published Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Keeping, losing history: Preservationists note 10 sites saved, 10 lost in 2013

Chicago Cubs fans gather on opening day outside Wrigley Field.
Chicago Cubs fans gather on opening day outside Wrigley Field.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Chicago’s Wrigley Field, New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre and sites dedicated to the Underground Railroad and Buffalo Soldiers of the Civil War have joined a list of sites being saved thanks to the efforts of historic preservationists in 2013.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation compiled a list of 10 sites saved and 10 sites lost in 2013.

Among the losses was the Cyclorama Center in Gettysburg, Pa., Chicago’s Prentice Women’s Hospital and the Worldport Terminal at New York’s JFK Airport.

In Chicago, a preservation architect will restore Wrigley Field’s historic elements. The Saenger Theatre in New Orleans has reopened after it was severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina.

Five other sites became national monuments, including a monument commemorating Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in Maryland.

10 SITES SAVED

• Wrigley Field, Chicago — Earlier plans for massive renovations of this historic ballpark have been amended to address the concerns of preservationists.

• Peavey Plaza, Minneapolis, Minn. — Preservationists persuaded the Minneapolis City Council to drop a demolition plan and undertake a rehabilitation plan instead.

• Jensen-Byrd, Spokane, Wash. — Preservationists persuaded Washington State University to restore and reuse this 104-year-old former warehouse, rather than sell and demolish the structure.

• Fort Monroe, Hampton, Va. — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell approved a master plan to restore and revitalize this former military base.

• Stamford Post Office, Stamford, Conn. — A federal court ruled against the sale and demolition plan for this historic post office. The ruling could help preservationists save historic post offices nationwide.

• Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks, Central Montana — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled the Bureau of Land Management violated laws protecting historic sites along this national monument.

• Terminal Island, Port of Los Angeles — Vacant historic buildings at this former shipbuilding center from World War I and World War II could be saved under a plan approved by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.

• Five National Monuments designated by President Barack Obama — Each site represents a diverse chapter in American history, from the Native American and Latino communities of Rio Grande del Norte to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Cambridge, Md., and the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio.

• New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre — This historic 1920s movie house and performing arts space was severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina but reopened to the public in October after rehabilitation.

• Waterfront, Charleston, S.C. — A federal court found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated preservation laws when it approved the construction of new cruise ship terminals on the waterfront.

  • photo
    The unique flying-saucer-shaped Worldport Terminal, built by Pan Am in 1960 at New York’s Kennedy Airport, was a symbol of the jet age.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

10 SITES LOST

• Prentice Women’s Hospital, Chicago — After a long battle during which advocates urged preservation of the building, the way was cleared for the structure’s demolition.

• Cyclorama Center, Gettysburg, Pa. — The removal of the Cyclorama Center from the Gettysburg National Park is a loss for advocates of 20th century architecture, though it was supported by some preser-vationists under the grounds that it would improve the interpretation of the battlefield’s history.

• Chinese Hospital, San Francisco — Once the only medical facility available to the local Chinese community, the historic hospital was marked for demolition to make room for a new hospital center.

• Worldport Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York — Was listed among the 11 most-endangered historic sites. Delta Airlines began demolishing the jet-age structure and plans to turn it into an aircraft parking zone.

• The Pagoda Palace Theater, San Francisco — The historic vaudeville theater and movie house was razed in 2013 after 20 years of vacancy and failed proposals for redevelopment.

• Univision Building, San Antonio, Texas — Demolition began in November of this 1955 site known as the birthplace of Spanish-language broad-casting, to make way for new apartments.

• St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church, Pittsburgh, Pa. — The first Croatian parish in the Western Hemisphere was demolished after the diocese closed its doors in 2000.

• Charleston County Public Library, Charleston, S.C. — A court case allowed demolition to proceed on this first racially integrated library, built with an open, contemporary design.

• Hojack Swing Bridge, Rochester, N.Y. — The historic railroad bridge was demolished after a 10-year fight by preservationists.

• Pompey’s Pillar Vandalism and Government Shutdown — Nine days after the U.S. govern-ment shutdown began, this sandstone pillar marking the expedition of Lewis and Clark was vandalized with a new signature carved into the stone while no rangers were guarding the site.

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