Friday, June 8, 2012

Terminal Island Placed on Endangered Places List

A conservation group has named a site at the Port of Los Angeles as one of the 11 most endangered historic places in the US.

In recent years, the Port of Los Angeles has neglected historic buildings at Terminal Island, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“A (port) plan introduced in 2011 calls for the demolition of more structures and fails to endorse the idea of adaptive reuse,” the NTHP wrote in an announcement of the site’s designation. “Local preservationists fear this plan could be the model for an even larger plan that would permit more needless destruction.”

The remarks are in reference to a port road realignment plan that could require the demolition of three fish canneries, three boat repair buildings and a cannery steam plant, all of which date back from 60 to more than 100 years.

Terminal Island, which is located between the LA and Long Beach harbors, was a major shipbuilding center during both world wars, and was previously known as the center for the US tuna canning industry.

The NTHP says among its goals for Terminal Island are to “change the port plan that restricts use of historic buildings to port functions only” and to “save buildings facing demolition by promoting new uses, ensuring public access and attracting new tenants.”

Port of Los Angeles officials, however, have said the designation is uncalled for and distanced the port from the map of the realignment drawn up by a contractor. Seattle-based Cargo Velocity issued a summary report on the Terminal Island land use plan in January.

“The consultants didn’t accurately portray the realignment. They didn’t nail it down completely,” port planning commissioner David Mathewson told the Los Angeles Times in an article published June 7.

Terminal Island is one of two specific West Coast locations making the NTHP’s annual list, with the other being a portion of Yosemite National Park, also in California.