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Port of LA's Terminal Island (And Its Canned Tuna History) One of US's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

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Today the National Trust For Historic Preservation named its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and the Port of LA's Terminal Island has elbowed its way on. According to the LA Conservancy (which is partnering with the National Trust on the issue), "The historic resources of Los Angeles’ Terminal Island face several threats, including specific demolition plans and ongoing neglect through long-term vacancy. Yet the most pressing threat is a proposed land use plan by the Port that limits opportunities to revitalize these places through adaptive reuse and, in some cases, calls for their demolition." The 2,000 acre Terminal Island was once a Japanese-American community; its residents were interned during World War II starting in 1942 and their houses were destroyed. The Fish Harbor area (the most troublesome--the new land use plan proposes roadway realignments that would drive right through some of the historic buildings) is also one of the birthplaces of the tuna canning industry and threatened buildings include the Chicken of the Sea Cannery, the StarKist Tuna Cannery Main Plant, and Pan-Pacific Fisheries Cannery. Nearby, there are also a few remaining buildings from the Japanese village's commercial district.

According to the Conservancy, historic resources make up about three percent of Terminal Island's acreage. Environmental review on the potentially damaging land use plan is set to start this month, so they're hoping to convince the Port to reconsider the preservation issues.

They also point out that every other LA landmark that's made it onto the National Trust's list is still intact today--those include the Century Plaza Hotel (now set for a sensitive redevelopment) and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis House (now owned by preservation-minded billionaire Ron Burkle).
· National Trust for Historic Preservation names Los Angeles’ Terminal Island to its 2012 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places [LA Conservancy]