WASHINGTON -- The James River in James City County, Va., is among the places listed on this year's list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The trust says the James is "threatened by a proposed power line project that would compromise scenic integrity of historic cultural areas surrounding the river." It cites the river's status as having the only historic National Park Service water trail -- the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.
In addition to the James River, making this year's list were the Abyssinian Meeting House, Portland, Maine; the Astrodome, Houson; Gay Head Lighthouse, Aquinnah, Mass.; Historic Rural Schoolhouses of Montana; Kake Cannery, Kake, Alaska; Mountain View Black Officer’s Club, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.;Rancho Cucamonga Chinatown House, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; San José Church, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico; Village of Mariemont, Ohio; Worldport Terminal at JFK Airport, New York.
Williamsburg-area residents have objected to Dominion Virginia Power's plan for an eight-mile, 500-kilovolt power line built on towers across the James River from the company's Surry Power Station. The utility has said the line is needed to meet national electricity reliability standards by 2015. James City County has offered to buy an electrical switching station that would allow Dominion to place the line downriver or beneath the water's surface.
"Dominion is sensitive to historic and environmental concerns," Scot Hathaway, vice president of transmission for Dominion Virginia Power, said in a news release. "We have recommended a route that is the least impactful and the most economical. Our customers want a reliable, responsible and reasonable solution to meet their electricity needs.
"Dominion thoroughly investigated all viable alternatives, and only our proposal solves all the problems in a timely manner associated with providing reliable power to the North Hampton Roads region," said Hathaway.
Other Virginia locations that have made the list in past years include Richmond's Jackson Ward in 2001 and Powhatan County's Belmead-on-the-James in 2011.