11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Independence National Historical Park
Year Listed: 1991, 1992
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Threat: Deterioration, Natural Forces
Photo: Carol Highsmith
Often called the "birthplace of the nation," Independence National Historical Park was created to showcase and preserve authentic structures, sites, and historical objects that tell the story of the founding of the United States. Under the stewardship of the National Park Service, America's "most historic square-mile" attracts millions of national and international visitors annually.
Yet while tourists experienced the unfolding drama of this landmark space, severe deterioration was occurring behind the scenes. The National Park Service lacked adequate resources to repair leaky roofs; replace archaic plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning systems; or remove potential hazards such as asbestos.