Trust News

National Treasure Terminal Island Now on Path to Preservation

Posted on: September 21st, 2013 by Julia Rocchi 2 Comments


Building on Terminal Island. Credit: Konabish ~ Greg Bishop, Flickr
Threatened building on Terminal Island

We at the National Trust have been hard at work in Los Angeles this past month, and we wanted to share with you some great success stories from our recent projects.

You may be familiar with Terminal Island, one of our National Treasures in the Port of Los Angeles. This once-vibrant Japanese-American fishing village was a major World War I and II shipbuilding center, as well as the birthplace of the worldwide tuna canning industry. The island also played a key role in a tragic chapter of American history: In 1942, an entire Japanese-American community there was seen as a national security threat, and its residents were forcibly removed and imprisoned at the internment camp Manzanar.

Despite the site’s deep historic significance, however, the Port of Los Angeles has neglected historic buildings there, and in 2011 introduced a plan to demolish more structures rather than adapt and reuse them. The National Trust and the Los Angeles Conservancy joined forces on an advocacy campaign to save the island’s history -- an effort that paid off when the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners adopted the forward-thinking Los Angeles Port Master Plan Update this past August.

The approved plan -- the first comprehensive update of the Port’s development policies and procedures in more than three decades -- offers a path for the preservation and re-use of historic buildings on Terminal Island. The National Trust and the Los Angeles Conservancy worked to ensure that the final plan would serve as a replicable model for other industrial ports throughout the country.

Preservation-focused components of the plan include:

  • Identifying Fish Harbor’s Japanese-American Commercial Village as a historic resource
  • Removing road realignments originally intended to bisect historic buildings
  • Making mixed-use land use designations that provide greater flexibility in adaptively reusing historic buildings

The Terminal Island Japanese Village Memorial honors the Japanese immigrants who lived in the once-thriving fishing village. Credit: FredMikeRudy, Flickr
The Terminal Island Japanese Village Memorial honors the Japanese immigrants who lived in the once-thriving fishing village.

In addition to the National Trust’s work at Terminal Island, the organization’s Preservation Green Lab is partnering with the Urban Land Institute to advance the reuse of historic and older buildings in the City of Los Angeles. Using downtown Los Angeles as a testing ground, the initiative is identifying the most common barriers to building reuse and developing strategies to make it easier to creatively reuse buildings. Their work will help inform policies and incentives for building reuse in other cities. A report to announce the findings of the LA pilot will be available mid-October, 2013.

On the heels of these successes, the National Trust opened a field office in downtown Los Angeles on September 1 to further its efforts to preserve historic places in Southern California and the Southwest. Chris Morris, formerly with the National Trust’s Chicago field office, is leading the new LA office and is joined by Jeana Wiser of the Preservation Green Lab. We’re excited to continue our work there and keep the good news coming!

Have a question about our work in this region? Know a cool place you want us to know about, too? Email editorial@savingplaces.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the associate director for digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

#SavingPlacesMOW13: Places that Connect Us to Our Heritage

Posted on: August 29th, 2013 by Adriana Gallegos


Marchers at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation
Marchers at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

As the country celebrated the historic March on Washington yesterday and its significance for the civil rights movement, we at the National Trust took the opportunity to ask people along the March route about places that inspire them and represent important connections to their heritage.

The answers we received reflected the diversity and history of our country, from the Statue of Liberty to a Latino neighborhood in New Mexico. People were full of hope and eager to keep their pasts -- both personal and shared -- alive.

We even caught up with journalist Scott Pelley from "CBS Evening News" and "60 Minutes" -- his answer will surprise you!... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Adriana Gallegos

Adriana Gallegos

Adriana Gallegos is the Blogger Outreach Manager working to inform bloggers and online influencers about the National Trust’s mission. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family both in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Burgos, Spain.

Announcing the 2013 List of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Posted on: June 19th, 2013 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 4 Comments


San Jose Church - Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Built in 1532, San Jose Church is of the few remaining Spanish Gothic architecture structures in the Western Hemisphere. Closed for 13 years, it is threatened by deterioration and structural damage. Photo courtesy Archdiocese of San Juan of Puerto Rico.
San Jose Church in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, one of this year's listings.

