Tag Archives: National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust Issues Appeal to Help Save America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2019

National Mall Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C. is on the National Trust for Historic Preservation list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2019 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By National Trust for Historic Preservation

Each year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation puts out an emergency call to protect the most endangered historic places. This year’s list of 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. Over 300 places have been listed in its 32-year history, and in that time, fewer than 5 percent of listed sites have been lost.

The 2019 list includes a diverse mix of historic places across America that face a range of challenges and threats, from climate change to inappropriate development to neglect and disuse.

Find out what you can do to support these irreplaceable sites:

Tenth Street Historic District, Dallas, Texas


Primarily settled by formerly enslaved people after the Civil War, Dallas’ Tenth Street Historic District includes a collection of buildings dating from the late 19th to early 20th century. A 2010 change to a local ordinance allowed the city to obtain demolition permits for houses less than 3,000 square feet without Landmark Commission review, which is substantially increasing the rate of demolition. To date, at least 70 of the district’s 260 homes have been demolished.

To challenge this local law, a local preservation group filed a lawsuit against the City of Dallas. Add your name to our petition telling the City of Dallas to amend or repeal this unjust city ordinance.

Nashville’s Music Row, Nashville, Tennessee


Nashville’s Music Row is a world-class musical mecca that harbors more than 200 music-related businesses, making it unlike any other place in the world. Out of its modest homes and large commercial buildings has emerged an unmatched canon of music recordings across a wide variety of musical styles, which has delighted music fans for generations.

Despite its critical role in the identity, economy, and culture of internationally renowned “Music City,” Music Row is on pace to becoming a thing of the past. Since 2013, 50 buildings—the majority serving music-related functions—have been demolished to make way for new development. With a new plan to guide Music Row’s future under development, now is an important time to urge Nashville lawmakers to preserve and protect this epicenter of America’s musical heritage.

James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, Illinois


The James R. Thompson Center is Chicago’s best example of grand-scale Postmodern architecture. But Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed legislation allowing for sale of the building within two years to help fill a state budget gap. Without preservation protections, the Thompson Center could be demolished. Add your name to our list urging Governor Pritzker to require retention and reuse of the Thompson Center when the building is sold.

Industrial Trust Company Building, Providence, Rhode Island

An iconic part of the Providence skyline, the 1928 Industrial Trust Company Building is under threat due to deterioration and deferred maintenance after six years of vacancy. While this site is located within a qualified “Opportunity Zone” (an area eligible for capital gains tax incentive benefits), there is no redevelopment plan for the so-called Superman Building, and its future is in question. Read More.

Ancestral Places of Southeast Utah, Southeast Utah


Archaeologists believe this area to be one of the country’s most culturally rich but unprotected landscapes open to oil and gas extraction. In the last two years, the Bureau of Land Management dramatically escalated leasing activity in the region, despite concerns from the National Trust, affected tribes, and our regional partners. Send a letter to the Department of the Interior urging them to recognize the cultural significance of these lands.

The Excelsior Club, Charlotte, North Carolina

Listed in the Green Book, the Excelsior Club was a leading private African American social club in the Southeast, hosting artists like Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong during its heyday. The Art Moderne building needs significant investment. The property is currently listed for sale for $1.5 million, but even if a buyer is found, a reuse plan and significant investments are necessary to ensure a strong future. Read more.

National Mall Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.


This iconic cultural landscape comprises some of our nation’s most renowned monuments and famed cherry blossom trees. It’s estimated that as much as $500 million is needed to upgrade and maintain one of the most popular and visited sites in the National Park System. Join our three-year campaign to ensure the Tidal Basin is preserved for future generations.

Hacienda Los Torres, Lares, Puerto Rico


Hacienda Los Torres—built in 1846 during the height of Puerto Rico’s coffee industry by Jose Maria Torres—is one of the last historic coffee plantation houses on the island and one of the oldest remaining structures in Puerto Rico. It’s also associated with the “Grito de Lares” revolt and the Spanish-American War.

