MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabamians have just one month to submit nominations to “Alabama’s Places in Peril” listing for threatened or endangered properties. Since 1994, the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation have joined forces to sponsor Places in Peril, an annual program that highlights significant endangered properties, bringing public awareness of impending threats to these cultural resources. One goal of Places in Peril is to foster a coalition of preservationists who will collectively advocate for a threatened resource; the alliance is then able to posture the structure’s significance to the community at large, creating momentum that yields protection for the site. Over the course of 25 years, the program has highlighted more than 250 resources. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 1, 2020.
Any type of building, ruin, site or place is eligible for nomination. Places in Peril has listed theaters, schools, caves, jails, churches and houses. The application requires brief, but clear answers to a handful of questions regarding a property’s significance, threat, and the designation of a local contact and local advocacy group with the capacity to leverage the support and coverage provided by the listing. Property owner permission and current, good quality photographs of the property are also required.
“Places in Peril is an immensely valuable program to elevate and streamline preservation efforts for sites across our state that are under the threat of demolition or deterioration. These campaigns have been successful in saving cherished places for future generations,” said Lisa Demetropoulos Jones, executive director, Alabama Historical Commission and state historic preservation officer.
“The Places in Peril program is a perfect opportunity to inspire communities to rally together to save vulnerable structures. Not only are these places worth saving, their stories are, too,” said Eddie Griffith, Alabama Historical Commission chairman. “Over the years that Places in Peril has highlighted the plight of threatened properties, their recognition through this program has inspired their restoration carrying their stories forward to future generations of Alabamians.”
“The Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to continue its partnership with the Alabama Historical Commission on this important project,” said Katie Randall, vice president, Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. “We realize now more than ever the importance of saving places that represent all Alabamians, places that tell the whole story of our state, especially those that represent the lives of the marginalized and the historically disenfranchised. By recognizing the most endangered places in our state and bringing their stories to light, we hope to advocate for a better and more equitable Alabama for all.”
New for 2020, the nomination period for Places in Peril opened May 1 to coincide with National Historic Preservation Month, a nationwide movement to celebrate and promote historic places and heritage tourism. Preservation Month began as National Preservation Week in 1973. In 2005, the National Trust for Historic Preservation expanded the celebration to an entire month to provide more opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our cities and towns.
Alabama Heritage has graciously reinstalled the annual “Places in Peril” article in the spring Issue, aligning with National Historic Preservation Month in May.
AHC is pleased to continue its partnership with Alabama Heritage to publish Alabama’s Places in Peril listing, reaching a key constituency in the state. “We have been a proud partner with Places in Peril for more than two decades,” said Donna Baker, editor-in-chief, Alabama Heritage. “We are committed to doing what we can to save our state’s historical landmarks, architectural treasures, and valuable relics of our ancestral past. Our subscribers eagerly look for the Places in Peril article each year and have been inspired to save a number of vital places.”
For questions about the program, or how to nominate a site, contact Jake Williams at 334-230-2691 or Jake.Williams@ahc.alabama.gov.
Nomination forms are located on the Places in Peril page on the Alabama Historical Commission’s website: https://ahc.alabama.gov/placesinperil.aspx. Nominations should be made electronically to Jake Williams.