Author Archives: Michael R. Allen

Cities Change, But Big Projects Remain the Same

by Michael R. Allen The dean of New York history, Kenneth T. Jackson, recently published a salvo in the New York Times intended to advance the argument that New York’s neighborhood preservation movement was stifling the city’s chance to build … Continue reading

Posted in Cherokee Street, Historic Preservation, Old North, Shaw | 10 Comments

What Does “Right Size” Mean for Historic Preservation?

by Michael R. Allen Last week I participated in two gatherings held consecutively in St. Louis’ kindred city, Philadelphia: the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, hosted by the Center for Community Progress, and the Right Size, Right Place Forum hosted by … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Preservation, Philadelphia, Planning, Rightsizing | 10 Comments

TOUR 9/7: Reber Place in Southwest Garden

Come enjoy a Walking Tour of the Reber Place Historic District this Saturday, Saturday Sept. 7, 10:30 to noon.  Meet at 4900 Reber Place at 10:30 am to begin the tour.  Register at the link below, or just show up.  … Continue reading

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The Sisyphean Footsteps of Northside Regeneration

by Michael R. Allen Recently I read a newspaper article about a major urban development project that included these two sentences: “He received hundreds of millions of dollars in public cash and incentives. But after a long public review process, … Continue reading

Posted in JeffVanderLou, North St. Louis, Northside Regeneration, Old North, St. Louis Place | 16 Comments

PRO on STL TV’s “City Corner” Program

Host Sarah Thompson recently interviewed PRO Director Michael Allen for STL TV’s “City Corner” program. Allen discussed some of the Office’s recent work, his thoughts on ways preservation can be more engaging to the public, the Pruitt Igoe site and … Continue reading

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PRO TOUR: That Summer Fields Grew High: Agriculture & Architecture in St. Louis Place

Saturday, August 24 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Meet across from Crown Candy Kitchen, 1401 St. Louis Avenue St. Louis Place is one of the city’s most time-altered neighborhoods — but that makes it a place of uncanny possibilities. Platted … Continue reading

Posted in Events | 1 Comment

Thurman Station: Where It All Began For Me

by Dave Brownell The National Park Service placed “Thurman Station,” the former Standard Oil station at Thurman and Cleveland avenues in Shaw, in the National Register of Historic Places on July 23. Preservation Research Office prepared the building’s nomination for … Continue reading

Posted in Mid-Century Modern, National Register, PRO Projects, Shaw | 2 Comments

We Can’t Outlaw Water or Stupid Men (But We Still Can Preserve Buildings)

by Michael R. Allen Chicago’s renegade activist Richard Nickel, whose passion inspired a generation of preservationists, once stated: “Great architecture has two natural enemies: water and stupid men.” Too bad neither can be avoided on this planet. Whether the onset … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Public Policy | 7 Comments

Harwood Hills: A Preservation Challenge

by Michael R. Allen I provided this essay for the brochure that was distributed at Modern STL’s Harwood Hills House Tour on May 19, 2013. The brochure used to market Harwood Hills epitomizes the claims that drove St. Louis’ mid-century … Continue reading

Posted in Housing, Mid-Century Modern, St. Louis County | 9 Comments

Surveying Edwardsville’s Historic Leclaire Neighborhood

by Laura Jablonski Edwardsville’s Leclaire neighborhood began in 1890 as a collaborative living experiment and soon became a model of sustained working class success. St. Louis manufacturer N.O. Nelson built his factories in the Leclaire area, constructing quaint cottages and … Continue reading

Posted in Edwardsville, Illinois, Metro East, National Register, PRO Projects | Leave a comment