Long-term deterioration and the effects of multiple hurricanes, including Hurricane Maria in 2017, threaten this historic site. Support saving Hacienda Los Torres.

Willert Park Courts, Buffalo, New York


This complex, a unique example of early Modernism with bas-reliefs depicting scenes of everyday life, was New York State’s first housing project constructed specifically for African Americans. Today, the site is vacant and many of its structures are open to the elements. The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority has proposed demolishing the complex to construct replacement housing.

Ask the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority to preserve and redevelop rather than demolish this important site.

Mount Vernon Arsenal and Searcy Hospital, Mount Vernon, Alabama


This arsenal was held by the Confederacy during the Civil War and housed Geronimo and approximately 400 Apache prisoners of war during the 1880s and 1890s. The hospital complex served as a segregated mental health facility for African Americans after 1900. The complex closed in 2012 and is currently vacant and deteriorating. Tell the Alabama Department of Mental Health that you support the site’s preservation and economic revitalization.

Bismarck-Mandan Rail Bridge, Bismarck, North Dakota


The Bismarck-Mandan Rail Bridge connects Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota. Constructed in 1883, it was the first rail bridge built across the upper Missouri River. The iconic bridge has been recognized as an International Site of Conscience for the role it played in opening the western United States to white settlement—and the resulting profound impacts to Native American communities—but it has been proposed for demolition by railway company BNSF.

The Coast Guard is in consultation with BNSF and other parties under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Coast Guard has proposed a conditional permit that would require BNSF to retain the historic bridge until after an adjacent new bridge is constructed, in order to allow time to identify a preservation solution for the Bismarck-Mandan Rail Bridge. Tell the Coast Guard not to allow demolition of this iconic bridge.

For more information, follow us on Twitter and join the conversation using the hashtag #11Most.

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Obama designates Pullman Site, Internment Camp, Brown’s Canyon as National Monuments as Congress Pushes for ‘No New National Parks’

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Under President Obama's new “Every Kid in a Park” initiative fourth graders and their families will have with free admission to National Parks and other federal lands and waters for a full year © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Under President Obama’s new “Every Kid in a Park” initiative fourth graders and their families will have with free admission to National Parks and other federal lands and waters for a full year © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Obama went home to Chicago to launch the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative that will provide all fourth grade students and their familieswith free admission to National Parks and other federal lands and waters for a full year.

At the same time, the President announced the creation of three new National Monuments across the country, including the Pullman National Monument in Illinois, a location iconic for its history of labor unrest and civil rights advances, which will be Chicago’s first National Park Service (NPS) unit; Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii, the site of an internment camp where Japanese American citizens, resident immigrants, and prisoners of war were held captive during World War II, and Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado, an historic site of extraordinary beauty with world-class recreational opportunities that attract visitors from around the globe.

“Together, these monuments will help tell the story of significant events in American history and protect unique natural resources for the benefit of all Americans,” the White House said.

“No matter who you are, no matter where you live, our parks and our monuments, our lands, our waters — these places are the birthright of all Americans,” President Obama said.

But of the three, the Pullman National Monument has special significance for the President, not just for its importance to the labor movement and the civil rights movement. As he related the story:

“This place has been a milestone in our journey toward a more perfect union,” President Obama said.

“So this site is at the heart of what would become America’s Labor Movement — and as a consequence, at the heart of what would become America’s middle class.  And bit by bit, we expanded this country’s promise to more Americans.  But too many still lived on the margins of that dream.

“The white workers who built Pullman’s rail cars won new rights.  But those rights were not extended to the black porters who worked on these cars — the former slaves, and sons and grandsons who made beds and carried luggage and folded sheets and shined shoes.   And they worked as many as 20 hours a day on less than three hours’ sleep just for a couple dollars a day.  Porters who asked for a living wage, porters who asked for better hours or better working conditions were told they were lucky to have a job at all.  If they continued to demand better conditions, they were fired.  It seemed hopeless to try and change the status quo.

