Left: Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham in May of 1963. (AP) Right: A.G. Gaston Motel in 2010. (Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress)
As Confederate flags come down across the country in the wake of the Charleston shooting, some say that American history is threatened. But a list of endangered historic places released by a respected D.C.-based nonprofit points out that American history transcends that of straight white men — and often gets overlooked.
“For more than a quarter century, our list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has called attention to threatened one-of-a-kind treasures throughout the nation and galvanized local communities to help save them,” Stephanie Meeks, the president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said in a statement. “This year’s list is our most diverse ever, and reflects our commitment to recognizing and preserving all the facets of our diverse history.”
This year’s list includes the Grand Canyon, sacred to many Indian tribes; Miami’s Little Havana; the A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Ala., where Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders once stayed; and the Factory in West Hollywood, Calif., a disco once vital to Los Angeles gay culture.
“We hope this list inspires more Americans to join us in the ongoing effort to save the places that tell the full story of our nation,” Meeks said.
Here’s a look at some places on the list:
The A.G. Gaston Motel in 2010. (Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress) The motel after a bombing in 1963 that sparked riots. (AP) The Carrollton Courthouse in New Orleans — “one of the most significant landmarks outside of the French Quarter” once used as a school, according to the Trust. (The National Trust for Historic Preservation via AP) In 1929, Amelia Earhart talked about her flight across the Atlantic at Chautauqua Amphitheater in Chautauqua, N.Y. Built in 1893, it’s scheduled to be demolished. (Chautauqua Institution Archives via AP) The Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater in 2015. (Carolyn Thompson/AP) East Point City Hall in East Point, Ga., once at the heart of the city’s black community, may be demolished. (City of East Point via Reuters) The Fort Worth Stock Yards circa 1915. The yards, part of America’s cowboy culture, may be redeveloped. (Library of Congress via Reuters) Curt Pate from Montana prepared for a horse-training competition at the stock yards in 2003. (Jeff Mitchell/Reuters) Navajo Indians on their reservation near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1966. (AP) The Grand Canyon in Arizona earlier this year. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters) Cuban immigrants in Little Havana, a vital part of Miami’s Cuban community, in 1980. (J.Scott Applewhite/AP) Don Pedro Bello Sr. on a chair in front of his cigar store in Little Havana earlier this year. (Photo by Carlo Allegri For The Washington Post) Oak Flat near Superior, Ariz., may be opened up to mining though it is sacred to some Indian tribes. (Deanna Dent/AP) Ramon Aquino of Phoenix at a rally at Oak Flat in May. (REUTERS/Deanna Dent) San Francisco’s Old Mint after the city’s 1906 earthquake. ( Library of Congress) The Old Mint earlier this year. The building survived the historic quake, but is deteriorating. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) A vault in the Old Mint. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) New York’s South Street Seaport, one of the oldest parts of the city, in 1980. It may be redeveloped. (Courtesy Library of Congress) At the seaport earlier this year. (Richard Drew/AP)
The Factory in West Hollywood, Calif., earlier this year. Studio One, a disco on the site, “was planned, designed and conceived for gay people, gay male people,” the club’s owner, Steve Forbes, told the L.A. Times. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)