Announcing America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2012
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the National Trust’s annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Since our first list in 1988, we have identified more than 230 threatened one-of-a-kind historic treasures. 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 unveiling of the list is always a bittersweet moment. A culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work by hundreds of people, the list becomes a rallying cry for supporters of incredibly important — yet unfortunately threatened — historic sites nationwide. But the fact that the list even exists means that there’s a lot more work still to be done.
The National Trust’s 2012 list includes the once-thriving African-American commercial district of Sweet Auburn in Atlanta, Joe Frazier’s Gym in Philadelphia, historic U.S. Post Office buildings across the country, the Village of Zoar in Ohio, the Ellis Island Hospital Complex in New York, and more.
Be sure to check out our official America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places web page for more information on this year’s historic places and the threats against them.
11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Year Listed: 2012
Location: Port of Los Angeles, California
Current Status: Endangered
Partner: Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by John C. Williams
In recent years, the Port of Los Angeles has neglected historic buildings at Terminal Island – a pattern that plagues industrial sites around the country. A plan introduced in 2011 calls for the demolition of more structures and fails to endorse the idea of adaptive reuse. Local preservationists fear this plan could be the model for an even larger plan that would permit more needless destruction.
Terminal Island played a vital role during WWI and WWII as a major shipbuilding center, and was the place where America’s tuna canning industry came of age. The island also played a key role in a tragic chapter of American history: In 1942, an entire Japanese-American community there was seen as a national threat; its residents were forcibly removed and imprisoned at the internment camp Manzanar.
Protect historic structures at one of the nation’s busiest ports, and promote the revitalization of vacant buildings slated for demolition.
- Change the plan that restricts use of historic buildings to port functions only.
- Save buildings facing demolition by promoting new uses, ensuring public access, and attracting new tenants.