Phillis Wheatley Elementary School
New Orleans, Louisiana
The glass-and-steel, circa-1954 school (pictured) in New Orleans' Treme/Lafitte neighborhood was constructed with student comfort in mind: The playground is partially situated underneath the school to shade children from the South's oppressive heat.
About 50 years later, this climate-sensitive construction saved the school from the floodwaters that ravaged the area after Hurricane Katrina. But the facility still might not be safe from the wrecking ball.
Some city officials have proposed demolishing the dilapidated structure and building a new one, prompting WMF to include the innovative facility on its 2010 World Monuments Watch List.
"That's one that seems to pull at everyone's heartstrings," Avrami said.
Photograph by Frank Lotz Miller, courtesy World Monuments Fund