In the grand tradition of giving you the bad news first, yesterday we looked at the bummer that is the National Trust for Historic Preservation's biggest losses of 2014. Now comes the good news: Five historic places that will live to fight another day.
The following sites range from the places where the atom bomb was developed, to the place where one of the nation's oldest African American newspapers was founded. These buildings are some of our few remaining physical remnants of history—it's easy to see why the National Trust is celebrating saving them.
Yesterday we looked at the recently-passed National Defense Authorization Act, which put into place the legislation needed to begin mining in Oak Flats, Arizona—a National Forest and a Native American sacred site. It was bad news—but the act also had a few good outcomes built in, like approving two new sites for National Trust's National Treasures program.
First is the three separate sites where the atom bomb was developed (aka The Manhattan Project), and second is Hinchliffe Stadium, in New Jersey, which was built in the early 1930s and is one of the only surviving stadiums where Negro League Baseball was played.
Denise Ryan/National Trust; Daniel Lugo/CC
Hangar One at NASA's Moffett Field is one of the largest buildings NASA ever operated—it was created in the 1930s to house the massive dirigible USS Macon. But for decades it sat abandoned, decaying and under threat of razing. "This is the sad state of one of the most iconic buildings in the United States," wrote Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz in 2011. "Seeing it like this makes me a bit sad." Luckily, in February Google struck a deal with NASA to lease the building and renovate it as a "scientific and educational facility." Perhaps it had something to do with that whole using-Federal-jet-fuel-for-private-Google-jets scandal?
We wrote about this grand old terminal, built in 1933, earlier this year when it made the list of the "most endangered" places in the US. Though still in use as a umbrella for several museums and libraries, the building was crumbling due to age—the National Trust reports that in November, local voters chose to fund a desperately-needed renovation.
In 1928, a 26-year-old publisher named William Alexander Scott II founded one of the first African American newspapers in the country—the Atlanta Daily World—out of a red-brick storefront that would be the paper's home for almost a century. In 2008, a tornado badly damaged the structure, and it was in danger of being condemned. This "win" isn't perfect, but it saves the building: A developer bought the building and has agreed to restore it as housing and retail—and put up signs pointing out its history.
This glorified treehouse in the beautiful Cascade Range of Washington State has seen a lot of action, as the National Trust reports, from being built by one of FDR's CCC work groups during the Great Depression, to serving as a node in Washington's fire detection system, to being repurposed as a aircraft warning site during World War II. The fate of the lookout was put in jeopardy after one group (and even a judge) argued that a badly-needed renovation had actually violated the Wilderness Act, which prohibits structures within official Wilderness areas. But in April, Obama signed into law the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act, which now protects the 85-year-old perch from potential lawsuits seeking its removal.