Pennsylvania Ave. Endangered Due To Neglect, Advocacy Group Says

Pennsylvania Ave. is endangered due to neglect and deferred maintenance from the National Parks Service, a non-profit advocacy group says.

The street that is home to the White House, Pennsylvania Ave., has fallen into disrepair, Cultural Landscape Foundation said. As reported, the organization claims that that along the street, water fountains rarely work, benches are broken, and some trees have been removed.

“There really is this kind of very slow downward spiral that is happening,” said Charles Birnbaum, the group’s founding president.

Pennsylvania Ave. has been the focus of past revitalization efforts. In the 1960s, President Kennedy called for an effort to improve the street, and, in past decades, top architects have designed small parks, though The Associated Press noted that they have fallen into disrepair.

The only repairs in recent years have been a pedestrian plaza built in 2004 in front of the White House, an improvement meant to boost security.


The group that declared Pennsylvania Ave. endangered, Cultural Landscape Foundation, aims to educate people about historic landscapes. Its annual Landslide listing has been credited with saving many threatened landscapes.

“Back in the old days, great buildings, great landscapes, great art collections were the result of great patronage,” Birnbaum said.

The Landslide listing for 2012 finds more than just Pennsylvania Ave. endangered. It also includes sites like Jones Beach in Wantagh, New York and Fern Dell in Los Angeles. The list includes capsules about each endangered site, complete with information about how each has fallen into disrepair and names of non-profit groups locally looking to make improvements.