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Post Offices Join List Of Nation's 'Most Endangered Historic Places'

Among this year's list of " 11 most endangered historic places" in the view of the National Trust for Historic Preservation are post office buildings across the nation.

When it announced that nearly 4,400 post offices would be studied to see if they should be closed, the U.S. Postal Service did not "define and implement a clear process that will protect the historic buildings in its inventory," the trust says.

Using the Post Office in Geneva, Ill., as an example, the trust makes the case that it needs to be saved and used as a model "for preserving other historic post office buildings across the country."

Meanwhile, the other 10 places on this year's list are:

-- Joe Frazier's gym in Philadelphia. The boxing champ's training facility "enjoys no formal historic designation at the local or national level."

-- The Revolutionary War battlefield in Princeton, N.J. A proposed housing development "would radically alter the integrity of a rare, intact battlefield."

-- Terminal Island in the Port of Los Angeles, where historic structures are "slated for demolition."

-- Atlanta's Sweet Auburn historic district. "Inappropriate development" threatens the historically African-American commercial area.

-- President Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch in Billings County, N.D. A proposed new road could bring "traffic, noise and dust," as well as "a visual disruption."

-- The Malcolm X — Ella Little-Collins House in Boston. The "last surviving boyhood home of Malcolm X" is deteriorating.

-- "Scores of historic courthouses" across Texas. Many are in disrepair due to "inadequate funding and maintenance."

-- Three bridges in Yosemite Valley, which are "being considered for removal and face an uncertain future."

-- The village of Zoar, Ohio, where a levee may not offer adequate protection.

-- New York Harbor's Ellis Island hospital complex, which is "un-restored and off limits to visitors."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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