America's 11 most endangered historic places announced
By Rebecca Heslin, USA TODAY
The National Trust for Historic Preservation today announced its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2009. The Trust creates this list annually to highlight historical sites at risk of destruction. On hand to make the announcement were Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton.
The announcement was made at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, one of the sites at risk. "All over Los Angeles, too many of our great modern buildings have already fallen to the wrecking ball," Keaton said. "We need to lead by example and show the rest of the country that buildings are renewable, and we shouldn't be throwing them away. We should be recycling them just like we recycle newspapers."
• The Manhattan Project's Enola Gay Hangar at Wendover Airfield in Utah, also on the list, is at risk of irreparable damage.
• Joining the hangar and hotel are Frank Lloyd Wright's innovative Unity Temple in Oak Park, Ill., which is in a state of disrepair due to a lack of restoration funding.
• New Mexico's Mount Taylor — a sacred site for 30 Native American tribes — is in danger of losing valuable cultural and archaeological resources due to uranium mining activity.
• The Ames Shovel Shops complex in southeastern Massachusetts — an intact 19th-century industrial village — is in danger of being demolished for new development.
• A 12-block strand of 19th-century buildings with cast-iron storefronts in Galveston, Texas, is struggling to survive after Hurricane Ike caused extensive damage in September 2001.
• Miami Marine Stadium in Virginia Key, Fla., has never fully recovered from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, making it a prime target for developers — despite the vandalism and deterioration it has suffered.
• Formerly a school for freed slaves, Dorchester Academy in Midway, Ga., is deteriorating without funds in sight to save it.
• The Art Deco Human Services Center in Yankton, S.D., faces demolishment of 11 historic buildings in a directive from the state.
• Plans for commercial development on one of Hawaii's eight main islands, L?na'i City, are threatening numerous historical buildings.
• The first major lift bridge in the eastern part of the country, Memorial Bridge, connects Portsmouth, N.H. to Kittery, Maine, and is in dire need of maintenance and without proper funding, the bridge could be removed.
"The 22nd annual list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places reflects the extraordinary diversity and fragility of our shared heritage," said Richard Moe. "These 11 sites highlight many critical issues, including the importance of preserving architectural icons of the recent past and preservation as one of the most effective forms of sustainable development. Places like these help tell all of our stories, and losing them not only erases a piece of our heritage, it also represents a threat to our planet."