Nantucket Makes Endangered List
Island Threatened by Development Says
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Nantucket was one of 11 sites across the country named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to its 2000 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places on June 26. A press release announcing the 2000 additions to the endangered list said that Nantucket Island in Massachusetts was selected because "a real estate and development boom has caused an onslaught of 'gut rehabs' and 'teardowns' of historic buildings."
Since 1988, more than 100 threatened, one-of-a-kind historic treasures have been named "endangered" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. While a listing does not ensure the protection of a site or guarantee funding, the designation has been a powerful tool for raising awareness and rallying resources to save threatened sites nationwide.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation asserts that Nantucket's historic character, the attraction that draws visitors to the island, is in danger of being overshadowed by new development that is gutting historic houses such as the Absalom Boston House (pictured at left), once owned by Nantucket's only black whaling captain, and replacing them with "out of character," modern structures. Nantucket has "one of the nation's most important collections of buildings dating from the late 1600s to the mid-1800s," according to the National Trust.
The preservation organization is calling for new preservation regulations to protect Nantucket's historic homes from being gutted or torn down. The Austin Strong House (pictured at right) is one of only three privately owned houses on the island that is currently subject to preservation restrictions.
To learn more about efforts to preserve Nantucket and to get involved, visit the Nantucket Preservation Trust Web site where you can become a member, purchase a "300 Years of Architecture on Nantucket" framed or unframed print to support preservation and restoration efforts, and learn more about Nantucket architecture.
The other 10 sites on the 2000 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places are:
Abraham Lincoln's Retreat - The Soldiers' Home, Washington, D.C.
The summer home where Lincoln drafted the Emancipation Proclamation awaits restoration.
Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical
Center, Leavenworth, Kansas
39 historic buildings may be torn down.
Historic Neighborhood Schools - Nationwide
Abandonment, demolition, and suburban sprawl threaten these community icons.
Hudson River Valley, New York
Industrialization and sprawl threaten scenic area rich in historic landmarks.
Fifth and Forbes Historic Retail Area, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Scores of historic buildings to be demolished for large-scale shopping and entertainment complex.
Okeechobee Battlefield, Okeechobee, Florida
Development threatens archaeological resources and important Second Seminole War battlefield.
Red Mountain Mining District, Ouray and San Juan Counties, Colorado
Sprawl and logging may overwhelm scenic historic mining sites.
Santa Anita Racetrack, Arcadia, California
Expansion will ruin historic Art Deco structure.
Valley Forge National Historical
Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Revolutionary War buildings need immediate stabilization.
Wheelock Academy, Millerton,
Native American school buildings are seriously deteriorating.
More from New England for Visitors
Looking for more New England travel information? Start with the New England for Visitors Home Page, where you'll find current features and links to the best of the Net for all of your travel planning needs.
Don't miss our free email newsletter, New England NewsBeam, which keeps you up to date on what's happening in the region. Subscribe today!
Previous Features from your New England for Visitors Guide
Press photos courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.