Amherst has the dubious distinction of having made the list of "winners" twice: in 1998, it was our 1730 West Cemetery, resting place of Emily Dickinson and other residents, famous and forgotten alike. In 2007, it was the entire "Campus of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst." Both have been the subject of a number of posts on this site. The West Cemetery was endangered by the usual decay, development, and vandalism. It was therefore a matter of getting the Town to notice it amidst the welter of projects and priorities. The "award" helped not only to raise consciousness, but also to prompt public funding for a preservation plan that we have, thanks to the Community Preservaton Act, been slowly but systematically implementing (updates to follow soon).
|Demolition of the 1910 Brooks Dairy Barn, 2008|
We can therefore affirm that, in both cases, the designation really did make a difference in focusing attention and resources on the problem.
Last year's "winners" were:
* The Blackstone Viaduct, Blackstone
* The Caesar Robbins House, Concord
* Peace Haven, Freetown
* The Cisco Homestead, Grafton
* Foreclosed & Abandoned Neighborhood Properties, Massachusetts
* The Milton Poor Farm, Milton
* First Baptist Church, New Bedford
* Lincoln Square, Worcester
In May, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced its annual list of "Most Endangered Places"
- America's State Parks and State-Owned Historic Sites
- Black Mountain
- Hinchliffe Stadium
- Industrial Arts Building
- Juana Briones House
- Merritt Parkway
- Metropolitan AME Church
- Saugatuck Dunes
- Threefoot Building
visibility . . . can be a critical weapon in the fight to save an endangered place, whether it’s a national historic landmark like President Lincoln’s Cottage or a lesser known site like the oldest surviving McDonald’s in Downey, California. Once people are aware of such threats to our heritage, chances are greater that they will step up to help and disaster can be averted.Preservation Massachusetts reminds us that nomination forms are available on the PM website or can be obtained by contacting our office at 617-723-3383, and adds:
NOTE: Extensions may be granted- it is not too late!
That's true for only a limited time, of course. If we don't act soon, it will be too late, in more ways than one. Get those nominations in.