The 11 Most Endangered Historical Sites In America

The Village of Zoar

Photo: National Trust For Historic Preservation

Take a long, hard look at these pictures, because the places in them could soon be gone.The National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its annual list of most endangered places in America. Two of the sites on the list this year are located in New York and New Jersey: the Ellis Island Hospital Complex and the Princeton Battlefield.

This list, which the trust began releasing in 1988, is a call for help for these sites on the brink of destruction.


TERMINAL ISLAND: This site, located in the Port of Los Angeles, was a major shipbuilding centre during WWI and WWII. Later, it was the home of America's tuna canning industry. Today, the island's historical buildings face the possibility of demolition.

ELLIS ISLAND HOSPITAL COMPLEX: This set of buildings near the Ellis Island National Monument used to comprise the largest U.S. Public Health Service institution in the nation. But the interiors of these buildings are in need of millions of dollars of renovation.

TEXAS COURTHOUSES: 234 out of 244 of Texas' courthouses are still being used. These government buildings are stunning works of architecture, but many have fallen into disrepair from a lack of funding and maintenance.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S ELKHORN RANCH: The 26th President of the United States used to hunt and run cattle in what is now a section of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. But plans to construct a Little Missouri River bridge and road could ruin the serenity of this ranch.

JOE FRAZIER'S GYM: Frazier, an Olympic gold medalist and former Heavyweight Champion of the World, trained here for bouts with boxers like Muhammad Ali. Frazier died in 2011, but the gym, in Philadelphia, has yet to be preserved through a national or local registry. A place with such a unique past deserves recognition.

PRINCETON BATTLEFIELD: George Washington's troops defeated the British at this Revolutionary War site in New Jersey. But the famous battlefield is also being considered as the site of a housing development for the Institute for Advanced Study.

MALCOLM X — ELLA LITTLE-COLLINS HOUSE: This is the childhood home of Malcolm X and his half-sister, Ella Little-Collins. There are plans to transform the Boston house, which has been vacant for 30 years, into student housing through Historic Boston, Inc. The house is also in need of restoration, but these projects have been slowed due to insufficient funds.

HISTORIC POST OFFICE BUILDINGS: Preservation and rehabilitation attempts at closed post offices have been hampered because of a lack of information or contact from the U.S. Postal Service. With many other offices facing possible closure, the postal service needs to establish a process for saving these buildings in correlation with preservation laws.

THE VILLAGE OF ZOAR: This village in Ohio has been protected from flooding by a levee built in the 1930s, but the levee could be torn down if deemed necessary by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Without a levee, 80 per cent of the village would have to be demolished.

YOSEMITE VALLEY BRIDGES: Yosemite National Park is devoted to preserving nature. But three bridges crossing the Merced River in Yosemite Valley may be removed because of a management plan through the National Park Service.

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