National Trust for Historic Preservation Announces First-Ever "Watch Status" Site as Part of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places
City of Charleston Named for Potential Threats Posed by Cruise Ship Tourism
Posted June 14, 2011 | Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-588-6141
Washington, D.C. (June 15, 2011) – Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced its 2011 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, which spotlights places across the country that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development, or insensitive public policy. Since its inception in 1988, the list has been a call to action to save more than 200 unique historic treasures. For the first time in its history, the list has been supplemented with a site placed on “Watch Status”: the city of Charleston. Members of the public can show their support for saving the endangered places by texting “PLACES” to 25383 to donate $10, which will go towards saving historic places through National Trust outreach programs.
The Watch Status means that a specific threat to a historic site appears to be growing, but can be avoided or controlled through collaboration and innovation. In the case of Charleston, expanding cruise ship tourism could jeopardize the historic character of the city, historic downtown Charleston and its surrounding neighborhoods. The Watch Status designation is accompanied by an offer from the National Trust to assist with finding a balanced solution that benefits the community and its rich cultural heritage.
While there are many proposals at play in the Charleston cruise tourism issue, including relocation of the cruise docking pier, the National Trust believes that defining enforceable limits on the size, number and frequency of cruise ships visiting the downtown piers is central to a positive resolution. The National Trust wants to play a constructive role in addressing this issue by offering its assistance in three ways:
- Helping sponsor a Tourism Impact Study for Charleston. The study would provide a deeper understanding of the economic, social and cultural impacts that current tourism and the increased levels of cruise traffic will create on the historic peninsula of Charleston. The study should be commissioned by parties with an interest in the issue, including the City, preservation organizations and the state ports authority. The National Trust’s participation can provide assurance that the study responsibly reflects the concerns of all parties. In addition, the National Trust plans to support such a study with a grant to help defray costs.
- Funding an Enforcement Authority Legal Review. The National Trust can bring its significant legal resources to better understand the issue of authority in setting enforceable limits on cruise tourism. Precedent from other coastal communities, role and scope of potential city ordinances and state regulation and oversight are all considerations in the complex process of setting cruise limits. Parties engaged in this issue will ultimately need to understand what legal basis exists for management of cruise tourism levels. The National Trust can play a useful role in helping clarify the options available.
- Launching a Community Forum on Cruise Tourism. The National Trust plans to tap into its social networking and online presence to encourage continued discussion of the cruise tourism issue, both within the Charleston community and interested public audiences.
The National Trust believes that a positive, solution-oriented approach to the issues surrounding the city of Charleston is the only viable solution.
“We believe that the past preservation work in Charleston has made this community a national treasure and we are willing to dedicate resources to help address questions about the impact of cruise tourism,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We understand that Charleston presents a complex set of issues in what is now an emotionally-charged environment and want to define and support a solution rather than simply identify the problem.”
Members of the public are invited to learn more about what they can do to support this and hundreds of other endangered sites, experience first-hand accounts of these places, and share stories and photos of their own at www.PreservationNation.org/Places.
The 2011 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places (in alphabetical order):
Bear Butte, Meade County, S.D. – Bear Butte, the 4,426-foot mountain called Mato Paha by the Lakota in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is sacred ground for as many as 17 Native American tribes. A place of prayer, meditation, and peace, this National Historic Landmark is threatened by proposed wind and oil energy development that will negatively impact the sacred site and further degrade the cultural landscape.
Belmead-on-the-James, Powhatan County, Va. – A little-known landmark of African American heritage, the 2,000-acre site along Virginia’s James River was transformed by Saint Katherine Drexel from a slave-holding plantation into a pair of innovative schools for African American and Native American students. Closed in the 1970s, the historic buildings set in rolling hills and wooded glades of the riverfront campus, including a striking Gothic Revival manor house designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, are deteriorating and need emergency repairs.
China Alley, Hanford, Calif. – In 1877, Chinese immigrants settled in this San Joaquin Valley town and found strength and community far from home in China Alley, a vibrant rural Chinatown. Today, most of its historic buildings are suffering from deterioration and disuse and are vulnerable to insensitive alteration as there is no local historic preservation staff or commission to enforce preservation protections.
Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, Ala. – A place of spectacular beauty and stirring history, Dauphin Island is home to Historic Fort Gaines, a nationally significant fortress that played a pivotal role in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. Today, Fort Gaines' shoreline is eroding as much as nine feet per year, and continued erosion threatens this significant historic treasure.
Greater Chaco Landscape, N.M. – Located across a broad swath of northwestern New Mexico are hundreds of Native American archaeological and cultural sites that help unlock the mysteries of the prehistoric Chacoan people. These sacred sites, and the fragile prehistoric roads that connect them, are in jeopardy due to increased oil and gas exploration and extraction.
Isaac Manchester Farm, Avella, Pa. – For more than two centuries, this 400-acre farm—with a stately brick Georgian manor house and historic outbuildings—has been home to eight generations of one family. A remarkable time capsule of colonial farm life, Manchester Farm is threatened by longwall coal mining.
John Coltrane House, Dix Hills, N.Y. – One of America’s most widely acclaimed jazz artists, John Coltrane lived with his young family in a ranch house in Long Island, N.Y., until his untimely death in 1967. Today, the home where Coltrane wrote his iconic masterpiece, “A Love Supreme,” deteriorates due to lack of funds. Although a local group has taken ownership of the property and hopes to restore and interpret the site as an education center, the effort sorely needs broader attention and support.
National Soldiers Home Historic District, Milwaukee, Wis. – With its bucolic setting and diverse collection of historic buildings, Milwaukee’s Soldiers Home offered welcome refuge for generations of American veterans. Today, the campus is threatened by a pattern of deferred maintenance, which has left historic buildings unused and on the verge of collapse.
Pillsbury A Mill, Minneapolis, Minn. – A masterpiece of industrial architecture and the largest and most advanced facility in the world at the time of its completion in 1881, the Pillsbury “A” Mill Complex stands vacant and is in danger of piecemeal development, which could strip this National Historic Landmark of its tremendous potential for re-use and rehabilitation.
Prentice Women’s Hospital, Chicago, Ill. – A concrete and glass cloverleaf-shaped icon, Prentice Women’s Hospital has added drama and interest to the Chicago skyline for nearly four decades. Despite its cutting edge, progressive architecture, Prentice Hospital faces imminent demolition.
Sites Imperiled by State Actions, U.S. – In state legislatures across the country, cuts to preservation funding and incentives imperil hundreds of thousands of historic places. If key sources of funding and incentives are lost across the United States, thousands of irreplaceable sites and national treasures may suffer untold consequences.
To download high resolution images of this year’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in advance of June 15, please contact email@example.com. On or after June 15, visit http://www.preservationnation.org/about-us/press-center/ to register and download high resolution images and video.
America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has identified more than 200 threatened one-of-a-kind historic treasures since 1988. Whether these sites are urban districts or rural landscapes, Native American landmarks or 20th-century sports arenas, entire communities or single buildings, the list spotlights historic places across America that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. The designation has been a powerful tool for raising awareness and rallying resources to save endangered sites from every region of the country. At times, that attention has garnered public support to quickly rescue a treasured landmark; while in other instances, it has been the impetus of a long battle to save an important piece of our history. The list has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts across the country and rallying resources to save endangered places that, in just two decades, only a handful of sites have been lost. A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance when you text to donate.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.