11 Most Endangered Historic Places

California's State Parks

Year Listed: 2008
Location: California
Threat: Poor Public Policy, Deterioration, Neglect

Significance

California's state park system, the largest state park system in the U.S., encompasses a vast array of historic and cultural resources that chronicle the state's rich and storied heritage. The system includes 278 parks, including 51 designated State Historic Parks, covers 1.5 million acres and protects 295 miles of ocean front.  Among its many gems are the 1820's era Franciscan La Purisima Mission complex near Lompoc, completely restored during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC); the 1853 Benicia Capitol, the only state capitol building predating today's capitol in Sacramento still standing; and, the historic mission plaza at San Juan Bautista, a rural community recently named a Dozen Distinctive Destination in 2008.