America’s Most Endangered Historical Sites


America’s Most Endangered Historical Sites
The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced its annual list of America’s “Most Endangered Historic Places”. All of the featured sites were nominated for their historical or architectural significance, their deteriorating conditions, and the viability of a solution to restore them.

Discussion Ideas

  • The National Trust for Historic Preservation gives brief accounts of all 11 the endangered historic sites on its list. All sites can be found on our MapMaker Interactive, using varied zoom levels. Using the zoom feature and different tools in the “Markers” tab, can students create a map of the Most Endangered Historic Sites?
    • Some hints for finding tricky sites:
      • Aquinnah, Massachusetts, is on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.
      • Look for “Sierra Vista” instead of “Fort Huachuca” in Arizona—Sierra Vista is the town where the fort is located.
      • Kake, Alaska, is the largest settlement on Kupreanof Island in the southern “panhandle” of the state.
  • Many of the endangered historic sites address cultural and ethnic diversity in the United States. Can students identify these cultural markers?
  • Have students read through the short list of endangered historic sites. Which sites would they prioritize for preservation? Why?
  • The preservation of several sites on the list, such as the Astrodome and the Worldport Terminal at JFK Airport, relies on “creative re-use plans.” Can students brainstorm some creative ways these historic buildings could be reused?
  • Can students identify any local historic sites? Consider the cultural, ethnic, physical, or representational history of your region.
    • Is there a building with a high-water mark from an historic flood?
    • Does a natural or man-made site (such as a river or building) have historical significance to regional settlement?
    • Does a natural landmark serve as an important ecological site, such as a lake being a stopover for migrating birds?
    • Was any local building the site for a local civil rights or social justice event?
    • Is there a local building that was designed or constructed by an important historic or artistic figure?
    • Does a building or other site serve as a representative of a technological achievement?

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