How These 7 Past '11 Most' Listings Are Faring Today
Each year, America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places sheds light on important examples of our nation’s heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. Discover the 2020 list.
Since 1988, the National Trust has used its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places to raise awareness about the threats facing some of the nation's greatest treasures. The list, which has identified more than 300 sites to date, has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts that only a handful of sites have been lost.
Since it’s been a while, we wanted to take a moment and provide some updates from local partners and National Trust staff, on some past listings.
Larimer Square (2018)
Annie Levinsky, Historic Denver
Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, Historic Denver met with the owners of Larimer Square to discuss the status of their plans. Ownership indicated that their focus is now on restoration and rehabilitation, with the possibility of limited in-fill on the non-contributing parcels on the block. The owners have confirmed that they no longer plan to seek partial demolitions or amendments to the Larimer Square Historic District ordinance. Questions remain about plans for sites in the immediately adjacent Lower Downtown Historic District, but the prospects for Denver’s first historic district are much clearer than at the time of the 11 Most listing in June 2018.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has had an impact on the district’s small businesses and restaurants and several of the long-time establishments have closed, including the famed Market. The block’s owners were granted approval to temporarily close the street to traffic in order to expand outside dining and are exploring making the change permanent.
Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses (2018)
Maisa Tisdale, Executive Director
Since the listing on the Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses on the 11 Most list much has happened to protect the remarkable stories and legacy of these buildings. The designs of the houses are done, and they hope to begin restoration shortly. In the meantime, the organization is doing archaeology. They found an underground stone wall in the front yard of Eliza’s house, and are researching the gardens.
Due to the pandemic the exact timeline for the project is still in motion, but the organization will be launching a year of fundraising, celebration and promotion to time with the 200th anniversary of Little Liberia in 2021. With an upgraded website, restoration updates as the project progresses will be shared at www.freemancenterbpt.org.
Note: In 2018, these houses received was awarded a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Fund.
Tenth Street Historic District (2019)
David Preziosi, Preservation Dallas
Court-ordered demolitions have plagued the Tenth Street Historic District for years. In August of 2019, the Tenth Street Residential Organization, Inclusive Communities Project and Preservation Dallas successfully advocated for the passage of a City Resolution (where the 11 Most designation proved very useful) to prevent city resources from being spent on demolition of houses in the local historic district. However, in January 2020, a significant Craftsman-style house was lost using a Court Order which was approved last year with the property owner demolishing the structure.
Great news came for Tenth Street this year with the Tenth Street Residential Organization receiving a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. With the grant, they will be able to hire a staff person to work with the organization on addressing issues in Tenth Street to help preserve the remaining historic resources and increase investment in the district. The person will be hired this fall and will also serve as a liaison to the City on issues that might impact Tenth Street.
Century Plaza Hotel (2009)
Linda Dishman, Los Angeles Conservancy and Chris Morris, National Trust for Historic Preservation
At long last, the rehab of Yamasaki’s Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles, is finally nearing completion. Following the listing, the National Trust and the LA Conservancy developed a preservation agreement with the developer to guide the restoration. The developers performed the necessary seismic upgrades, and saved as much of the original materials, features, and landscape components as possible, doing incredible work to restore the aluminum exterior panels. Look for more on this project at the end of this year.
Industrial Trust Building, aka Superman Building (2019)
Rachel Robinson, Providence Preservation Society of Rhode Island
While the Industrial Trust Building (Superman) Building in Providence, Rhode Island, continues to stand vacant, advocacy work continues, with the 11 Most listing providing a much-needed shot in the arm. This past year, Providence Preservation Society worked with a group of students from the Rhode Island School of Design to come up with seven creative reuse schemes. These students engaged with the owner, and worked with the community to develop a range of reuse plans.
These projects acknowledge many modern adaptive use principles, while also considering current challenges related to the pandemic. Explore the projects, and learn more about the students.
Ashley River Historic District (1995, 2018)
Anne Nelson, National Trust for Historic Preservation
In October 2019, we asked you to submit comments on the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s (SCDOT) original proposed designs to improve a portion of the historic Ashley River Road in Dorchester County, South Carolina, which included two alternatives that would have likely negatively impacted the historic and natural character of the historic road and larger Ashley River Historic District with the removal of up to 283 trees. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and our local preservation and conservation partners proposed more sensitive changes combined with increased traffic enforcement and a lower speed limit to improve the road.
Thanks to more than 450 public comments, the SCDOT revised its plans to improve the historic Ashley River Road in accordance with our suggestions—preserving this iconic cultural landscape.
Route 66 (2018)
Amy Webb, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Legislation to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail was introduced by Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Grace R. Napolitano (D-CA) on September 16, 2020.This new legislation, H.R. 8240, is similar to legislation that was introduced and unanimously supported by the House of Representatives in 2018.
Local supporters have continued to demonstrate their support for a Route 66 National Historic Trail by signing on to the petition that was first shared as part of the 11 Most Endangered announcement for Route 66.To date, 64,493 individuals have signed this petition.
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