Even the most important cultural and architectural sites aren’t immune to a chaotic world. Between war, natural disasters, and plain old capitalistic development, countless cultural heritage sites are in need of protection and preservation.
Every other year, the World Monuments Fund lays out which of those sites is most at risk through its World Monument Watch, and for 2020, the organization has flagged 25 monuments, buildings, and communities worldwide that “marry great historical significance with contemporary social impact.”
Some of the sites, like Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, are more restoration-oriented projects. Another, the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, is facing encroaching urbanization with the plan for building a new airport in the region.
Many of the sites are nominated in an effort to keep their historically significant stories alive, including the San Antonio Woolworth Building in Texas, a civil rights hub that’s being threatened by a redevelopment plan. While others, like Gingerbread Neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Central Aguirre Historic District in Puerto Rico, are in need of funds to rebuild after natural disasters.
Next spring, a group of the sites will be chosen to receive grant money totaling $1 million. You can check out all of the chosen sites and the issues they face at the World Monument Fund’s site.