The National Trust for Historic Preservation's yearly tally of significant historic buildings lost and saved has officially dropped, and while 2014 boasted some major architectural preservation wins in 2014—Cincinnati's Union Terminal! Moffett Field's Hangar One!—there were are also bruising losses, including New York City's beloved 5Pointz Warehouse, whose status as a cultural and artistic touchstone wasn't enough to save it from being reduced to a commemorative plaque hung on a "curated graffiti wall" next to some nondescript condo towers.Read More
Mapping the Biggest Preservation Wins and Losses of 2014
Win: Cincinnati’s Union Terminal
The last passenger trains rolled out of Cincy's Union Terminal back in 1972, leaving the future of the Art Deco landmark with the world's second-largest half dome in doubt, with only quick action from the City Council preventing it's demolition in 1973. Even an adaptive reuse project that converted much of the station to a museum complex and the return of passenger rail couldn't keep the icon from landing on the National Trust's 11 Most Endangered Places list. A recent overwhelming vote in favor of a ballot measure to restore and preserve Union Terminal finally ensured the station's survival.
Win: Atlanta Daily World Building
This humble storefront in the heart of the historic Sweet Auburn district was home for over 80 years to Atlanta's oldest black newspaper, the Atlanta Daily World. After a tornado damaged the building in 2008, the paper decamped to the suburbs and the water-damaged building languished on the market while plans were made to demolish it to make way for new development. Preservationists worked to block the demolition, and this year the red-brick structure was purchased as part of a deal to restore and redevelop this block of Auburn Avenue. Photo via Atlanta Preservation Center
Win: Moffett Field's Hangar One
Moffett Field's massive Hanger One—built in 1932 to house the Navy's dirigible aircraft U.S.S. Macon—has sat exposed to the brutalizing effects of the San Francisco Bay elements since the discovery of toxic chemicals in its outer skin. This year search giant Google rescued the spacey-looking structure from further deterioration by inking a $200M deal to restore the hangar for use by its aerospace subsidiary Planetary Ventures.
Win: Hinchliffe Stadium
Built in the early 1930s and based on a design by the Olmsted Brothers, Hinchliffe Stadium is one of the last remaining stadiums where Negro League baseball was played, having served as the home field of the New York Black Yankees from 1933 to 1945. This year Congress passed a bill which named the historic stadium as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Treasures, a designation which supporters plan to leverage to free up badly needed restoration funds. Photo via NorthJersey.com
Loss: The New Orleans Woolworth
Luxury apartments trumped Civil Rights history in New Orleans when the French Quarter's vacant Woolworth Building was demolished to make way for a residential development whose size and scope was hotly debated by preservationists and some city council members. Built in the 1940s, the Woolworths was the site of the first lunch counter sit-in to be held in the city of New Orleans. It was demolished in October. Photo via: NoLa.com
Loss: Mummer's Theater
John M. Johansen's 1970 synthesis of "brutalism and systems theory," a.k.a. Oklahoma City's Mummer's Theater, finally succumbed to water damage and fiscal instability this year, when a long, public battle to save the unique complex ended in the depressing spectacle of the performing arts center's destruction being broadcast live on the DemolitionCam feeds of local news stations.
Loss: 5Pointz Warehouse
New Yorkers are still mourning the loss of this 19th-century warehouse, which over the years became covered with one of the most important collections of graffiti art in the world—came to be synonymous with NYC hip-hop culture. Supporters of the building suffered through a 2013 white-washing of the building and other insults, before the warehouse ultimately met the wrecking ball in October. Photo via: Wikipedia