11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Terminal Island

Year Listed: 2012
Location: Port of Los Angeles, California
Threat: Demolition

Partner: Los Angeles Conservancy

Significance

Terminal Island
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.

Opportunity

Protect historic structures at one of the nation’s busiest ports, and promote the revitalization of vacant buildings slated for demolition.

Goals

      • 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.