Page N2.4. 10 August 2011                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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    Endangered American Places


    A National Historic Landmark and part of Bear Butte State Park, this site is threatened by proposed a wind turbine installation and a 960-acre (390-hectare) oil field. The National Trust supports strengthened state and local protections that would require development proposals to undergo a review process that includes meaningful tribal input.

    John Coltrane House

    The John Coltrane Home (not pictured) in the Dix Hills section of Huntington, New York, was home to the acclaimed jazz saxophonist and composer from 1964 until his death in 1967, at age 40.

    To spend more time with his young family, Coltrane turned the basement of the 1952 ranch-style house into a recording and rehearsal studio, and converted a guest room into a composition space where he wrote the song "A Love Supreme." The Friends of the John Coltrane Home lacks resources necessary to perform mold remediation, repair, and conservation.

    Imperiled States

    The final "place" on this year's list is "Sites Imperiled by State Actions." Specifically, the National Trust cites budget-related threats to funding and incentives that stimulate redevelopment. The organization notes that such programs can provide substantial returns on investment as well as preserving historic resources.

    For example, Michigan's historic tax credit has leveraged $1.46 billion in direct rehabilitation activity and created 36,000 jobs since its enactment in 1999, according to the National Trust. Each dollar of credit issued leverages $11.37 in direct economic impact and these projects have brought $251 million in federal historic tax credits to benefit Michigan's economy.

    Watch Status: Charleston, South Carolina

    For the first time, the National Trust supplemented its annual list with a site placed on "watch status": the city of Charleston, South Carolina. A specific threat to Charleston appears to be growing: expanding cruise ship tourism could jeopardize the historic character of the city, including the historic downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. While there are many proposals at play, 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 "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. Specifically, the organization is offering to help sponsor a tourism impact study for Charleston, fund an enforcement authority legal review, and launch a community forum on cruise tourism.

    Saving Endangered Sites

    The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced its 2011 list of "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places" on June 15. This is the 24th such list issued to highlight significant heritage sites that are at risk, with the potential for rescue. Since the listing began in 1988, only eight sites have been lost out of over 200 listed, according to the National Trust.

    One of those eight sites lost was from the 2010 list: the Juana Briones House in Palo Alto, California. Deconstruction of the house began May 20, 2011.

    The story is more promising for another of last year's "most endangered" sites: some funds have been secured in support of Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey, and an additional grant from the State of New Jersey appears to be forthcoming. Further updates are available online from the National Trust's Preservation magazine.

    The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a nonprofit membership organization that provides leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to a national network of people, organizations, and local communities committed to saving diverse historic places in the United States, with the goals of revitalizing neighborhoods and communities, sparking economic development, and promoting environmental sustainability.


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    Three remaining 19th-century buildings are threatened by severe deterioration at Belmead-on-the-James and an adjacent plantation in Powhatan County, Virginia, which housed a pair of schools for African-American and Native American students.
    Photo: Courtesy Preservation Virginia Extra Large Image

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    In Hanford, California, China Alley is a small area that became the city's Chinatown in the late 1800s.
    Photo: Courtesy Steve Banister/ Taoist Temple Preservation Society Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Although some buildings in China Alley, such as the former Taoist temple, have been restored, others stand vacant, deteriorating.
    Photo: Courtesy Steve Banister/ Taoist Temple Preservation Society Extra Large Image

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    Coastal erosion on Alabama's Dauphin Island is endangering Fort Gaines, a Civil War fort that retains original cannons used in battle.
    Photo: Michael H. Henderson/ Courtesy Dauphin Island Park & Beach Board Extra Large Image

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    The vaulted lower level of Fort Gaines is composed almost entirely of red brick.
    Photo: Michael H. Henderson/ Courtesy Dauphin Island Park & Beach Board Extra Large Image

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    Proposed energy developments may soon encroach on Bear Butte, a mountain in Meade County, South Dakota, considered sacred by many Native American tribes.
    Photo: Courtesy Jenny Buddenborg Extra Large Image


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