The National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Village of Mariemont to its 2013 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. This annual list spotlights important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. More than 240 sites have been on the list over its 26-year history, and in that time, only a handful of listed sites have been lost.
One of America’s most picturesque communities, the Village of Mariemont is a National Historic Landmark designed between 1921 and 1925 by renowned landscape architect and community planner John Nolen. Considered one of America’s most important examples of town planning, it was named a “Top 10 Great Neighborhood in America” by the American Planning Association in 2008, and its elegant layout continues to inspire planners and designers to this day.
Now, the Ohio Department of Transportation is proposing a major transportation project that would significantly impact the Village, including a possible elevated highway through its southern border. In addition to disrupting Mariemont’s design, the proposed highway would also impact other natural and cultural resources, including the nationally designated Wild and Scenic Little Miami River valley, Native American archaeological sites, and a freshwater aquifer. Rather than choosing this destructive proposal, ODOT should pursue alternatives—including selecting a route that avoids Mariemont, improving existing roads, and revisiting whether a new highway is actually needed in this location.
“As a National Historic Landmark and one of the nation’s preeminent examples of town planning, the Village of Mariemont is a uniquely idyllic American community,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The proposal to build an elevated highway through the southern part of the Village would permanently scar this place and forever alter the careful designs that have made it an inspiration for generations of planners.”
Members of the public are invited to learn more about what they can do to support these 11 historic places and hundreds of other endangered sites at www.PreservationNation.org/places