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.

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


In Georgia, one of the oldest burial grounds for enslaved Africans is falling apart and needs to be restored. In downtown Chicago, two classic skyscrapers have sat vacant for years. Both sites are among the country's most endangered places - a list compiled by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. NPR's Neda Ulaby has more.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Every year, the National Trust identifies 11 significant places in danger of being lost to destruction or damage, says Chief Preservation Officer Katherine Malone-France.

KATHERINE MALONE-FRANCE: The 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list - it looks like America.

ULABY: Some of the places are grand, like those turn-of-the-century Chicago skyscrapers. Others are decidedly humble. This year's list includes a gas station on Route 66 in Arizona, built in 1929 and owned by the Walpi tribe. In Louisiana, there's the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish.

MALONE-FRANCE: It's the last undeveloped 11 miles along the Mississippi River, south of Baton Rouge.

ULABY: That is according to a video from the Louis Armstrong Foundation, the historic home of numerous New Orleans jazz musicians.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Half of them had roots on the West Bank.

ULABY: There's also an endangered site in New Orleans - the Perseverance, Benevolent and Mutual Aid Society, a historic home to early jazz pioneers and battered by Hurricane Ida.


ULABY: Other endangered places on this year's list include Miami's Little Santo Domingo neighborhood and not one, but two Chinatowns - in Seattle and in Philadelphia.

JOHN CHIN: Chinatowns play a really important role in the history of our country.

ULABY: John Chin runs a Chinatown community organization fighting a stadium proposed for the Philadelphia 76ers. He says it would squash the neighborhood's character and small businesses like the ones his group promotes.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: We're here at Shi Miao Dao, here on 901 Race Street. We specialize in Yunnan guo qiao mi xian, also known as Yunnan Crossing-Bridge rice noodles.

ULABY: The National Trust's endangered list has made a difference since it started in 1988. Katherine Malone-France points to an old military camp that was home to the Buffalo Soldiers. After Camp Naco in Arizona was included on last year's list, she says, it got over $8 million in grants and is now being restored for community use.

MALONE-FRANCE: To lose this place is to lose a story that is important to every single American. To lose this place is to lose a piece of ourselves.

ULABY: At a moment, she says, when we need reminders of who we are more than ever.

Neda Ulaby, NPR News.


Copyright © 2023 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.