The Minnesota Preservation Alliance announced its annual list of the state's Endangered Historic Places on Thursday. Here's a look at the tenuous 10:
•Bena's Big Fish: Originally called the Big Muskie Drive-In in the 1950s, the 65-foot-long fish once served hamburgers and ice cream on Hwy. 2 about 30 miles east of Bemidji. Now, its wooden ribs are rotting and it serves as a storage shed for an adjacent restaurant. Experts say it's a classic example of unique Minnesota roadside vernacular folk art.
•Chaska Athletic Park: Built in 1950, the charming ballpark boasts its original wooden bleachers, grandstand and concession booth. But a new alignment for Hwy. 41 threatens to run through the site if the state Department of Transportation doesn't consider alternatives.
•St. Louis County jail: Built on the Duluth hillside in 1923 in classical revival style, the old slammer has sat idle since 1995. The county wants to tear it down and replace it with a 40-car surface parking lot. Despite its infamous inhabitants, it's considered an important part of Duluth's glory days.
•Crookston's Palace Hotel: A repeat winner, this 1896 hotel made the list in 2006 when Polk County took it over in tax forfeiture. A plan to revamp it into rental housing fell victim to the banking crisis and county commissioners say they'll tear it down in October if financing isn't secured.
•Dassel Dairy Creamery: A 95-year-old Meeker County gem, the Dassel Co-op Dairy Association Creamery Building was among the first dairy co-ops in the Land O' Lakes system. Demolition looms if a new use and funding can't be found.
•Rock Island Swing Bridge: Spanning the Mississippi River between Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul, Washington and Dakota counties have already demolished some spans after 200 feet of steel and concrete dropped in November. Preservationists hope to save the remaining 105-year-old spans as a lookout or fishing pier.
•St. Cloud's Foley-Brower-Bohmer House: A Richardson Romanesque mansion built in 1889, the house includes a corner turret and several curved and stained-glass windows. A 2002 fire and 2007 foreclosure gave the stately old manse a serious one-two punch.
•St. Paul's Schmidt Brewery: The castle-like beer-making fortress covers 15 acres on St. Paul's West Seventh neighborhood. The tap was turned off in 2002 and an ill-fated (and ill-smelling) ethanol plant died in 2004. A planned "Brewtown" with lofts, condos, shops, offices and entertainment venues evaporated because of a money shortfall.
•Distressed urban neighborhoods: The timely and broad nomination focuses on plans to raze at least 420 older vacant and foreclosed homes in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Most of them aren't historic, but preservationists worry about limited regulatory reviews and urban neighborhoods "looking like gap-toothed, grimacing jack-o-lanterns." They urge rehabilitation over demolition when possible.
•Historic wood windows: With a big push for weatherizing to improve energy efficiency, this is a second "ripped from the headlines" statewide nomination. Windows age 60 and up were likely made with high quality, old-growth wood. With proper maintenance and repair, preservationists say they can be fitted with storm windows to become as efficient as new windows.
For more information, or a look at past listings, click on www.mnpreservation.org