Save Our Heritage

Protecting the Birthplace of the American Revolution,

the cradle of the Environmental Movement,

and the Home of the American Literary Renaissance


National Trust for Historic Preservation names Minute Man National Historical Park and environs of Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, and Bedford as one of the Eleven most endangered historic sites in America.

Press releases:

National Trust Press Release

Save Our Heritage Press Release

New York Times Article

At an announcement ceremony by the National Trust at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Historian David McCullough, Congressman Marty Meehan, and former governor Michael Dukakis made impassioned pleas to Americans to preserve the historic sites that commemorate the American Revolution and the over 1000 other historic sites of Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, and Bedford.

Wendy Nicholas of the National Trust announces 11 most endangered designation

"It is embarrassing that the National Trust for Historic Preservation needs to remind us in Massachusetts about the value and importance of preserving our history", said former governor Dukakis, "I thought we already understood that".

Wendy Nicholas of the National Trust spoke of why they selected this area to be designated, and of the recent successes the Trust has had in protecting sites including protecting the historic theaters of Boston, and the Manassas Civil War battlegrounds. Complete text of her remarks.

Historian David McCullough speaks of the importance of protecting the area

Letter from Senators Kennedy and Kerry

"The Minute Man National Park is an American historical treasure.  It preserves for the current and future generations the ability to literally walk in the footsteps of those who set this country on its path to independence.  We appreciate the efforts of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and those gathered in Concord today who are committed to the enduring legacy of Minute Man National Park."

Letter from Representative Ed Markey

MEDFORD, MA – U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Malden) today released the following statement regarding the Minute Man National Historical Park and surrounding national heritage sites being designated as one of the 11 Most Endangered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

  “Today’s announcement brings clearly into focus the real and serious threat that Massport expansion at Hanscom poses to the crown jewel of our national heritage sites.  By placing the Minute Man National Historical Park and surrounding national heritage sites on its list of the 11 Most Endangered Sites in the U.S., the National Trust for Historic Preservation is sending an unmistakable message about the significance and sanctity of one of our nation’s richest historical treasures.  The Minute Man National Historical Park is the birthplace of the American Revolution, where our freedoms were forged and where we began the expulsion of tyranny from our soil. 

  “The residents of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln and Bedford are fighting on behalf of the Park and the millions who visit, against the incursion of noise, visual intrusion and ground traffic related directly to the unfettered growth of general and commercial aviation at Hanscom Field.  The growth projections at the Massport-owned civilian airstrip constitute a real and immediate threat to the central asset of the Park, Battle Road, where traffic congestion is expected to become so heavy that it would require mitigation measures that in all likelihood would result in physical destruction of historic assets along the Battle Road and in the Park.  If the site is not preserved, future generations of Americans will be denied the opportunity to experience the remarkable history that comes alive to visitors of the Minute Man National Historic Park.    

  “The timing of this designation could not be more appropriate as we prepare to mark Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 200th birthday.  The site, though rich in history, is proud to have also served as home to the early American literary movement.  The Park and surrounding national heritage sites served as an inspiration for early American literary giants.     

  “Emerson once wrote, ‘Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’  The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Save Our Heritage have left a trail for us to follow – working together to get the Minute Man National Historical Park off of the most endangered list.  I want to congratulate Save Our Heritage, the National Park Service, and the many other community groups who care so deeply about this issue for asserting this site’s place in American history and fighting for it to be recognized.”

Letter from U.S. Representative Marty Meehan

“The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s inclusion of Minuteman National Park and the surrounding areas on its “11 Most Endangered Places” list lends further credence to the belief that the National park and its surrounding treasures are in grave danger.

“This designation could be a real turning point for Lexington, Concord, Bedford and Lincoln, because the National Trust is exceptional at educating the public on the importance of rescuing irreplaceable landmarks from short-sighted economic policy decisions.

“It is my hope that this designation will serve as a wake up call to all Americans, that we need to protect these historic treasures that include the birthplace of the American Revolution, and the home of the literary renaissance. Over 1.6 million people a year, from all over the world, already visit these landmarks to feel a connection with our nation’s past, and it is our duty to preserve these landmarks for future generations.

Statement from U.S. Representative John Tierney

“The National Trust for Historic Preservation is stating the reality, which is that sites like Walden Woods, Walden Pond, Minuteman National Historical Park and the Great Meadows National Refuge are in real danger."

"The preservation and protection of national historic and natural treasures like Minute Man National Historical Park, Walden Woods and Walden Pond, and the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is precisely why Congress enacted the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Over these past 37 years, countless significant historic sites have been preserved for the education and enjoyment of Americans and international visitors alike.

"The inclusion of these important landmarks on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of the "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" provides a vital safety net for the people of Bedford, Concord, Lexington and Lincoln, and I know they will take advantage of the breathing room offered by the designation to come together around long-term plans for the permanent security of these sites that are consistent with the unique character and economic vision of their communities.

"My congratulations to Save Our Heritage and all of those who have worked so hard for so long to protect the birthplace of such a major portion of our nation's cultural, historic and natural heritage for future generations."

Remarks of Mass Representative Susan Pope, Lincoln

"While I am honored to have been invited to participate in today's event, I must concede that I am also saddened that these particular circumstances have brought us together. Today we stand at the site of the home that once belonged to the grandfather of writer, and one of the original American naturalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson. That the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named this site and its surroundings one of the most endangered historical sites in the country should give any of us who value the historical and natural significance of this area great pause. This area has witnessed the battles of war and the storms of nature, only to now face the possibility of falling victim to the whims of man. In this instance, the repercussions of human actions could be vast. However, so too could the possibilities for preservation given the right human intervention. I am proud to continue to work with my colleagues in the Legislature and residents from the communities surrounding Hanscom Field in order that we might increase public understanding of the potential impacts on environmental and historic assets-like this one-from airport expansion. We will continue to work with the towns, groups like Save Our Heritage and SHAAIR, the state, and federal government toward limits on increased noise, traffic and environmental pollution. And, of critical importance is the effort to protect sites like this one, which are integral not only to our region or our state, but to our country. While the notoriety that comes with being recognized as one of the most endangered historical sites in the country is not to be celebrated, it must be paid attention to. We are here today to voice our support for the preservation of this historical area and, by drawing attention to this designation, to enlist the support of others who are struck by this environmental injustice. Encroachment upon this vital natural and historical area must stop. I wish to thank the National Trust for Historic Preservation for their continued leadership on issues of preservation and their attention to this situation in particular. Your help has been invaluable as has the work of Anna Winter and Save Our Heritage. Thank you for inviting me to be here today and to share it these efforts.


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