“But a few brave men and women saw things differently.  And one summer night in 1925, porters packed a hall in Harlem, and a young man there named A. Philip Randolph led the meeting.  And what A. Philip Randolph said was, “What this is about,” he said, “is making you master of your economic fate.”  Making you master of your economic fate.  And so he and others organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters around the strategy that he would employ throughout his life:  “If you stand firm and hold your ground, in the long run you’ll win.”

“That was easier said than done.  Over the years, Brotherhood leaders and supporters were fired, they were harassed.  But true to A. Philip Randolph’s call, they stood firm, they held their ground.  And 12 years to the day after A. Philip Randolph spoke in that hall in Harlem, they won, and Pullman became the first large company in America to recognize a union of black workers.

“And this was one of the first great victories in what would become the Civil Rights Movement.  It wouldn’t be the last victory.  It was his union that allowed A. Philip Randolph to pressure President Roosevelt to desegregate the defense industry.  It was those Pullman porters who gave the base by which A. Philip Randolph could convince President Truman to desegregate the Armed Forces.  It was those porters who helped lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott, who were the central organizers of the March on Washington.

“And that’s not just the story of a movement, that’s the story of America.  Because as Americans, we believe that workers’ rights are civil rights. That dignity and opportunity aren’t just gifts to be handed down by a generous government or by a generous employer; they are rights given by God, as undeniable and worth protecting as the Grand Canyon or the Great Smoky Mountains. …

“That’s the story of this place — that, together, we can do great things that we cannot accomplish alone.  That’s why today I’m designating Chicago’s Pullman District as America’s newest national monument.  I want this younger generation, I want future generations to come learn about their past.  Because I guarantee you there are a lot of young people right here in Chicago, just a few blocks away, living in this neighborhood who may not know that history.

“I want future generations to know that while the Pullman porters helped push forward our rights to vote, and to work, and to live as equals, their legacy goes beyond even that.  These men and women without rank, without wealth or title, became the bedrock of a new middle class.  These men and women gave their children and grandchildren opportunities they never had.

“Here in Chicago, one of those porter’s great-granddaughter had the chance to go to a great college and a great law school, and had the chance to work for the mayor, and had the chance to climb the ladder of success and serve as a leader in some of our cities’ most important institutions.  And I know that because today she’s the First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama.

“So to the young people here today, that’s what I hope you take away from this place.  It is right that we think of our national monuments as these amazing vistas, and mountains, and rivers.  But part of what we’re preserving here is also history.  It’s also understanding that places that look ordinary are nothing but extraordinary.  The places you live are extraordinary, which means you can be extraordinary.  You can make something happen, the same way these workers here at Pullman made something happen.  (Applause.)

“Because for all the progress that we’ve made — and we have made a lot of progress — our moral revolution is unfinished.  And it’s up to each of us to protect that promise of America, and expand that promise of opportunity for all people.  That long march has never be easy.  This place, historic Pullman, teaches us we have to keep standing firm and together.  That’s the story of who we are.  That’s the story of our past.  And I have no doubt that we will pass the torch from generation to generation so that it is the story of our future as well.”

Pullman National Monument in Illinois:

This monument will preserve and highlight America’s first planned industrial town, and a site that tells important stories about the social dynamics of the industrial revolution, of American opportunity and discrimination, and of the rise of labor unions and the struggle for civil rights and economic opportunity for African Americans and other minorities. The 203-acre site includes factories and buildings associated with the Pullman Palace Car Company, which was founded in 1867 and employed thousands of workers to construct and provide service on railroad cars. While the Pullman Company employed a mostly white workforce to manufacture railroad passenger cars, it also recruited the first porters, waiters and maids from the population of former slaves to serve on its luxury cars. Though lower-paying, these service jobs held prestige in the African-American community and played a major role in the rise of the African-American middle class and, through an historic labor agreement, the development of the civil rights movement of the 20th Century. The historic labor movement organized by A. Philip Randolph in the 1930s to win rights for these porters, waiters and maids ultimately created the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first labor union led by African Americans to receive a charter in the American Federation.

The National Park Foundation announced that nearly $8 million dollars has already been raised to support the monument, which will be Chicago’s first National Park Service unit and will be managed by the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service (http://pullmanil.org/nps.html).

Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado:

This monument will protect a stunning section of Colorado’s upper Arkansas River Valley. Located in Chaffee County near the town of Salida, Colorado, the 21,586-acre monument features rugged granite cliffs, colorful rock outcroppings, and mountain vistas that are home to a diversity of plants and wildlife, including bighorn sheep and golden eagles. Members of Congress, local elected officials, conservation advocates, and community members have worked for more than a decade to protect the area, which hosts world-class recreational opportunities that attract visitors from around the globe for hiking, whitewater rafting, hunting and fishing. In addition to supporting this vibrant outdoor recreation economy, the designation will protect the critical watershed and honor existing water rights and uses, such as grazing and hunting. The monument will be cooperatively managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and USDA’s National Forest Service.

Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii:

This monument permanently protects a site where Japanese American citizens, resident immigrants, and prisoners of war were held captive during World War II. Located on the island of Oahu, the monument will help tell the difficult story of the internment camp’s impact on the Japanese American community and the fragility of civil rights during times of conflict. Honouliuli Internment Camp, located in a steep canyon not far from Pearl Harbor, opened in March, 1943 and was the largest and longest-used confinement site for Japanese and European Americans and resident immigrants in Hawaii, eventually holding 400 civilian internees and 4,000 prisoners of war. The camp was largely forgotten until uncovered in 2002, and the President’s designation will ensure its stories are told for generations. The monument will be managed by the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service.

Every Kid in a Park

In the lead up to the 100th birthday of the National Park Service in 2016, the President’s Every Kid in a Park initiative is a call to action to get all children to visit and enjoy America’s unparalleled outdoors. \

“Today, more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas, and many lack easy access to safe outdoor spaces.  At the same time, kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens instead of outside.  A 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that young people now devote an average of more than seven hours a day to electronic media use, or about 53 hours a week – more than a full time job.

“America’s public lands and waters offer space to get outside and get active, and are living classrooms that provide opportunities to build critical skills through hands-on activities.”

To inspire the next generation to discover all that America’s public lands and waters have to offer, the Obama Administration will provide all 4th grade students and their families free admission to all National Parks and other federal lands and waters for a full year, starting with the 2015-2016 school year.  The initiative will also:

Make it easy for schools and families to plan trips:  The Administration will distribute information and resources to make it easy for teachers and families to identify nearby public lands and waters and to find programs that support youth outings.

Provide transportation support to schools with the most need: As an integral part of this effort, the National Park Foundation (NPF) – the congressionally chartered foundation of the National Park Service – is expanding and re-launching its Ticket to Ride program as Every Kid in a Park, which will award transportation grants for kids to visit parks, public lands and waters, focusing on schools that have the most need.   

    Provide educational materials: The initiative will build on a wide range of educational programs and tools that the federal land management agencies already use.  For example, NPS has re-launched a website with over 1,000 materials developed for K-12 teachers, including science labs, lesson plans, and field trip guides. And a number of federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Education, and NPS participate in Hands on the Land, a national network of field classrooms and agency resources that connects students, teachers, families, and volunteers with public lands and waterways.

To further support this effort, the President’s 2016 Budget includes a total increased investment of $45 million for youth engagement programs throughout the Department of the Interior, with $20 million specifically provided to the National Park Service for youth activities, including bringing 1 million fourth-grade children from low-income areas to national parks. This increase will also fund dedicated youth coordinators to help enrich children and family learning experiences at parks and online. 

‘Conservation, a Truly American Idea’

The President, standing near the site of the historic Pullman town in Chicago, said, “For a century, rangers, and interpreters, and volunteers and visitors have kept alive what the writer Wallace Stegner once called ‘the best idea we ever had’ — our belief that the country’s most special places should belong not just to the rich, not just to the powerful, but belong to everybody — not just now, but for all time.

