PATERSON, NJ - On The heels of the unveiling of the 2011 America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places (NTHP) by the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation, comes an update on one of last year's sites.
Hinchcliffe Stadium, home of the Negro Baseball League's New York Black Yankees, fell into disrepair since it's closing in 1997. On May 19, 2010, the stadium was designated one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2010 by the NTHP.
Located in Paterson, NJ, the staduim hosted the Negro League's Colored Championship of the Nation, it's version of the World Series in 1933.
According to NTHP's site the 10,000-seat Hinchliffe, once at the center of Paterson's thriving athletic tradition, has sat vacant and fading on its perch overlooking Great Falls National Historical Park since it closed its doors in 1997.
As one of only three significant Negro League stadiums still standing, and the site where legends like Hall of Famer Larry Doby got their start, Hinchliffe has earned a dedicated following such as the nonprofit Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium and local residents who remember the stadium's years as not only a venue for African American baseball, but boxing, high school football, and motorcycle racing.
Nearly 80 years after the New York Black Yankees took on the Philadelphia Stars in the Colored Championship of the Nation in New Jersey's legendary Hinchliffe Stadium, the Art Deco, poured-concrete structure is taking another swing at vitality.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently announced plans to grant $500,000 to repair the deteriorating structure in Paterson, one of 58 historic preservation projects proposed around the state to receive a portion of $10 million in matching funds. Christie has signed off on the measure that now awaits final approval from the state legislature.
Since the National Trust named Hinchliffe one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places last June, other potential restoration funds have rolled in: A 2009 city vote passed a bond referendum that included about $11.5 million for the stadium.
Estimated overall costs to restore the facility as sports and entertainment space are still unknown, but Hinchliffe appears to be making a comeback.
The 2011 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places are listed below:
Bear Butte, Meade County, S.D. – Bear Butte, the 4,426-foot mountain called Mato Paha by the Lakota in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is sacred ground for as many as 17 Native American tribes. A place of prayer, meditation, and peace, this National Historic Landmark is threatened by proposed wind and oil energy development that will negatively impact the sacred site and further degrade the cultural landscape.
Belmead-on-the-James, Powhatan County, Va. – A little-known landmark of African American heritage, the 2,000-acre site along Virginia’s James River was transformed by Saint Katherine Drexel from a slave-holding plantation into a pair of innovative schools for African American and Native American students. Closed in the 1970s, the historic buildings set in rolling hills and wooded glades of the riverfront campus, including a striking Gothic Revival manor house designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, are deteriorating and need emergency repairs.
China Alley, Hanford, Calif. – In 1877, Chinese immigrants settled in this San Joaquin Valley town and found strength and community far from home in China Alley, a vibrant rural Chinatown. Today, most of its historic buildings are suffering from deterioration and disuse and are vulnerable to insensitive alteration as there is no local historic preservation staff or commission to enforce preservation protections.
Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, Ala. – A place of spectacular beauty and stirring history, Dauphin Island is home to Historic Fort Gaines, a nationally significant fortress that played a pivotal role in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. Today, Fort Gaines' shoreline is eroding as much as nine feet per year, and continued erosion threatens this significant historic treasure.
Greater Chaco Landscape, N.M. – Located across a broad swath of northwestern New Mexico are hundreds of Native American archaeological and cultural sites that help unlock the mysteries of the prehistoric Chacoan people. These sacred sites, and the fragile prehistoric roads that connect them, are in jeopardy due to increased oil and gas exploration and extraction.
Isaac Manchester Farm, Avella, Pa. – For more than two centuries, this 400-acre farm—with a stately brick Georgian manor house and historic outbuildings—has been home to eight generations of one family. A remarkable time capsule of colonial farm life, Manchester Farm is threatened by longwall coal mining.
John Coltrane House, Dix Hills, N.Y. – One of America’s most widely acclaimed jazz artists, John Coltrane lived with his young family in a ranch house in Long Island, N.Y., until his untimely death in 1967. Today, the home where Coltrane wrote his iconic masterpiece, “A Love Supreme,” deteriorates due to lack of funds. Although a local group has taken ownership of the property and hopes to restore and interpret the site as an education center, the effort sorely needs broader attention and support.
National Soldiers Home Historic District, Milwaukee, Wis. – With its bucolic setting and diverse collection of historic buildings, Milwaukee’s Soldiers Home offered welcome refuge for generations of American veterans. Today, the campus is threatened by a pattern of deferred maintenance, which has left historic buildings unused and on the verge of collapse.
Pillsbury A Mill, Minneapolis, Minn. – A masterpiece of industrial architecture and the largest and most advanced facility in the world at the time of its completion in 1881, the Pillsbury “A” Mill Complex stands vacant and is in danger of piecemeal development, which could strip this National Historic Landmark of its tremendous potential for re-use and rehabilitation.
Prentice Women’s Hospital, Chicago, Ill. – A concrete and glass cloverleaf-shaped icon, Prentice Women’s Hospital has added drama and interest to the Chicago skyline for nearly four decades. Despite its cutting edge, progressive architecture, Prentice Hospital faces imminent demolition.