Did you know? The “10 Most Endangered” starts with YOU!
You’ve seen this year’s list of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in New Jersey, and that’s got you wondering, “Just where exactly does this list come from?” Maybe you want to know how we pick just 10 out of the scores of endangered historic
properties in the Garden State at any given moment. Maybe you wonder why the deteriorating old building you drive by every day did not make the list. Join us now for a peek “behind the scenes” of Preservation New Jersey‘s 10 Most Endangered program.
It All Starts with YOU
Around the end of September each year, we mail, tweet, e-mail, press release, Facebook, and otherwise (in any and all possible ways!) advertise the release of the current 10 Most Endangered application. You can download it from our website, or give us a call to request a hard copy. This is an application for ANYONE to nominate a site to be included as one of the 10 Most, and in order for a site to be considered, it must be nominated. So, the basic answer as to the roots of the 10 Most list? YOU!
The Selection Process
Once nominations are collected, the selection process begins. For this, we bring in the experts: a team made up of preservation professionals and PNJ Board members assembles to analyze the nominations and collect any further information needed. And this is no quick glance over forms; analysis of each site and its threat, and comparison of each to other nominations, takes months. Situations can change quickly, so continual updating and verification are a must. In the end, we base each year’s selections on three central criteria:
– The architectural integrity and historical significance of a property
– The imminence of threat
– The likelihood that inclusion on our list will have a positive impact on preservation efforts
Things like diversity (of location, resource type, and threat) also play a smaller but important role in the selection process.
The end product is a localized annual reinforcement of our state’s varied historic resources, the opportunities they present and the conditions that relentlessly endanger their survival.
The 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in New Jersey list is an advocacy tool: it increases public awareness of historic preservation issues and focuses critical attention on selected properties to assist in their preservation. After listing, PNJ helps local advocates to make the most of the subsequent increased press and public attention. Visit our website for information on 10 Most listings that have become success stories, and more on all 16 years worth of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in New Jersey.
Remember : your nominations make it happen!