Art: Save the Heritage

In Portsmouth, N.H., a sea captain's porticoed house built in 1807 was converted into a gasoline station. In Buffalo, Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin Building, one of the most influential structures in modern architecture, was razed to make room for a trucking-company parking lot. Louisiana's Greek Revival Belle Grove, one of the most beautiful of ante-bellum plantation mansions, was burned to the ground by vandals as it stood abandoned. Baltimore has less than half a dozen structures left of its rich pre-Revolutionary heritage. In all, more than a quarter of the 7,600 buildings tagged...