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East Selma in peril?

The East Selma Industrial Area has been designated as one of this year’s &uot;Places in Peril,&uot; the list of Alabama’s 12 most significant endangered historic sites.

The list is a joint effort of the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Preservation Alliance.

As designated by the two groups, the industrial area lies east of Broad Street, between the Alabama River and the railroad lines. The area is home to a number of historic warehouses, including the Stewart, King and McKenzie warehouse on Selma Avenue and the Dallas Compress warehouse, which spans nearly four city blocks.

The creation of a National Register district would be the first step towards establishing a local historic district, which would provide for local protection for the structures in that district. The city currently has three designated historic districts.

Elizabeth Driggers, executive director of the city’s Community Development Office, said, &uot;I knew they were doing some survey work, but I’m not that familiar with what their conclusion was.&uot;

Chip DeShields, executive director of the APA, said, &uot;Being listed as a significant historic endangered site carries no formal protection, but it is hoped the listing generates the local support necessary for the sustained preservation of these resources.&uot;

Sites for Places in Peril are chosen by a joint committee from nominations received statewide. Categories for sites include agricultural, commercial, ethnic, industrial, institutional, military, transportation, and maritime structures and sites. Funerary art and historic cemeteries, landscapes and streetscapes, and places associated with historic persons and events can also be nominated.

The 12 sites listed as Places in Peril for 2003 are: