Tuesday, December 20, 2016

America's Most Endangered Places (2016 Ed.)

The 2016 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 1988 and its popularity has brought necessary attention to many of the sites. More than 270 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, take action, and compare the list to last year's here.

Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania was constructed in 1865 and named after Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first president of Nigeria, and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana. Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall is the oldest building on the campus and the site of the first degree-granting institution in the world to educate former slaves. The Hall is on the brink of demolition to make way for a new welcome center. Sign the petition to save Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall.

Bears Ears on the Colorado Plateau in southeast Utah is a 1.9 million acre cultural landscape that includes archaeological sites, cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and ancient roads that tell stories of diverse people over the course of 12,000 years of human history. The federal land lacks adequate legal protection and funding. National Trust is joining Native American tribes, conservation groups, and public officials in requesting that President Obama use his Antiquities Act authority to create a Bears Ears National Monument, to provide permanent protection to this unparalleled landscape. Ask President Obama to save Bears Ears by signing the petition.

The Charleston Naval Hospital District in North Charleston, South Carolina was completed in time for the outbreak of WWII and became a primary re-entry point for servicemen injured in Europe and Africa. “This is the place where the wounded warriors of the Greatest Generation were repaid by a grateful nation,” says Don Campagna, member of the Naval Order of the United States. The hospital is being threatened by a proposed rail line. Sign Campagna's petition to move the train.

The Chihuahuita and El Segundo Barrio Neighborhoods in El Paso, Texas reflect the entire span of the city’s history, from the Spanish conquest through the modern era. Through El Segundo Barrio’s historic role as the “Ellis Island of the Border,” these El Paso neighborhoods embody the unique trans-national character of the city’s border community. However, as El Paso’s development boom continues, the neighborhoods face renewed threats of displacement and demolition.

The 1926 Delta Queen in Houma, Louisiana is the last remaining authentic link to our country’s 200-year tradition of passenger steamboat transportation. The Delta Queen’s grandfathered status from a law that prohibits wooden boats from carrying overnight passengers expired in 2008. Without this protection, the ship’s financial viability and historic integrity are called into question. This threat is easily resolved by passing federal legislation - and in so doing, restoring this one-of-a-kind experience for travelers along America’s waterways. Donate, here.

Historic Downtown Flemington, New Jersey has an abundance of 19th-century architecture and is home of the 1877 Union Hotel, most famous for having served the press, sequestered jurors, attorneys, and families involved in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial of 1935. The hotel was also known for its murals that were painted during the Great Depression by two area artists, including an award-winning illustrator of the original children’s books Bambi and The Jungle Book. Flemington’s unique history is threatened by a developer’s proposal that would demolish the now-shuttered Union Hotel along with three other adjacent buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places to create an 8-story mixed use project that would tower over Main Street’s remaining buildings. Sign the petition to help save Flemington's historic Main St.

The James River flows through Jamestown's collection of nationally recognized cultural, historic, and natural resources located in Virginia’s Historic Triangle - a region which receives over 3.5 million visitors annually. This is the second time in three years that the river has made this list, as the public is hoping to persuade decision-makers to bury the transmission line or adopt an alternative route that would protect the evocative landscapes of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Parkway, and Carter’s Grove. What you can do if you live in the area, also, sign the petition.

Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin, Texas is Austin’s oldest municipal golf course (built in 1924) and often recognized as the first desegregated course in the South. In late 1950, two African-American youths walked onto the course and were allowed to play. Their round marked the quiet desegregation of the course, which was particularly noteworthy for having occurred without conflict and with minimal public debate. Its lease, currently held between the City of Austin and the University of Texas, technically expires in May 2019, but previous public statements point to a possible dissolution of the agreement to make way for potential commercial development on the property. Help save the course by donating, getting on the mailing list, and signing the petition.

The Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are a unique engineering marvel, and a nationally significant example of Midcentury Modern architecture. The three domes (The Show Dome, the Tropical Dome, and the Arid Dome) contain a vast array of flora that one observer called “a zoo for plants.” In addition to their stunning architectural features, the structures are marvels of modern engineering, featuring the world’s first “conoidal”—or cone-shaped—domes. They remain the only glass conoidal domes in the world in use as conservatories. The County estimates that it would cost as much as $70 million to repair the aging domes. Key county officials have said that demolition of the Domes could be an option. Add your name to the petition calling for a preservation solution for the Domes.

California's Embarcadero Historic District is the historic interface between San Francisco and its beloved bay and a major economic engine for the Bay Area, hosting a variety of maritime uses while also serving as the region’s ferry hub. Its historic character has contributed to a remarkable urban waterfront renaissance in San Francisco. Despite these successes, however, the district is facing two major physical threats: earthquakes and sea level rise. The dual seismic and climate change threats require a coordinated local, regional, state, and federal response that embraces creative strategies that assure long-term resilience for the Embarcadero’s rich heritage.

Tucson, Arizona's Sunshine Mile is a two-mile long stretch of glass storefronts, geometric building designs, and quirky signage, and is one of Arizona’s most significant concentrations of historic Midcentury Modern architecture. Constructed primarily between 1939 and 1972, the Sunshine Mile developed as a commercial corridor after World War II as a new American optimism and economic boom were transforming the nation and the Southwest. Today, the Sunshine Mile is threatened by a proposed transportation project calling for the widening of Broadway Boulevard from four to six lanes and in some sections, all the way up to nine lanes—a plan that currently requires the demolition and sale of several properties on Broadway.

All pictures and (most) text taken from National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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