6 of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places (Slideshow)

The National Historic Trust for Preservation has published its annual list of 11 most endangered historic places.†Included on this year’s list are (1)†historic post office buildings.

Old Post Office, Yuma, Arizona

Yes, your community’s post office — a building that may once have been the symbolic heart of your community before email and Facebook existed and many of which are “architecturally distinctive, prominently located, and cherished as civic icons country”– could be endangered, due to the US Postal Service identifying almost 4,400 post offices, big and small, to close last year.

While some city officials and local preservationists have found new buyers or uses for some endangered post offices, the USPS has yet to provide sufficient “information and guidance” as to how they might be preserved and used.


Photo of old post office in Yuma, Arizona, by Ken Lund via Flickr

(2) New York Harbor’s Ellis Island Hospital Complex

Contagious disease hospital, Ellis Island

Since 1988, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has used its list of†America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places to raise awareness about the threats facing some 242 sites.

On this year’s list is†New York Harbor’s Ellis Island hospital complex. These buildings, containing hospitals and quarantine wards, are located near the restored Immigration Museum and were once the†largest US Public Health Service institution in the country;†millions of immigrants passed through these sites from 1892 to 1954.

Few visitors to Ellis Island (there are plenty — we frequent Liberty State Park in Jersey City where many people catch the ferry to see the island and the Statue of Liberty) are aware that there are still structures in need of rehabilitation there.

Photo of the contagious disease hospital on Ellis Island by†julz91 via†Flickr

3. Boyhood Home of Malcolm X in Boston


The last known surviving boyhood home of human rights activist Malcom X is described as a “modest structure” in Boston that he once shared with Ella Little-Collins, his half-sister. Her son, Rodnell Collins, now owns the property but the house has been vacant for 30 years.

Collins’ dream is to convert the house into living quarters†for graduate students studying African American history, social justice or civil rights, to carry on Malcolm X’s legacy.

Photo via†Wikimedia Commons

4. Revolutionary War Battlefield in Princeton, New Jersey

The battlefield in Princeton, New Jersey, where George Washington rallied his troops at a “crucial turning point” in the Revolutionary War is under threat due to a planned 15-unit housing project, says NJ.com.There are more than enough such developments throughout the state’s many suburbs but this one is proposed by the†Institute for Advanced Study which†owns the land and wishes to turn†7.3 acres into†eight townhouses and seven single-family homes for its faculty and their families.

The†Princeton Battlefield Society describes the site as “hallowed ground,” not a place for building yet more condominiums.

Video by†LeighaCohen via†YouTube

5. Joe Frazier’s Gym in Philadelphia

Down Goes Frazier!

Boxer Joe Frazier won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics and later became Heavyweight Champion of the World. He trained to fight legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in a modest three-story brick building in Philadelphia. The converted warehouse now contains a discount furniture store and two floors of vacant space.

While there is “growing interest in commemorating Frazierís life,” the building is unprotected and lacks “formal historic designation at the local or national level.” Including it on the National Register of Historic Places would be a way to emphasize the “value of diversity within this roster of our countryís most important historic resources.”

Photo by†Tony Fischer Photography via†Flickr

6. Bridges of Yosemite Park

Stone bridge over the Merced River

In 1864, Yosemite National Park became the first park in the US devoted to the protection of natural scenery.

Three historic bridges built in 1928 to 1932 are iconic in their own right but are not included in a comprehensive management plan for the Merced River that the National Park Service is developing. Indeed, the bridges are under consideration to be removed and “face an uncertain future” — as do all of these historic US sites: While they are not as old as Athens’ Acropolis of China’s Great Wall, these sites figure importantly in American history and more than merit protection under the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo by Alaskan Dude via Flickr

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Lynn Demsky
Lynn D.2 years ago

Thanks but, when they get so run down and no one takes care of them they truly become a serious hazard and should be pulled down......"a picture is worth a thousand words" --- save the pictures of them!

Steela C.
Steela C.3 years ago

Great post Kristina!!These are really an endangered historic places and these places should be preserved. Thank you for bringing an attention on such historical places. I was recently at Death Valley National Park and was a wonderful experience. We have to save such places which have added an importance in American history. There are plenty of good site which provides information on such historical heritage like http://www.historicalplacesinamerica.com/ .

Florence Eaise
florene Eaise3 years ago


Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

We have to save these historic areas and protect other areas from urban and suburban sparwl. I was recently at Gettysburg and the wonderful battlefield at Cemetary Ridge is right next to a MacDonalds and other fast food places. It is a shame.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

thanks for sharing

Harshiita Sharma
Harshiita Sharma3 years ago

Thanks for the post!

Arild Warud
Arild Warud3 years ago


Past Member
Past Member 3 years ago

I love those historical buildings in south africa we don't have any so I just love to see them.

Sue H.
Sue H.3 years ago

The bridges in Yosemite break my heart as do the post office buildings. I hope that all can be saved.

Talya Honor
Tal H.3 years ago

Thanks for this article :( How can people not want to preserve these places?