Monday, August 31, 2015

America's Most Endangered Places (2015 Ed.)

The 2015 list of America's Most Endangered Places was released 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. 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. See who made the cut, and compare the list to last year's here.

Image source: CNN

The A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Alabama was a hotel for African-Americans during segregation. Civil Rights leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. stayed at the motel and used it as a hub for strategic planning. Today, the motel sits vacant and faces increased deterioration. I know it looks like a roach/crack/roaches-smokin'-crack hotel, but you should see some of the pictures of it in its prime. There's no doubt that this needs to be preserved.

The city of Birmingham is currently working on a 10 million dollar plan to restore parts of the motel and include it in a new development highlighting human rights.

Image source: CNN

Protected in the past by Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, the Oak Flat in Superior, AZ contains many cultural resources including archaeological sites, historical sites, and artifacts of the San Carlos Apache and several other Native American tribes.

A land exchange included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 would open the site up to copper mining. The National Trust and partners including the San Carlos Apache encourage members of Congress to reconsider this land exchange as any mining activity at Oak Flat would severely threaten this sacred place. Oh and it's fucking gorgeous and the last thing anyone wants to see is a bunch of Levis-wearin' assholes digging it up.

Image source: San Jose Mercury News

The Factory in West Hollywood, California housed the pioneering Mitchell Camera Corporation for decades, and after serving a variety of other uses, reopened in 1974 as Studio One, an influential disco for gay men.

Image source: Yahoo News

One of the world’s most celebrated natural wonders and a sacred site for numerous Native American tribes, the Grand Canyon faces numerous threats.

Image source: CNN

East Point Civic Block, which includes the City Hall, City Auditorium, City Library and Victory Park form a contiguous block that has been the heart of downtown East Point, Georgia since the 1930s. The block is suffering a potential fate of demolition by neglect.

Image source: CNN

The Fort Worth, Texas Stockyards National Register historic district is emblematic of the establishment of the livestock industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was central to the cultural and economic development of western states.

Image source: CNN

A San Francisco landmark and one of the few buildings to withstand the 1906 earthquake and fire, the Old U.S. Mint is currently underused and deteriorating.

Miami’s Little Havana is the most well-known Cuban American enclave in the United States and a symbol of the American melting pot.

Image source: Bustle

The Carrollton Courthouse is the most important remaining public building from Carrollton’s days before annexation by New Orleans in 1874 and is one of the city’s most significant landmarks outside of the French Quarter. After serving as a public school building for decades, it is now vacant and for sale.

Image source: NY Times

The site of New York City’s early maritime industry, the South Street Seaport today features the largest concentration of restored 19th century commercial buildings in New York.

Image source: CNN

New York's Chautauqua Amphitheater transformed American life as the first multi-use retreat in the U.S. that is an arts colony, music festival, village square and summer encampment all in one.

"This year's list is our most diverse ever, and reflects our commitment to recognizing and preserving all the facets of our diverse history," said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the nonprofit trust. And she's right. African Americans, Native Americans, Cuban Americans, and places that were of high importance amongst the gay community are represented. More so than ever before, this American Places list represents...America.

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