U.S. Historic Sites in Peril
An art deco highrise in eastern Mississippi continues to deteriorate, as does one of the last remaining Negro League baseball stadiums, in New Jersey. A 1,300-year-old cultural site in Guam is threatened by U.S. Navy construction plans, and the character of Connecticut's scenic Merritt Parkway is at risk.
These sites are among those recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places" for 2010. The annual list highlights examples of our architectural, cultural, and natural heritage at risk due to damaging development, funding failures, and other threats. Many of this year's buildings are already listed on the National Register of Historic Places — a designation that honors their value but provides no direct protection.
Threefoot Tower in Mississippi
The 16-story Threefoot Building in downtown Meridian, Mississippi, was the tallest building in the state upon its completion in 1929. Decked in multicolored terra cotta, the red-brick art deco building was designed by Claude H. Lindsley and Frank Fort, and named for the Threefoots, a Jewish-American family of German origin, whose name had been anglicized from "Dreyfuss."
The Threefoot family lost the building in the Great Depression, but the landmark remained in use until 2000, and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Since its closure due to deterioration and a high vacancy rate, the structure has suffered substantial decline. Terra-cotta tiles have fallen off the facade and portions of the masonry are at risk of falling into traffic. Water is infiltrating in several locations, and the windows are in poor condition.
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