[ti:Are These US Treasures about to be Destroyed?]
[00:00.04]Many old buildings and aging neighborhoods across the United States
[00:06.08]look like they are ready to be torn down and replaced.
[00:11.40]But the National Trust for Historic Preservation
[00:15.32]believes that such areas and structures
[00:18.96]are actually important links to America's past.
[00:25.00]The National Trust is a private, nonprofit group
[00:29.04]that works to save America's historic places.
[00:34.96]Katherine Malone-France works with the group.
[00:39.36]She told VOA, "All old places,
[00:43.52]they have incredible power to bring people together
[00:47.20]and to provide us with continuity in the stories of who we are
[00:52.11]and where we want to go."
[00:55.40]The National Trust is concerned about an old,
[00:59.48]unused public housing development in Buffalo, New York.
[01:05.24]It is called Willert Park Courts.
[01:09.12]It was the first housing project in the state
[01:12.56]built specifically for African Americans.
[01:16.52]The group says another reason to save Willert Park Courts
[01:22.04]is that many buildings provide an example of early modernism.
[01:28.44]That kind of building design often shows events from everyday life.
[01:36.12]An example of an aging neighborhood
[01:38.92]is the Tenth Street Historic District of Dallas, Texas.
[01:44.52]Its old buildings date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
[01:52.24]They were mostly settled by former slaves after the U.S. Civil War.
[01:58.92]At least 70 of the area's 260 homes have already been destroyed.
[02:07.16]The National Trust also has expressed concern
[02:11.12]about what has been called the "Superman" building
[02:14.64]in the eastern state of Rhode Island.
[02:18.44]Built in 1928, the high-rise building
[02:22.64]once housed the Industrial Trust Company, one of the largest
[02:27.60]and most powerful banks in the northeastern U.S.
[02:33.12]The Industrial Trust Company later became part of the Bank of America.
[02:40.24]The building has been empty since Bank of America moved out six years ago.
[02:47.32]All three areas are among the places on the National Trust's list
[02:52.46]of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2019.
[03:00.16]Other places on the list include one of Puerto Rico's last historic
[03:05.12]coffee plantation houses, ancestral places in Utah,
[03:10.08]a railroad bridge in North Dakota and Nashville's Music Row.
[03:17.04]A place like Music Row is not just about saving individual buildings.
[03:24.20]It is also about protecting the community to which they are connected.
[03:30.64]The goal of the National Trust is to make sure
[03:33.72]that places like Music Row remain unharmed.
[03:38.84]However, the group also seeks to find a way
[03:42.83]to keep the places in active use, serving the surrounding community.
[03:49.16]Malone-France says losing such places would leave Americans
[03:54.44]without a real connection to the past
[03:57.04]and to places where American history happened.
[04:01.48]She adds, "They're important to individuals,
[04:05.60]and they're important to their local communities,
[04:08.80]but also they are...representative of stories
[04:12.28]that are important parts of our larger American story
[04:16.52]and places help tell those stories."
[04:21.20]I'm Jonathan Evans.