Our Staff

Michael R. Allen | Director and Architectural Historian

forwebsiteMichael R. Allen founded the Preservation Research Office in 2009. Additionally, he holds an appointment as University College Coordinator and Lecturer in the American Culture Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis, where he teaches courses on historic preservation, architectural history and the politics of place. Through the Office, Allen had led architectural surveys, historic district nominations and rehabilitation planning efforts across the city of St. Louis, East St. Louis and other cities in Missouri and Illinois. Allen’s work emphasizes the social, economic and political dimensions of preservation planning in legacy cities. Allen is a frequent speaker on preservation and regional architectural history, and has appeared in settings ranging from the 2014 National Preservation Conference to the St. Louis Art Museum.

Allen is the author or co-author of nearly 50 National Register of Historic Places nominations. Allen’s writing on architectural history includes chapters in The Making of An All-America City: East St. Louis at 150 (2011) and Buildings of Missouri (forthcoming, 2015; edited by Osmund Overby) as well as numerous scholarly and popular articles on topics ranging from the Pruitt-Igoe housing project to the evolution of industrial architecture in St. Louis. Allen is a contributing writer to Next City, where he covers both national and regional historic preservation and urban planning issues. Allen also serves as a board member for an architectural study foundation, the National Building Arts Center, and the regional mid-century modern preservation group, Modern STL. Additionally, Allen sits on the advisory board of the national social impact organization American Communities Trust, and has served as grants reviewer for both the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission and the J.M. Kaplan Foundation’s Innovation Prize. He has named cats after Oscar Niemeyer and Harland Bartholomew, but is not necessarily a modernist himself.

Outlets: Building Culture [blog] / Next City Articles / nextSTL Articles / Instagram / Twitter

Lynn M. Josse | Affiliated Architectural Historian

lynnLynn Josse has conducted historic resource surveys and written National Register nominations professionally since 1994. As author of more than 30 successful nominations, Lynn is thoroughly familiar with National Register survey and nomination procedures. Lynn is St. Louis’ leading practitioner of neighborhood historic district surveys and nominations. She has led 15 major surveys in both St. Louis and Oregon. At PRO, Lynn has managed a survey of all historic resources older than 75 years in Wildwood, Missouri, has participated in an extensive survey of an Air Force base in North Dakota, and co-authored two historic district nominations in the Southwest Garden neighborhood.

Lynn is the co-author of the most recent architectural guide to St. Louis, St. Louis Landmarks and Historic Districts (with Carolyn Hewes Toft, 2002) and writer of the award-winning documentary University City: The First Century (2006). Lynn is former Director of the Chatillon-DeMenil House Foundation. Prior appointments include Public Policy Research Center Fellow at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (2004) and Researcher and later Assistant Director of Landmarks Association of St. Louis (1996 until 2003).  Lynn has served on the boards of DeSales Community Housing Corporation and the Chatillon-DeMenil House Foundation and Modern STL.

Additionally, Lynn has wide experience in public programming and has developed and utilized a variety of databases in Microsoft Access for both preservation and non-preservation clients. Lynn has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Oregon.

Elyse McBride | Project Associate

Elyse McBride has been an active member of the Webster Groves Historic Preservation Commission since 2011. Additionally, she has contributed to a number of Historic District nominations, including Glen Echo Park and Bennett Avenue in St. Louis County, and is currently doing property research for Tuxedo Park in Webster Groves. She is also a member of the Construction History Society of America and has published an article, “The Changing Role of the Architect in the United States Construction Industry, 1870-1913,” in their international journal, Construction History. As a volunteer at the National Building Arts Center, she has organized and cataloged several archives related to historic buildings. As an intern at the Missouri Historical Society, she organized and cataloged the archive of St. Louis architect Robert Elkington and researched Northwest Coast Native Americans for the Bicentennial Louis and Clark Exhibition. Prior to her involvement in historic preservation, she served as a project engineer for several construction companies, engineering firms and construction consultants. She received architectural and civil engineering degrees from the University of Kansas, an MBA from UMKC, and a Master’s in Art History from Washington University in St. Louis.