American Landmarks have been ardently protected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for decades now, ensuring that historic US monuments will still be around for our children’s children to appreciate. However, some of the pinnacle American landmarks are in danger of deterioration beyond repair so, if you haven’t visited yet, maybe it’s time to think about doing so. Here is a list of 7 Endangered American Landmarks:
1. Fort Gaines, Alabama
Located on the famous Dauphin Island, Fort Gaines is an historic Civil War site that played an integral role in the legendary Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864. The original cannons, the tunnels system that was used to get to and from the corner bastions, complete with vaulted stone ceilings and a restored blacksmith shop as well as kitchens that are used today to show visitors live demonstrations, are all still within the walls of the fort. The biggest challenge today for this historic and significant American landmark is the rapidly disappearing shoreline, which is eroding almost 3 meters a year.
2. Isaac Manchester Farm, Pennsylvania
The 200 year old farmhouse built by and lived in by Isaac Manchester, is not just a home, but an historic archive with more than 200 years worth of objects, items and remnants of the past. The grand old Georgian manor house, built completely out of brick, is not the only building on the property. The old farm also another 8 historic outbuildings, and together they showcase an incredibly preserved way of life. The biggest threat to the farmhouse and the farm land is a coal company who wants to start mining here; it would destroy the access roads to the farm, as well as cut off the farm’s water supply.
3. China Alley, California
The National Trust is finding this particular American landmark a sad and rather frustrating site to manage and protect at present. Even though the significant and historical Chinese neighbourhood is situated in the local historic district, there is a serious lack of staff to manage and preserve the ancient buildings, no preservation committee and no plan whatsoever to implement these things at all. Once inhabited by Chinese immigrants in the late 1800’s, this area was once a bustling metropolis, complete with a temple. These days the deterioration and disuse is contributing to the vulnerability of the area.
4. Pillsbury ‘’a ‘’Mill Complex, Minnesota
A true masterpiece of architectural brilliance and advancements that was way ahead of its time, the Pillsbury A Mill Complex was built in the late 1800’s. The complex was a working flour mill, completely state of the art, and without a doubt the leading and most superior facility of its kind not seen anywhere else in the world at the time. Although this stunning industrial masterpiece stands empty at this time, it is in danger of gradual development, which would totally strip this historic US monument of its chance for rehabilitation and even possible reuse.
5. Prentis Women’s Hospital , Illinois
The cutting edge Chicago hospital is an iconic symbol of the epic advancements in the architectural world at the time. Built in the 1970’s, it was the only hospital that did not display the formal exterior of the rigid, square shaped hospitals that were being built elsewhere. Constructed out of glass and concrete, the clover shaped health care facility was a progressive piece of architecture that caused a major stir. By changing the way patients and health care providers interacted with each other, by building circular areas for care on each separate floor, the architect, Bertrand Goldberg became a household name. Northwestern University now plans to remodel the tower and replace parts of it with a new research facility.
6. Bear Butte, South Dakota
The sacred mountain of Beat Butte is a spiritual and sanctified American landmark for the people of the 17 native tribes that come here. One of the tribes is the Lakota of the Black Hills of South Dakota, and they are seriously concerned about the proposal for an oil and wind energy development that will seriously damage the sacred site, destroy the cultural heritage and have a serious impact on the landscape.
7. Belmead-on-the-James, Virginia
The Belmead-on-the-James plantation was totally reformed by Saint Katherine Drexel, a nun who was later named a saint because of her work here in the 1800’s. She totally altered the Gothic manor house and transformed it into a set of pioneering schools for both Native American and African-American students in 1890. The school was closed in the 1970’s, and so many of the historic landmarks and buildings on the gorgeous, wooded plantation on the banks of the river James, have deteriorated so much, that without immediate repair, it may be too late for this historic site.
American monuments are an integral part of the history of the US and the history of the world. Without the protection of these important American landmarks, history will die along with each generation and there will be nothing left of these fascinating and incredible historic monuments, to pass on to the next generation. Which of the 7 Endangered American Landmarks do you think needs the most urgent help?
Top Image Source: pinterest.com