationally significant symbol of our nation’s romance with the open road. While Congress has taken important steps to designate Route 66 a permanent National Historic Trail, which would bring national recognition and economic development to the route's historic sites, legislation must be passed by the U.S. Senate and signed by the president before the end of 2018. Otherwise, a vital preservation opportunity may be lost. Sign the petition.
Ship on the Desert
Salt Flat, Texas
Located within Guadalupe Mountains National Park, in the high desert landscape of West Texas, this striking early Modernist house has suffered from deferred maintenance and is not currently open to the public.
Walkout Schools of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
The Walkout Schools are five historic campuses that played a key role in the 1968 East L.A. Chicano Student Walkouts, which helped catalyze the national Chicano Civil Rights Movement. These tangible representations of the power of student activism are now threatened, as some of the buildings face calls for demolition by the school district. The schools include: James A. Garfield High School; Theodore Roosevelt High School; Abraham Lincoln High School; Belmont High School; and El Sereno Middle School (formerly Woodrow Wilson High School). Sign the petition.
Watch Status Site: Four Towns of Vermont's Upper Valley
Royalton, Sharon, Trafford, and Tunbridge, Vermont
The charming village centers and idyllic surrounding farms and forests in four historic towns would be permanently altered by a development proposal calling for construction of a new planned community in this rural part of Vermont.
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