Philadelphia Life Insurance Co. Headquarters

Credit: Design Advocacy Group

1962 Philadelphia Life Insurance Co. Headquarters, Philadelphia: modernist gem designed by Philadelphia-school architect Romaldo Giurgola and conjoined c. 1915 building with ornately carved facade, partially demolished during expansion of downtown convention center despite protective ruling issued by state's top preservation official; at press time, local court approved demolition

1877 Worcester State Hospital, Worcester, Mass.: landmark Victorian Gothic hospital where, in 1909, Sigmund Freud visited during his only trip to America, damaged by fire in 1991 and partially demolished; remainder of structure may now be razed to make way for new $278 million psychiatric hospital

1925 Big Dipper Roller Coaster, Aurora, Ohio: low ticket sales led owners to put local landmark and surrounding Geauga Lake amusement park up for sale; Dipper is one of just 13 remaining wooden coasters designed by famed inventor John Miller

1949 Skyview Drive-In, Santa Cruz, Calif.: popular community landmark and flea market grounds, closed for business in early December after land was purchased by Palo Alto Medical Foundation for new medical center; supporters have gathered 12,000 signatures on on-line petition to reopen site


c. 1890 National Tube Building, Lorain, Ohio: Richardsonian Romanesque building, which once served as offices for Johnson Steel Street Railway Co. and later National Tube Co., neglected and left vacant for years until purchased and rehabilitated by local developer; owner now looking for new tenants

1926 Julia Ideson Building, Houston: National Register-listed Spanish revival library, designed by Ralph Adams Cram, set to undergo multimillion-dollar restoration and expansion; project will be designed to meet LEED standards for environmental sustainability


1791 Old State House, Dover, Del.: one of oldest U.S. statehouses, designed by English architect Alexander Givan, reopened in December after three-year, $3.5 million restoration, including rehabilitation of gilt sunflower ceiling medallion and elegant dual stairways

1911 Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, Baltimore: National Register-listed building, built by Capt. Isaac Emerson and modeled after Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, rehabilitated after being unoccupied for years; local artists will now rent 15-story tower for studio and gallery space