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. shut_up

    malcolm x house? tear it down or get okra winfrey to buy it. use it for firewood

    June 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Malcolm X sought to tear down the USA and was, therefore, an enemy of America. The property that his house occupied is forever desecrated. They should build a junk yard there, or maybe a recycling center. Something should be put there to forever make us forget that Malcolm X ever existed.

      June 6, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robert

    More liberal propaganda and misaligned values. There's Trinity Church in downtown New York City where George Washington attended service and worshipped immediately after being inaugerated as the First President of the United States, where Alexandar Hamilton held a pew and John Jay was a vestryman. (For the woefully ignorant masses of present day America, John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court and the President of the American Bible Society.) And Trinity Church as typically not had the funds to make necessary repairs. And they actually put Malcolm X's house on this list rather than Trinity Church? The exteme stupidity and gross ignorance of the CNN editors is simply baffeling. I think a load of cow patties has a higher IQ than these jokers.

    June 6, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      They can probably spell baffling correctly, however.

      June 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Funtime on CNN

      What is woefully ignorant is that you don't realize that CNN didn't come up with the list, they're just reporting it!!!

      June 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carmine Monoxide

      Right – it should only be your sacred cows that go on the list.

      June 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mari

      Not at the current church they didn't , Robert. The current one was built in 1846, the first two having been destroyed by fire. Oh, how woefully ignorant you are.

      June 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. viaquest

    the greatest thing ever said at a Malcolm X speach was "get your hand out my pocket"...

    June 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mikrik13

    Starbucks is looking for some new locations.

    June 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Funtime on CNN

    Lmao! I agree!!

    June 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. D.O.G 1

    Joe f s gym should be saved .End of talking !

    June 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cbasss

    You travel anywhere in the US and you cannot help but pass some random historic site. There are to many historic sites that do not carry any significance.

    June 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hadenuffyet

    Time marches on....you wanna save it..pony up..

    June 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    In case you people that are complaining what is not on the list missed it, this is an annual list. So look back at all of the previous lists and you will most likely find the sites you are complaining about. And whether you agree with anything he said or not, Malcolm X was a part of this country's history and should not be disregarded just because he had some radical views.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nolan 2000

    what is happening to this country??? Our history is who we are! We need to refocus our priorities.. This is truly sad and frankly embarssing!! We have BILLIONS AND BILLIONS to spend on wars and corporate buyouts....PATHETIC!

    June 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gravity flux

    We can't possibly save every historical building, tract of land, the US countryside will start looking like your grandmother's attic! There's a TED lecture I saw here on CNN in which the subject was about scanning in high detail buildings, landmarks, etc... and archiving those images (internet search : Ben Kacyra: Ancient wonders captured in 3D). I think this is a better and cheaper alternative than restoring and maintaining old buildings.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bobcat(in a hat) ©©

    Man this is amazing stuff.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CelestialOne

    Picture 6 – Ellis Island hospital complex looks like a typical scene from Silent Hill.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. kyle

    First off i am white, and i belive the things Malcom X did after he was kicked out of the Muslim church were great not only for blacks, but for America. And second, the old Showcase Theatre in Corona, Ca needs to be saved. Some of the biggest rock bands in the world have played in that place.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. whatever

    We can afford these relics anymore. Just bulldoze the sites to the ground and be done with it.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5