11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Town of Ste. Genevieve

Year Listed: 1993
Location: Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Threat: Natural Forces, Neglect

Significance

Founded in the mid-18th century on the banks of the Mississippi by French farmers and fur traders, the picturesque town of Ste. Genevieve boasts the largest intact collection of French Colonial buildings in the United States. Once a flourishing trading center and later a shipping port, this National Historic Landmark is was in danger -- hard economic times and inadequate protection mechanisms have placed important buildings at risk. Significant landmarks are vacant or for sale or have suffered inappropriate alterations. Tragically, periodic flooding, a problem throughout the town's history, had been exacerbated since the 1950's by the construction of levees elsewhere on the Mississippi. While the Corps of Engineers had proposed building a levee at Ste. Genevieve, the 4000 local residents have been unable to raise required matching funds. Protection from floodwaters, a strengthened commitment to preservation and funding to combat deterioration are needed to ensure a bright future for this town.