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For Urban Preservationists, Six Big Saves

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s new list of the most endangered places in the U.S. looks back at 30 years of going to bat for buildings in need.
Little Rock Central High School, one of the 11 preserved places highlighted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Little Rock Central High School, one of the 11 preserved places highlighted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.Carol Highsmith/courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its marquee list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” This is the 30th anniversary of the annual list, so the Trust added an appropriately history-minded twist: They dug back into three decades of these lists—more than 270 places—to highlight some of the best successes.

The full list boasts some classic once-endangered places, like the Lewis and Clark campsite at Travelers’ Rest in Montana and Nine Mile Canyon in Utah, a Native American site that practically doubles as an outdoor art gallery. And there’s Antietam, the Civil War battlefield that successfully fought off an invasion by a shopping mall in 1988. (Disclosure: My fallback job is working at my family’s Civil War antique store in nearby Gettysburg, so my very-biased opinion is that Antietam is only the second-greatest United States Civil War battlefield.)

All this is very cool, but for our purposes we’ll focus on preservation wins that survived urban renewal: Here’s a murderer’s row of city sites, and the battles that saved them.