11 Most Endangered

Celebrating 25 Years of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Posted on: May 7th, 2012 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 29 Comments

 

Wide open space: that's something North Dakota has a lot of. However, if you’ve ever explored this part of Big Sky Country, you know that the prairie – which seems to stretch and roll endlessly – is often punctuated by simple, yet remarkable church houses.

Built by first-generation settlers from Germany, Poland, Iceland, Russia, and Scandinavia, these structures served as the glue for rural life. By the early 2000s, though, many had seen better days – it was estimated that as many as 400 of the churches were vacant and directly threatened with demolition. Something had to be done.

In 2001, the prairie churches of North Dakota were added to the National Trust's list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. What ensued was a grassroots effort led by Preservation North Dakota that, to this day, works community by community to save these amazing treasures.

The rebirth of these prairie icons is one of hundreds of success stories born out of our annual endangered list. In fact, since its inception in 1988, the list has become one of the most effective tools for saving our country's architectural, cultural, and natural heritage. Of the 234 places that have been listed over the years, only a few have been lost. That's a track record worth celebrating, and this is the year to do it.

2012 marks the 25th anniversary of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. As we prepare for this year's announcement (save the date: Wednesday, June 6), we invite you to follow along online as we spotlight a quarter-century of people saving amazing places. Here's where you can find us:

  • Pinterest: Each Thursday, we'll create a board dedicated to a former listing that is back from the brink. Follow throughout the day as we curate tons of amazing photography, all snapped by people who are passionate about that place.
  • Twitter: Put your preservation knowledge to the test with trivia tweets about former listings. Keep an eye on hashtag #SavingPlaces for all the action.
  • Our Blog: Check back here each Tuesday for a special post on an 11 Most success story. We'll offer insight into how former listings were saved, and of course, some really awesome photos.
  • Facebook: Who doesn't like to be in the know? On Tuesday, June 5, we'll offer our fans an exclusive sneak peek at a place to be included on this year's endangered list.

Also, be sure to check out our website, which we've updated with one amazing story per year of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

Which of these places inspires you?

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.

Major Victory in Fight to Save Guam’s Pågat Village

Posted on: November 17th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Written by Brian Turner

The cliff line at Pågat, Guam. (Photo: National Trust for Historic Preservation)

On Tuesday, November 15, 2011, the U.S. Navy announced that it has decided to re-evaluate plans for a firing range complex that it had planned to build at an ancient settlement and important cultural site on Guam, Pågat Village.  In a filing with the U.S. District Court in Hawai’i, the Director of the Joint Guam Program Office, Joseph D. Ludovici, stated that “the Navy has determined that additional analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA] is appropriate.”  As a result, the Navy is committing to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will evaluate a range of alternative sites for a live-fire training range complex and incorporate public input.  The review process is expected to take at least two years and will include public scoping.

The filing marks an important victory for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and co-plaintiffs Guam Preservation Trust and We Are Guåhan, who filed a lawsuit against the Navy’s plan in November 2010.  Indeed, the Navy’s recent change of heart and commitment to prepare a Supplemental EIS is exactly what the groups had asked the court to order.  Prior to the lawsuit, the groups had strenuously urged the Navy to complete such study during consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act.

In a statement released today, National Trust president Stephanie Meeks said “Pågat Village is a rare and extraordinary site, filled with history and culture.  It would be a travesty to lose this treasure not only for the indigenous Chamorro people, who revere Pågat Village as a place for the souls of their ancestors, but also for the general public.”  (For a full copy of the statement, see press release)  Guam’s Pågat Village was named one of the nation’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust in May 2010.

The Navy’s decision came one year after the lawsuit was filed by pro bono counsel, Nicholas C. Yost and Matthew Adams of SNR Denton in San Francisco, to force the Navy to comply with its NEPA obligations. As former general counsel of the President’s Council of Environmental Quality, Yost was the lead draftsperson of the NEPA regulations and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top environmental lawyers.  This important victory would not have been possible without SNR Denton’s generous legal support, and the dedicated work of local preservationists in Guam.

Brian Turner is a Senior Field Officer/Attorney at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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.