Events Historic Preservation

Preservation Week Begins This Friday

This Friday starts Preservation Week, sponsored by Friedens UCC Church in Hyde Park and a happy hour at Blu, one of the midcentury Plaza Square Apartment buildings undergoing rehabilitation.

The calendar in online in PDF format; I will post selected events in plain text in the blog throughout the next week.

education Events

High School Students Showcase Architectural Projects at City Hall on Friday

The Art and Geometry of St. Louis Buildings

Over the last several months, students in Debbie Raboin’s Art and Kelly Wamser’s Geometry classes at O’Fallon (Illinois) Township High School have toured St. Louis landmarks and studied their history. This open house showcases their final projects, including artwork, 3-D models, PowerPoint presentations and a City Hall cake (isn’t that a must-see?). In addition, OTHS students will provide music for the background in the rotunda. This pioneering program, developed with the assistance of the St. Louis Building Arts Foundation, is an exciting new model for the use of architecture in unexpected places in the high school curriculum. Over 150 students look forward to sharing their work with you.

Date: Friday, May 11th

Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Cost: FREE
* Music and refreshments provided

Venue Information:
St. Louis City Hall
1200 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63103

Readers may recall that this blog covered this program earlier, in a March 16 post entitled This Week in Preservation Education, and that I was fortunate to be part of the program. I urge you to please attend to show your appreciation for the people who will be shaping our region’s future.

Events North St. Louis Old North

Old North House Tour Will Feature In-Progress Rehab of 1859 Rowhouse

The Old North St. Louis House Tour is this Saturday. Call 314-241-5031 to purchase advance tickets, or simply show up at the corner of 14th & St. Louis on Saturday and buy your tickets then.

This year’s tour will feature beautifully rehabilitated homes as well as projects in progress, including Kevin Dickherber’s rehab of a c. 1859 rowhouse at 1208 Hebert which will be available for sale later this year (photo here). Dickherber is rehabilitating five houses on that block and may be the first for-profit private developer to undertake a multi-building project in Old North in years. (No slight intended to others working in Old North, including Blue Shutters Development which is rehabbing three connected houses on 14th Street.)

Events Mullanphy Emigrant Home North St. Louis Old North

Mullanphy Effort Hits the Royale on Thursday

The Historic Mullanphy Alliance raised over $12,000 at its fundraiser on Saturday at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. Keep the momentum going — here’s your next chance:

Steven Fitzpatrick Smith, Claire Nowak-Boyd and Michael Allen and the Historic Mullanphy Alliance

invite you to the MULLANPHY SALOON

to benefit the effort to rebuild the historic Mullanphy Emigrant Home and for informal conversation on urban issues

featuring music by DJ Akita San

Thursday, April 197:00 – 9:00 PM
The Royale, 3132 S. Kingshighway


The Historic Mullanphy Alliance will be collecting donations toward stabilization of the Mullanphy Emigrant Home, and the Royale is graciouslydonating $1 from every purchase of a Schlafly product to the effort. Cometogether with fellow citizens to help an important effort and for informaldiscussion on architecture, history, politics and anything else on your mind.


The historic Mullanphy Emigrant Home in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood endured more storm damage on March 31. The building wasbuilt in 1867 as a home for newly-arrived immigrants who settled in St.Louis and points westward. The building is an important part of ourcity’s immigrant heritage, and architecturally-significant landmark and an important part of the future of the Old North St. Louis neighborhood. Thebuilding is owned by the nonprofit Old North St. Louis Restoration Group,which is trying to raise funds needed to repair the storm damage.

More information is online at

If you can’t attend, send a donation of any amount to:
Mullanphy c/o
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group
2800 N. 14th StreetSt. Louis, MO 63107

If you have questions, contact Michael Allen at 314-920-5680.

Documentation Events Gaslight Square People

Crone Reading from "Gaslight Square" at Gaslight Square

Thomas Crone will be reading from his book Gaslight Square: An Oral History on Thursday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m. in Gaslight Square. Well, our literary friend will be reading at one of the new houses standing where this history went down — at 4155 Olive Street, to be exact.

The event is sponsored by Metropolis St. Louis, which asks that people RSVP to

Art Events

Tennessee Williams’ First Play Returns to Town

This should be good. As someone whose undergraduate thesis was on the subject of modern drama (along with politics, architecture, epistemology and related concerns), this event holds special interest:

After 70 years, Tennessee Williams’ first full-length play — “Candles to the Sun” — is returning to St. Louis for a March 16 homecoming performance at the theater where it premiered on March 18, 1937.

