September 25, 2003
The World Monuments Fund yesterday announced
its 2004 World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered
The biennial list is a "call to
action" on behalf of threatened cultural-heritage monuments
Sites included on the list (which for
the first time encompasses every continent) include the Nimrud
and Ninevah Palaces in Iraq, St. Anne's Church in Prague,
Frank Lloyd Wrights Ennis Brown House in California,
as well as entire domains like the Panama Canal area and historic
Lower Manhattan. Monuments must display an urgent need to
be saved and have architectural or artistic significance.
There must also be a clear vision of how to save them.
"Bringing endangered monuments to
public attention can be a powerful catalyst for change,"
said WMF President Bonnie Burnham in a speech at the official
announcement ceremony, which took place at the new Lever House
restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.
Specific buildings under watch in Lower
Manhattan include the historic Corbin Building, on the site
of the proposed World Trade Center transit station. Ken Lustbader,
Preservation Consultant to the Lower Manhattan Preservation
Fund, said the Corbin is "basically our poster child,"
because of its significance and imperiled status. Other buildings
include the several federal buildings on Greenwich Street,
the Fulton Building, and entire neighborhoods around the WTC,
which he says, could be largely rebuilt as part of post 9/11revitalization
"The character of the neighborhood
should be appreciated and not looked at as a development site
just because of the opportunity," he says.
The World Monuments Fund is the leading
nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving historic, artistic,
and architectural heritage. "Without our help these sites
would still be floundering," said John Stubbs, WMF Vice
President. "I think our record of making a difference
might be increasing. Practice makes perfect, and the field
is certainly maturing."