June 6th, 2012
03:01 PM ET

Joe Frazier's gym, post offices on 'endangered historic places' list

[Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET] A Philadelphia gym where boxing great Joe Frazier trained and historic post offices nationwide are among the United States’ most endangered historic places, according to an annual list that a preservation group released Wednesday.

The 25th annual "America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places," released by the nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation, lists what the group says are examples of important buildings, districts or landscapes that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.

The list includes the converted three-story brick Philadelphia warehouse where Frazier, a two-time heavyweight champion who handed Muhammad Ali his first professional loss in 1971's "Fight of the Century," trained throughout his career, according to the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

Frazier kept the gym open after his 1976 retirement, but it closed in 2008, three years before his death at age 67, according to the alliance.

The building, now home to a furniture store and two vacant floors, is for sale. In putting the building on its list, the NTHP says it hopes to identify a preservation-minded buyer and raise $10,000 to cover the costs of nominating it to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.

"Joe Frazier was a sports legend, and he deserves a place that celebrates his legacy and his contributions to the sport of boxing,” Stephanie Meeks, NTHP president, said in a news release. "Without question, Joe Frazier's Gym is an important historic and cultural site, and bringing both protection and recognition to this site by placing it on the local and national registers would be a fitting tribute to one of our greatest athletes of all time."

Also on the list are what the group calls historic post office buildings that are closed or that may close in the near future. The group says that developers who would like to purchase and rehabilitate the buildings sometimes abandon their pursuit because they don't get timely or clear answers from the U.S. Postal Service regarding their disposition.

"There needs to be a clear and consistent process with these buildings no matter how they are disposed of, and that has not been provided," Chris Morris, a NTHP senior field officer, said by phone Wednesday.

In an e-mail to CNN, Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan wrote that the service wants "to sell the property we have on the market," and that it is working with real-estate service provider CBRE to do this.

"And we follow all of the established laws and provisions regarding historical properties," Brennan wrote.

About 500 post offices have closed in the last two years, according to CNNMoney. The Postal Service, which reported a $5.1 billion loss last year citing a down economy, declining mail volume and a congressional mandate to prefund retirement health care benefits, recently backed off a plan to close thousands more post offices, deciding instead to cut hours at 13,000 rural sites, CNNMoney reported.

The NTHP's lists have highlighted 242 places over the last 25 years, with sites rarely appearing on the list more than one year.

(See the 2011 list)

The lists have "been a powerful tool for raising awareness and rallying resources to save endangered sites from every region of the country," the group said in the release.

"At times, that attention has garnered public support to quickly rescue a treasured landmark; while in other instances, it has been the impetus of a long battle to save an important piece of our history," the group said.

The 2012 “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” list:

Gym where Joe Frazier trained, Philadelphia

Historic U.S. Post Office buildings

Bridges of Yosemite Valley, California

Ellis Island Hospital Complex, New York Harbor, New York and New Jersey

Last known surviving boyhood home of Malcom X, Boston

Princeton Battlefield, Princeton, New Jersey

Sweet Auburn Historic District, Atlanta

Terminal Island, Port of Los Angeles

Texas courthouses

Theodore Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch, Billings County, North Dakota

Village of Zoar, Ohio

Do you know of a building, district, municipality or landscape that you think should be on this list? Please leave a comment below.

Post by:
Filed under: U.S. • U.S. Postal Service
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Jj

    Last known surviving boyhood home of Malcolm X. Really. Is the last known boyhood home of the KKK founder on there too. Gimme a break

    June 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kenny Rogers

    Hi, faux Thelma and faux TORI©. I'm annoying as heck, aren't I?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. no nothing

    Atlanta is not much better. They want to tear down a large house that the descendants of Thomas Jefferson built to make room for condos

    June 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. J. R.

    Village of zoar! I live about 15 minutes away from it. It is a legendary speed trap, thats about it...

    June 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • James L. Murphy

      J.R., maybe you should have slowed down and taken a closer look at Zoar Village. I live about 150 miles from it and it is still worth a trip for anyone interested in Ohio or U. S. history.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kenny Rogers

    No nothing, the real Thelma Lou didn't say that. I just troll her because I'm. Immature.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. warren

    Malcolm x is american history whether you white racist like it or not!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      Malcom X was a bigot and a racist period....he deserves no more recognition then the skin heads

      June 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      So maybe he was. He was still a racist and a bigot, and therefore does not deserve to be remembered in history.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ec

    Real estate developers are evil.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dazzle ©

    Not the Princeton Battlefield!!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    The Ellis Island hospital complex is in disrepair because it is hazardous to your health to enter the building. They are worried someone might get small pox, polio, or other such diseases if they allowed tours. It should have been demolished fifty years ago.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    I like how Frazier's gym makes the list, but the USS Olympia, moored in Philadelphia doesn't. She's the oldest steel hulled warship in the world, the Flagship of Commodore Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay. The ship is important in both a historical and technological light, and she's rusting out.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Will S

    The Ellis Island hospital is the only thing even remotely historical on this list.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    $750,000 to reahab Malcolm X's house????

    June 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Johnny B

    Geremans? Really??

    June 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CommonSense

    So many ignorant people on comment forums. Strange how you feel the need to proclaim it loud and clear.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wowsers

      As you just did.

      June 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ron

    These so-called "endangered historic places" are all lame. Who came up with these? Why don't you mention something truly endangered and historic, like the U.S.S. Olympia, the worlds oldest floating (barely) warship, and Admiral Deweys flagship. This ship ushered in the age of America being a world power, and is about to sink or be scrapped!

    June 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5