Top Preservation Presents of 2012

As usual, 2012 has seen a host of prominent buildings threatened with demolition - from Chicago's Prentice Hospital to Baltimore’s Mechanic Theatre. But preservation has also seen some great successes. The National Trust tallies the top 10.

During this festive season, it's appropriate to look at the preservation presents that advocates have found under their trees in 2012. From Buffalo to Los Angeles, preservationists can celebrate some terrific achievements in forestalling demolitions, protecting national treasures, and reviving local landmarks. Here are a few of those accomplishments:

Cesar Chávez National Monument -- Keene, CA:

"President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate César Chávez National Monument. The La Paz property is recognized worldwide for its historic link to civil rights icon César Chávez and the farm worker movement. The site served as the national headquarters of the United Farm Workers (UFW) as well as the home and workplace of César Chávez and his family from the early 1970’s until Chávez’s death in 1993. This site also includes his grave site."

Howard Theatre -- Washington, DC:

"The Howard Theatre is the historic landmark that helped launch the careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, and The Supremes. In the spring of 2012, after sitting vacant for 32 years, the theatre was renovated with the help of a $29 million endowment in addition to equity from the federal historic tax credit. The site, located in one of Washington’s historic African- American neighborhoods, has been restored to its original 1910 appearance, bringing vibrancy and life back to the community."

Wake Forest Biotech Place -- Winston Salem, NC:

"The recently unveiled Wake Forest Biotech Place in Winston-Salem is a tremendous success on many levels. Not only has it transformed a portion of the historic -- and previously vacant -- Tobacco District complex into a state-of-the-art life sciences center that will employ 450 workers, but it also made excellent use of federal and state historic tax credits. Its renovation created more than 600 construction jobs and generated $51 million in state and local taxes. Best of all, this development enhances Winston-Salem’s rich history and architectural heritage."

Full Story: Ten Remarkable Preservation Wins of 2012

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