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Shockoe Bottom makes America’s most endangered historic places list

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RICHMOND, Va. - Solomon Northup's jail, Hawaii's first Christian church and a nightclub that was vital to the development of African-American music have all found their way onto the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2014 list of 11 endangered historic places.

Selected on the criteria of historical and cultural significance, urgency and potential solutions, this is the trust's 27th annual list of the 11 historic places most threatened by natural wear and tear or human destruction.

"This has proven to be a powerful tool for raising awareness and mobilizing people," said trust President Stephanie Meeks.

Anyone can nominate a place, and they're all vetted by staff members who visit the sites. The final list is decided based on the trust's criteria. They they take into account which places can benefit the most from media exposure.

For the second time, the trust has included a special "Watch Status" listing for the Federal Historic Tax Credit, threatened by congressional proposals for economic reform.

Although all of the locations are important, Meeks said, particularly significant this year is Richmond, Virginia's Shockoe Bottom, home of Solomon Northup's jail, made famous in his book, "Twelve years a slave," and the 2014 Oscar-winning movie of the same name.

"This was an epicenter of the Virginia slave trade and an urban archeological site," she said. "Studies need to be done to figure out the best way to commemorate it."

Shockoe Bottom has the potential to be designated as an International Site of Conscience, which recognizes significant locations to immigration and civil rights, Meeks said.

"This year's list reflects the diversity of America's historic places and the variety of threats they face," she said. "We hope it inspires people to take action."

For a full list of 2014's endangered places, please visit the gallery above.

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  • athynz

    “This was an epicenter of the Virginia slave trade and an urban archeological site,” she said. “Studies need to be done to figure out the best way to commemorate it.”

    I hope those studies come up with something other than a ballpark.

      • Ron Melancon

        A ball park is stupid! You don’t see a ballpark next to any historical site anywhere else. You don’t see a ball park next to Mount Rushmore do you? How about Jamestown or Williamsburg tell you what if you don’t put a ballpark next to Gettysburg you don’t put one next to the epicenter of slave trade

  • Becky

    This is PC Fun…ny. One Tax Exempt Special Interest group attacking another Tax Exempt Special Interest Group?

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