12 Stunning American Landscapes That Could Disappear Forever

Fern Dell, Griffith Park

Photo: JoDean Bifoss via The Cultural Landscape Foundation

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has unveiled a new list of the 12 most at-risk estates, plazas, parks, and other civic amenities across the country.Most of these sites face a lack of maintenance that could cause them to be partially—if not wholly—eradicated, despite their national significance.

TCLF is co-sponsoring project Landslide 2012 to help bring attention to and preserve these significant American landmarks.

From a Japanese garden in California to Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., these are some of the national public spaces that could be lost for good.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Burlington, VT: Construction of a proposed bus terminal would mar the grid of 123 uniformly spaced locust trees that screens the cathedral from the city.

Fern Dell, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA: Regularly scheduled maintenance of this 20-acre landscape and public fern garden ended in the 1970s, resulting in its steady deterioration.

Garland Farm, Mount Desert, ME: Though a partial restoration was undertaken between 2007 and 2011 of the property to honour the late architect Beatrix Farrand, financial difficulties threaten the completion of the project.

Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, Los Angeles, CA: UCLA is attempting to sell this 1.5-acre Japanese-style garden after it was originally given to the university as a gift in 1964. A Superior Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction halting the sale, with a hearing scheduled for May 2013.

Innisfree Garden, Millbrook, NY: The cost of maintaining these site-specific gardens by landscape architect Lester Collins is slowly eating away at the Innisfree Foundation's endowment, and long-term financing could become an issue.

Isham Park, New York, NY: This 20-acre park overlooking the Hudson and Harlem River Valleys has become overrun with invasive trees obstructing views, and many of the steps, terraces, and paths need refurbishment.

Jack London Lake, Jack London State Historic Park, Glen Ellen, CA: The lake is filled with silt, covered in fish-suffocating algae, and has a cracked and leaking dam. Fundraising efforts were temporarily suspended due to California's state budget crisis.

Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, NY: Known for its 6.5 miles of white-sand beaches, this state park is threatened by funding shortages, deferred maintenance, and a lack of preservation planning for the site.

Nasher Sculpture Garden, Dallas, TX: In 2010, a glass skyscraper was built directly across from this 1.5-acre sculpture garden, intensifying sunlight into the museum/garden, and launching a court battle between Nasher centre and Dallas city representatives.

Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC: A National Historic Site, the 1.2-mile long stretch between Capitol Hill and the White House has fallen into disrepair with broken amenities, overgrown trees, and is littered with security planters.

Riverbank Park, Flint, MI: This award-winning park is threatened by the deteriorating condition of the nearby Hamilton Dam, which necessitates the low flow conditions of the park's channels, pools, and fountains.

Thieme Drive, Fort Wayne, IN: Since a flood in 1982, this Fort Wayne park is threatened as the Army Corps erects flood walls, levees, and a proposed 10-foot high, 1,000-foot long concrete wall that all negatively affect the quality of the drive.

But more than just parks and landscapes are in danger.

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