Preserving St. Louis: A Study of the National Building Arts Center
MetadataShow full item record
Over the past century, the built environment of St. Louis, Missouri has changed drastically. The destruction of the riverfront warehouse district, the urban renewal of the 1960s and the construction of the Gateway Mall and Arch have all contributed to the ever-changing landscape of the city. The architectural remains of these events have ended up either destroyed, repurposed or recovered. Created in 2007, the National Building Arts Center (NBAC) holds a large collection of building arts artifacts from St. Louis, as well as from around the United States. The founder and owner of NBAC, Larry Giles, began recovering portions of buildings set for demolition in the St. Louis area nearly 30 years prior to the Center’s conception. NBAC is a research center, a library, a repository and has the makings of a building arts museum. The mission of NBAC revolves around a desire to educate the public on all aspects of the building arts, from design to fabrication. This research project examines the National Building Arts Center on cultural, community, financial and organizational levels. Literary research involving the history of American architecture, St. Louis architecture and the National Building Arts Center provide the background for this research. Interviews, financial statements and past experience provide context, motivation and multiple perspectives throughout this study. The methods used for this research project focus on the strengths, weaknesses and challenges of the National Building Arts Center in order to inform possible opportunities for continued organizational growth and community outreach.