With a country as large and diverse as the United States selecting a list of just 11 endangered historic places annually is a daunting task -- which is why this year, as our endangered list enters its second quarter-century, we opened up the process to the general public for the first time.

The results were overwhelming. We received more than twice the nominations we have in the past, with passionate local preservationists reaching out from sites nationwide.

The resulting list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places represents the broad cultural, geographic, and historic diversity of our country. The "newest" site -- the flying-saucer-shaped Worldport Terminal at JFK Airport in New York -- dates from the mid-20th century, while the oldest -- San Jose Church in San Juan, P.R. -- was built more than 400 years earlier.

Without further ado, the 2013 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list, in slides...

And in video:

Want to learn more about this year's listings? Later this morning, from 11:00 a.m. to noon EDT, National Trust President Stephanie Meeks (@SavePlacesPres) will be participating in a Twitter chat about the 11 Most Endangered List. She will be taking questions and discussing the 2013 list, and several of the listed sites will also be available during the chat. To join the chat:

 1. Sign in to Twitter, or into a chat-specific site such as,, or (Using a chat site allows you to filter just the chat-specific hashtag, and also appends it to any tweets you send, allowing for a more streamlined experience.)      

2. Follow and tweet with the hashtag #11Most.

Hope to see you there!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Help Us Reach Our Membership Month Goal!

Posted on: May 21st, 2013 by Emily Potter


Large crowd. Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation

You might know that May is National Preservation Month, designed to encourage community residents to go out and visit the historic sites that make their neighborhoods meaningful places to live.

But did you also know that May is National Trust Membership Month? We launched Membership Month as a way to celebrate the importance of our members and the difference their support makes in helping to save the very places we are shining a spotlight on during National Preservation Month. And this year, our goal is to welcome 150 new members to our organization by May 31.

Whether a local preservationist or preservation professional, National Trust members play a vital role in protecting our country’s heritage. Member support enables us to preserve sacred landscapes, Modernist masterpieces, and beloved communities; fight to protect important preservation legislation that benefits our local economies; and empower individuals to take a stand for the places that matter to them.

Plus, in addition to having such a powerful impact on our work, membership comes with a host of great benefits, such as:

  • An annual subscription to our award-winning magazine, Preservation
  • Discounts on hundreds of historic places across the country and overseas
  • Up to 50% off the best available rate at Historic Hotels of America nationwide

We’re less than two weeks away from our deadline of May 31, and we’re halfway to our goal of welcoming 150 new members to the National Trust. We know we can make it.

If you’re not a member already, we hope you’ll consider becoming one in May. Membership starts at just $20, and joining today means you’ll not only help us reach our goal, but you’ll join thousands of passionate people who care about saving the treasured historic places that tell our stories and honor our heritage.

Every member is important to us, and we are very grateful for your support. Thank you for helping us save places!

Already a National Trust member? You can still help! Make a special donation or renew your membership today.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter is a copywriter at the National Trust. She enjoys writing about places of all kinds, the stories that make them special, and the people who love them enough to save them.

2013 Partners in Preservation Grant Winners Announced

Posted on: May 13th, 2013 by Sarah Heffern 8 Comments


The Washington National Cathedral. Photo courtesy Craig W. Stapert.
The Washington National Cathedral

After three weeks of online voting -- and massive numbers of tweets, Instagram photos, and Foursquare check-ins -- we, along with our partner, American Express, are happy to announce that the Washington National Cathedral received the most points in the 2013 Partners in Preservation competition. As the winner of the popular vote, the Cathedral will receive its full grant request of $100,000 towards restoring two bays of the vaulted ceiling inside the nave, which were damaged in 2011's earthquake.

In addition to the grand prize, three sites -- LAMB at Military Road School, Brightwood, D.C.; Arlington House, Arlington, Va.; and Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region, Anacostia, D.C. -- won $20,000 each for being top peformers on Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare, respectively.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.