Arts-Based Community Development Convening
Transforming Post-Industrial Cities through Art and Innovation
April 12 through 14, 2012 - St. Louis

Michael Allen

St. Louis, Missouri


Architectural historian Michael Allen is the Director of the Preservation Research Office, which he founded in 2009. The Preservation Research Office synthesizes Allen’s professional expertise and practice in public architectural history, started in 2003 when he began writing the well-read website (and now blog) Ecology of Absence. From 2005 through 2009, Michael worked at Landmarks Association of St. Louis, where he served as Assistant Director from 2007 through 2009. In recent years, Michael has lectured on architectural history, preservation and public history at Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis University, Fontbonne University, the St. Louis Artists’ Guild and other institutions. He frequently gives architectural tours around the city.

Allen is regular contributor to the NewsLetter of the Society of Architectural Historians, Missouri Valley Chapter, a regional journal of original research. Additionally, Michael has written on architectural and urban history, historic preservation and development for Next American City, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Beacon, The Vital Voice and the St. Louis American
and has been a guest commentator for St. Louis Public Radio. In 2010, the national magazine Next American City named Michael Allen to its annual Next American Vanguard of young leaders working on shaping urban policy.

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Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 8:00 pm
Top Floor : Starlight Room

FRED. Fresh Radical Educational Dialogue. With a “night cap.”

10 minute talks / presentations / performances in the* or PechaKucha** models. Fast paced, big ideas presented in a compelling way. Plus a challenge from the presenter to the audience to create change.

And still plenty of time for schmoozing and chatting. Cash bar is open.

Conference attendees are invited to come for a casual “night cap” in the Starlight Room. And to be challenged with big ideas for change. This is a great opportunity to test an idea, make a case for something a little wild, introduce an inquiry or just tell about a particularly interesting project.

Presenters have 10 minutes. A relaxed atmosphere. A laptop. A projector.

Chris Clark will MC to keep it flowing. FREDtalkers include:

Joan Lipkin: Why Bayard Rustin Just Might Be the Greatest Man You Never Heard Of

Mallory Nezam: StL Improv Anywhere

Jessica Ruhlin: The Type One Project

Michael Allen: Pruitt Igoe Now

Jack Storey & Rick Stockburger: Saving Cities & Mega-Region Coalition

Dan Reus: Openly Disruptive

Kathleen Richert: An Instaconomy

Kara Holland: Reclaimed Places: Picnics

Zoe Scharf & Matt Strom: Brain Drain: Light up and connect St. Louis

Lyndsey Scott: Recalibrating Presence

*TED is a nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site and the annual TED Prize.

**PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of conversation (“chit chat”), it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.



Walking Tour of St. Louis’ West End

Day 1 / Apr, 12 @ 3:00 pm

Michael Allen of the Preservation Research Office is a St. Louis resident and architectural historian. This 90 minute walking tour of the Central West End neighborhood will be an introduction to the community’s built environment, and how throughout history it has been shaped in relation to the rest of the city.

Meet outside the the movie theater box office at the Chase’s south entrance.