Events Granite City, Illinois Industrial Buildings Metro East

Society for Industrial Archaeology in Town This Weekend

by Michael R. Allen

Tonight is the start of the annual conference of the Society for Industrial Archaeology, which meets for the first time in St. Louis. Co-sponsors include Landmarks Association of St. Louis, the Missouri Historical Society and the UMSL History Department. Members are already out and about delving into the fabric of a city that fascinates all of them.

While a ruinous landscape is always of interest to SIA members, their delay in meeting in St. Louis gives them a chance to see some great examples of adaptive re-use of industrial sites. Although a small group, SIA members’ scholarship is at the forefront of interpreting the history of American industrial cities. Perhaps the visit will inspire them to write a little more fondly of St. Louis.

Check out the conference schedule to see what SIA members will be doing while in town.

For the conference, I have been helping create tours, and will be co-leading a bus tour tomorrow to Granite City and the National City Stockyards that will include a rare guided tour of the US Steel facility in Granite City. I will be making a presentation on the founding and history of Granite City that will get posted on Ecology of Absence at some point. On Sunday, Landmarks Association is leading downtown walking tours; guides are Richard Mueller, Joseph Heathcott and myself. This should lead to three very different tours.