Here are the '11 Most Endangered Historic Places' in the U.S. "It's very hard to narrow the list," says the Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 2023 list includes a gas station, an artist studio and two Chinatowns.

Here's the latest list of the '11 Most Endangered Historic Places' in the U.S.

Here's the latest list of the '11 Most Endangered Historic Places' in the U.S.

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"The most endangered historic places list looks like America," says Katherine Malone-France, the Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Above, artist L.V. Hull (1942-2008) stands on the steps of her home and studio in Kosciusko, Miss., which has been unoccupied since Hull died in 2008. left: Bruce West right: Yaphet Smith/National Trust for Historic Preservation hide caption

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left: Bruce West right: Yaphet Smith/National Trust for Historic Preservation

"It's very hard to narrow the list," admits Katherine Malone-France, the Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Malone-France, in heavy spectacles and a winsome air, is now describing the 11 most endangered historic places in the United States, per her organization's annual survey. It relies, she quickly points out, upon nominations from the general public.

The National Trust has generated this list since 1988 to draw attention to places in danger of being torn down or irreparably damaged. Sometimes, she says, those places are aesthetically grand. Others are humble in appearance but not in history.

"The most endangered historic places list looks like America," Malone-France says. "It tells our layered and interconnected stories. Each site on it, of course, is a powerful place in its own right. But I think there are also common themes, like creativity and entrepreneurship, perseverance, cultural exchange. There are sites that are deeply sacred. All of the sites have multi-generational narratives, and there are sites where descendants are stewarding the legacies of their ancestors. There are sites that include tiny villages in rural areas, and there are sites that include neighborhoods and buildings in large cities and everything in between."

Seattle Chinatown-International District (CID) is among the oldest Asian American neighborhoods on the West Coast. Washington Trust for Historic Preservation/National Trust for Historic Preservation hide caption

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Washington Trust for Historic Preservation/National Trust for Historic Preservation

Two of this year's sites are historic Chinatowns on opposite sides of the country. Philadelphia's Chinatown dates back to 1871. Seattle's Chinatown-International District cannot be traced to a specific year of origin, but it's one of the oldest Asian-American neighborhoods on the West Coast. Both are centrally located in downtown districts, irresistible to developers in recent decades.

Seattle's CID has been a battlefield between transit advocates bullish on adding a new light rail station to the neighborhood and local activists resistant to redevelopment and gentrification. The CID neighborhood remains scarred from the massive infrastructure addition of a highway constructed in the 1960s.

Established in 1871, Philadelphia Chinatown includes more than 40 locally designated historic properties. National Trust Staff/National Trust for Historic Preservation hide caption

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National Trust Staff/National Trust for Historic Preservation

Philadelphia's Chinatown is currently threatened by a new stadium proposal from the city's NBA team. The owner of the 76ers wants to build a billion-dollar basketball arena on the neighborhood's southern end; local groups oppose the project.

"I'm proud to say that I was born and raised in Chinatown," says John Chin, executive director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation. He believes a new stadium would result in the sort of deleterious effects that other big sports developments have wreaked on communities across the country. "This issue raises awareness that these rare communities of color like Chinatown still exist, and the importance of sustaining and preserving it," Chin says. "Chinatown is part of the social fabric of the diversity of the city. It's got a really meaningful economic and social reason to exist. Chinatowns across the country play this same role."

The National Historic Trust's annual list has helped save numerous sites in the past, says chief preservation officer Katherine Malone-France. She points to Camp Naco, in Bisbee, Ariz., as one example. "The camp had been decommissioned in 1923, and it faced a number of different challenges: vandalism, exposure, erosion, fire," she says. "But for the past 20 years, a group of local advocates has been fighting for this place. We listed it on the 2022 list, and since then, over $8 million in grants have been awarded to Camp Naco and the site is now being restored and programmed for community use."

She says all these endangered sites are extraordinary places where preservation, she believes, can help build a better future.

