11 Historic Places We're Most in Danger of Losing

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is out with its annual list
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2023 12:48 PM CDT
11 Historic Places We're Most in Danger of Losing
Pedestrians cross 10th Street in the Chinatown neighborhood of Philadelphia on July 22, 2022. Philadelphia officials announced on April 12, 2023, “an independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the Philadelphia 76ers’ proposal to build a $1.3 billion sports arena next to Chinatown.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Every year since 1988, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has put out a list of America's "11 Most Endangered Historic Places." The hope is to generate attention—and maybe a little cash to prevent their loss. Camp Naco in Brisbee, Arizona, made the 2022 list, and has garnered $8 million in grants since and is on the way to restoration. "The most endangered historic places list looks like America," Katherine Malone-France, the group's chief preservation officer, tells NPR. "It tells our layered and interconnected stories. Each site on it, of course, is a powerful place in its own right. But I think there are also common themes, like creativity and entrepreneurship, perseverance, cultural exchange." She admits the list is "very hard to narrow." In no particular order:

  1. Seattle's Chinatown-International District: One of the West Coast's oldest Asian-American communities is grappling with a proposed light-rail station and gentrification.
  2. The Evergreen Plantation on the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, La.: It's "the last undeveloped 11 miles along the Mississippi River, south of Baton Rouge," Malone-France says, but that's threatened by a proposed 275-foot grain elevator.
  3. Philadelphia's Chinatown: The NBA's 76ers want to build a billion-dollar arena in the southern end.
  4. The home and studio of artist LV Hull in Kosciusko, Miss.: The building has sat vacant since the artist's death in 2008.
  5. Little Santo Domingo, Miami, Fla. Corner structure, dating to the 1920s, houses many small businesses, and there are fears overdevelopment in Miami could strip the area of its Dominican cultural identity.
  6. Holy Aid and Comfort Spiritual Church (aka Perseverance Benevolent and Mutual Aid Society Hall), New Orleans, La.: The home of early iconic jazz performances, which dates to 1880, has been battered by vandalism and hurricanes and is on the brink of collapse.
  7. Charleston's Historic Neighborhoods, Charleston, South Carolina: The state's Ports Authority wants to put in a big development within its boundaries.
  8. Henry O. Tanner House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Black painter's rowhouse was built in 1871 in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood and is in danger of collapsing.
  9. Century and Consumers Buildings, Chicago, Ill.: Built in 1915 and 1913, respectively, in Chicago's early push toward skyscrapers, both are vacant and face demolition.
  10. Osterman Gas Station, Peach Springs, Ariz.: The Route 66 icon saw traffic dive with the advent of Interstate 40 in 1979, and the building is in rough shape.
  11. Pierce Chapel African Cemetery, Midland, Ga. Dating to 1828, it's one of the oldest slave cemeteries in Harris County, Ga., but has seen its gravesites disrupted due to utility work in the vicinity.
Much more on the group's list here. (More historic site stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.