Nation's most endangered historic places

Story highlights

  • A military club for African-American officers is in danger of demolition, the trust says
  • The river abutting the first permanent English settlement in America is in jeopardy
  • The structures of a significant Alaska salmon canning factory need to be stabilized

America's first permanent English settlement, a military club for African-American officers, an unused airline terminal and Houston's Astrodome have all been labeled "endangered" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The trust's 26th annual list of America's 11 most endangered historic places spotlights significant architectural, cultural and other structures and places at risk of destruction by human or natural forces.

"The listing on the '11 most endangered list' has a tremendous effect in mobilizing constituencies to find a productive way" to save these places and "usher them into their next chapter," said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Over the last 25 years, "we've had a 97% success rate" of saving places on the list, Meeks said. Local coalitions "get a big boost and additional support emerges from the shadows when people learn for the first time that a resource is threatened."

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A black officers' club in Arizona, the spiritual center of African-American life in Maine and a general store/residence for Chinese-American laborers in California also made the list this year, a result of the trust's outreach to minority communities "to represent diverse facets of American history," she said.

Anyone can nominate a place for inclusion on the list, she said. Trust employees decide the final list, looking at the national significance of the structure or place, the urgency of the threat facing the place (whether by people or nature) and the possibility of a successful resolution. The existence of a coalition with a plan to save the place also helps.

View the photo gallery above to see the full list of 11 endangered places.

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