Twenty-two timber cabins, built for enslaved people, are on the Evergreen Plantation in the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, La. Brian M. Davis/Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation hide caption

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Brian M. Davis/Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation

Twenty-two timber cabins, built for enslaved people, are on the Evergreen Plantation in the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, La.

Brian M. Davis/Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation

"The West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish is the last undeveloped 11 miles along the Mississippi River, south of Baton Rouge," Malone-France says. "It is a place that is densely layered in historic sites, in archaeological sites that tell the full history of this country. It is a place where the descendants of people who were enslaved there are fighting for the preservation of its landscape, of its villages, of its archeological resources, of its culture and its stories. And it is threatened by the construction of a 275-foot grain elevator to store grain that is shipped down the Mississippi."

The Evergreen Plantation, on the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, La., is "densely layered" in historic and archeological sites that "tell the full history of this country," says Malone-France. Brian M. Davis/Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation hide caption

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Brian M. Davis/Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation

The Evergreen Plantation, on the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, La., is "densely layered" in historic and archeological sites that "tell the full history of this country," says Malone-France.

Brian M. Davis/Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation

"To lose this place is to lose a story that is important to every single American," she says. "To lose this place is to lose a piece of ourselves. It is not lost yet. We can do things differently here."

And, she adds, at every one of the 11 sites on this year's list. Here are the rest:

Little Santo Domingo, Miami, Fla. "Numerous businesses are located in this corner commercial structure, built in the 1920s in Miami's Allapattah neighborhood." Allapattah Collaborative CDC/National Trust for Historic Preservation hide caption

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Allapattah Collaborative CDC/National Trust for Historic Preservation

Holy Aid and Comfort Spiritual Church (aka Perseverance Benevolent and Mutual Aid Society Hall), New Orleans, La. "Constructed circa 1880 for the Perseverance Benevolent and Mutual Aid Society, this building hosted early performances by jazz pioneers. ... Damage from recent hurricanes along with vandalism have left the structure in precarious condition." left: National Trust staff right: Williams Research Center of the Historic New Orleans Collection/National Trust for Historic Preservation hide caption

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left: National Trust staff right: Williams Research Center of the Historic New Orleans Collection/National Trust for Historic Preservation

Charleston's Historic Neighborhoods, Charleston, S.C. "The SC Ports Authority is proposing a large new development at Union Pier, which is part of Charleston's Historic District." Vanessa Kauffmann hide caption

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Vanessa Kauffmann

Charleston's Historic Neighborhoods, Charleston, S.C. "The SC Ports Authority is proposing a large new development at Union Pier, which is part of Charleston's Historic District."

Vanessa Kauffmann

Henry O. Tanner House, Philadelphia, Penn. "Built in 1871, this rowhouse in Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion neighborhood was the home of African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937), along with many other Tanner family members with significant achievements." On the left, it is shown in 1950. Left: Jack E. Boucher/Library of Congress Right: Justin Spivey/WJE Associates/National Trust for Historic Preservation hide caption

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Left: Jack E. Boucher/Library of Congress Right: Justin Spivey/WJE Associates/National Trust for Historic Preservation

Century and Consumers Buildings, Chicago, Ill. "Two examples of Chicago's early innovation in skyscraper design are vacant and threatened with demolition: the Consumers Building (left) from 1913 and the neighboring Century Building (right), built in 1915." Landmarks Illinois hide caption

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Landmarks Illinois

Osterman Gas Station, Peach Springs, Ariz. "Traffic along Route 66 dwindled after the opening of Interstate 40 in 1979." Richard Knott/National Trust for Historic Preservation hide caption

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Richard Knott/National Trust for Historic Preservation

Pierce Chapel African Cemetery, Midland, Ga. "Established circa 1828, the Pierce Chapel African Cemetery is one of the oldest burial grounds for Africans enslaved at several plantations in Harris County, Ga." Hamilton Hood Foundation hide caption

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Hamilton Hood Foundation