Thursday, June 27, 2013

America's Most Endangered Places (2013 Ed.)

The 2013 list of America's Most Endangered Places was released this month by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The National Trust has been creating this annual list since 1987 and its popularity has brought necessary attention to many of the sites.

The Abyssinian Meeting House in Portland, Maine was built in 1828 and is the only recognized Underground Railroad site in Maine. Built by free African-Americans, it was used for worship, meetings, speakers, concerts, conventions and as a school. Today it is threatened by lack of funding.




The Houston Astrodome in Texas only opened in 1965 as the world's first domed air-conditioned stadium. Regarded as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World,' (a little far-fetched, but an air conditioned stadium is godly) it no longer hosts professional sports teams. Ideas have been thrown around on what the Astrodome's fate should be including converting the space into a luxury hotel, a movie production studio or just demolishing it altogether.




The Chinatown House in Rancho Cucamonga, California was a general store and housing site for Chinese American laborers. Built in 1919, the trust describes the house as "one of the last remaining tangible connections to the once-thriving Chinese community that helped build modern-day Rancho Cucamonga." The vacant, neglected house is suffering from structural issues which could lead to its demolition.



Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah, Massachusetts is Martha Vineyard's first lighthouse, constructed in 1799. Future erosion of the surrounding cliffs put the lighthouse at risk.



Historic Rural Schoolhouses of Montana (some only with one room) pride themselves on their ability to cater to an individual child's needs in a way a larger school is unable to. Only 400 rural schoolhouses remain in the United States and 60 of them are located in Montana. They are at risk due to the state's population shifting to urban centers, making these small rural schools unnecessary.



Along the banks of the James River in Virginia, America's first permanent English settlement, Jamestown, was founded in 1607. A proposed power line project threatens to alter the scenery of the historic areas along the river.



The Kake Cannery near Kake, Alaska had a significant role in the history of salmon canning in Alaska during the first half of the 20th century. It is currently threatened by the loss of the canning industry and its deterioration over time.



The Mountain View Black Officer's Club in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, faces possible demolition by the U.S. Army. Built in 1942, it was a WWII-era military service club specifically for African-American officers.



The San Jose Church in San Juan, Puerto Rico is one of the few remaining examples of 16th century Spanish Gothic architecture. Built in 1532, deterioration and structural damage threaten the church. Juan Ponce de León was the first governor of Puerto Rico and was buried in the church's crypt for nearly 300 years until transferred to the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista.



The Village of Mariemont in Ohio is a national landmark that is considered a key example of town planning in America. Built between 1921 and 1925, the town exhibits English architecture from Norman to classic Georgian style. Mariemont also has one of the few elected Town Criers remaining in North America. Today its southern border is threatened by a state highway proposal.



The Worldport terminal at JFK Airport in New York City is expected to be demolished completely by 2015. Built in 1960 by Pan American World Airways, it is a well known symbol of America's entry into the jet airliner era. Its final flight departed on May 23rd of this year.


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