The organizer of the reunion is Tom Mitchell, the acting head of the department of theater at the University of Illinois.

The play, which illuminates the struggles of coal miners and family members living in Alabama’s Red Hills mining region, was originally presented twice — on March 18 and 20, 1937 — by The Mummers, an amateur acting troupe, in the auditorium of the Wednesday Club. Since 1972, the building at 4504 Westminster Place has been the home of The Learning Center, which presents educational and community-focused programs.

“The Learning Center/Wednesday Club auditorium is a remarkable building, constructed in 1908 from designs by architect Theodore C. Link in the Prairie Style,” Mitchell said. “The auditorium features the original furnishings that Williams and his friends experienced when mounting the first of his full-length works.”

“The first-floor auditorium has approximately 500 leather-upholstered seats and a small stage that was used for recitals and poetry readings, as well as theatrical productions,” he said. “Upstairs, the Wednesday Club had a large kitchen and dining room, with several side rooms with fireplaces and a solarium.”

The March 16 production of “Candles” at The Learning Center begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for a minimum contribution of $10 at the door, or by calling 314-361-1908. Tickets also may be purchased in advance at Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid, St. Louis, or by calling 314-367-6731.

More information about the performance is available from Mitchell, 217-333-3538, or Emily Richard at The Learning Center, 314-361-1908.

Art Events

Michael Eastman Exhibit Opening Tonight at SLUMA

From a St. Louis University release:

The Saint Louis University Museum of Art is pleased to present “Elusive Light: Michael Eastman Retrospective” which will be displayed in the Judith and Adam Aronson Gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art. The exhibition opens with a 5:30 p.m. reception Friday, Feb. 23, and continues until July 15.

More of Eastman’s amazing work — much of which concerns elements of time, light and the built envirornment — can be found on his website.

Architects Events Mid-Century Modern

Harris Armstrong Lives On

by Michael R. Allen

Instead of sitting at my desk working through lunch on Friday, at the urging of two friends I headed to Webster University to catch architect Andrew Raimist’s slide lecture on Harris Armstrong. While I knew a fair amount about Armstrong before Friday, most of it was through facts gleaned from books and Raimist’s own writing.

Armstrong’s various work spread across the mid-century make so much more sense when explained by Raimist, who has a wonderful mix of true insight and eager passion for his subject. Raimist’s narration against the backdrop of beautiful images projected screen-size make for a compelling hour and for a much more vivid examination of Harris Armstrong than can be found in any other way.

Thankfully, Raimist has published a large amount of his research on Armstrong and an equally vast amount of images. While this is more linear offering than the lecture, these are formidable resources in their own right. After all, few St. Louis architects have bona fide biographers, let alone anyone as intense as Andrew Raimist.

Please visit his websites:

  • Architectural Ruminations (blog)
  • Raimist’s Flickr page (photos)
  • Categories

    Drinks on Thursday

    What: A salon for people who think about buildings and cities.

    Why: Because we don’t talk in person enough.

    When: Thursday, January 25 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

    Where: Riley’s Pub, southeast corner of Arsenal and Arkansas streets.

    All are welcome for casual chat and drinks.

    Art Events

    "City As Art" Opens This Weekend

    From our friends at Art St. Louis:

    Art St. Louis presents “City As Art,” a new exhibition on view January 22 through March 1, 2007. The community is invited to join us for a free opening reception 7-9 p.m. this Saturday, January 20, 2007 (the Gallery will be closed during the day January 20).

    This multi-media juried exhibit was open to artists residing in the St. Louis region (includes a 200-mile radius of the metro area). Artists were asked to submit artworks in all styles that address the theme of “City As Art,” specifically works that explore urban life, people and/or the built environment and/or address Samuel Johnson’s quote, “A great city is. . . the school for studying.”

    Serving as jurors for this exhibit are Shannon Fitzgerald, former Chief Curator, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and artist Bob Hansman, Associate Professor, Washington University School of Architecture, St. Louis.

    Hansman & Fitzgerald selected five artists works to receive Awards of Excellence. Those Awards will be made public at the opening reception on January 20th.

    Art Saint Louis is non-propfit art organization serving the St. Louis region for over 20 years. Art Saint Louis is located in the heart of downtown St. Louis’ Old Post Office District at 917 Locust Street (on Locust between 9th and 10th Streets). The Gallery is free & open to the public Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sundays & holidays. For more information, contact Robin Hirsch at or 314-241-4810 (2#).