Written by Elizabeth Merritt
A few weeks ago, I contributed a blog post about the origins of the National Trust’s annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
As an “old soldier” at the National Trust, I have to admit I was using a military mindset in telling the story and giving the “general” all the credit, rather than the troops on the line. To set the record straight, I’ve been encouraged to give credit where credit is due and to be more explicit about the individual staff member who originated the idea for a “most endangered list” at the National Trust.
That person was Ian Spatz, who was the assistant director of our Center for Preservation Policy Studies at the time. Our late former president, Jack Walter, quickly embraced the concept. Jack was the one who personally picked the number “11,” and others were instrumental in implementing the concept, but Ian was the staff member behind the scenes who started it.
Elizabeth Merritt is Deputy General Counsel at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.