“Conservation is a truly American idea.  The naturalists and industrialists and politicians who dreamt up our system of public lands and waters did so in the hope that, by keeping these places, these special places in trust — places of incomparable beauty, places where our history was written — then future generations would value those places the same way as we did.  It would teach us about ourselves, and keep us grounded and keep us connected to what it means to be American.  And it’s one of our responsibilities, as Americans, to protect this inheritance and to strengthen it for the future.

“And that’s why I’ve used my authority to set aside more public lands and waters than any President in history.  (Applause.)  And that’s why, starting next month, we’re going to encourage every American to “Find Your Park,” because chances are, there’s one closer than you think.”

Antiquities Act Under Threat of ‘No New National Parks’ Legislation

The Antiquities Act was first exercised by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to designate Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming.  Since then, 16 presidents have used this authority to protect unique natural and historic features in America, such as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients.

With these new designations, President Obama will have used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 16 national monuments. Altogether, he has protected more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters – more than any other President – as well as preserved sites that help tell the story of significant people or extraordinary events in American history, such as Cèsar E. Chàvez National Monument in California, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland, and Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio.

However, the Republican-led Congress has moved to undermine the President’s authority to designate national monuments.

“Since 1906, presidents of both parties have used this legislation to protect sites, objects, and landscapes of historic, cultural, or scientific interest on federally-owned or controlled property,” the National Trust for Historic Preservation stated. “Some of America’s most iconic places were first protected by presidential national monument designations, including the Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon and Acadia. Recent designations such as Fort Monroe, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad, the César E. Chávez National Monument — and now Pullman — demonstrate just how critical the Antiquities Act is to protecting America’s diverse historic and cultural sites.

“Now, only two months into 114th Congress, seven bills have already been introduced that would weaken, restrict or add burdensome requirements to the president’s use of the Antiquities Act. These bills pose a serious threat to the future preservation of America’s most important and beloved places.”

(See more at National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2600 Virginia Ave. NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20037, 202-588-6000, 800-315-6847, PreservationNation.org and SavingPlaces.org.

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Historic Hotels of America Honors 2014 Awards of Excellence Winners


The Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia, was one of the Historic Hotels of America members honored with a 2014 Award of Excellence © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia, was one of the Historic Hotels of America members honored with a 2014 Award of Excellence © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Washington, D.C. – The Palmer House Hilton of Chicago, the Inn at the Presidio of San Francisco, Portland Regency Hotel & Spa in Maine, the Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa in Pennsylvania and The Lord Baltimore of Baltimore were among the Historic Hotels of America 2014 Awards of Excellence winners announced at a gala ceremony at The Hotel Hershey® (1933) in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Thursday, October 2.

Honors were given in multiple categories ranging from Hotelier of the Year and Hotel Historian of the Year to Best Historic Resort and Historic Hotelier of the Year.

From more than 160 nominees, the following Historic Hotels of America hotels and hoteliers were honored with these prestigious awards:

Historic Hotels of America New Member of the Year

Historic Hotelier of the Year

Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel (Under 75 Guestrooms)

Best Historic Hotel (75-200 Guestrooms)

Best Historic Hotel (200-400 Guestrooms)

Best Historic Hotel (Over 400 Guestrooms)

Best City Center Historic Hotel

Best Historic Resort

Hotel Historian of the Year

Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year

Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel

Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel

Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Champion

Historic Hotels of America Ambassador of the Year (Quarter Century Service)

Historic Hotels of America Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Terry Richey, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Historic Hotels of America Historian of the Year Award

  • Stanley Turkel, Author and Consultant

“Historic Hotels of America is proud to congratulate the 2014 Awards of Excellence winners,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “These historic hotels and hoteliers represent the pinnacle in historic hotels and their achievements from Portland, Maine to Waikiki Beach.”

The hotels were nominated by fellow members, past award recipients, and honorees. A panel of experts judged and weighed the nominees in each category in order to determine a winner. As the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America provides the recognition to travelers, civic leaders, and the global cultural, heritage and historic travel market that the members hotels are among the finest historic hotels across America.

To find more information about award winners from previous winners, click here.

Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with 32 charter members. Today, Historic Hotels of America has more than 260 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated properties, however, more than 30 of the world’s major hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; be designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org.

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