Thursday, January 5, 2017


The Steedman Library is again pleased to be co-hosting this year's series of talks by the St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. 


The first will be held on the evening of Tuesday, February 28, at Central Library.  The Steedman Room will be open for viewing from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, followed by the lecture in the Second Floor Training Room. 



Gary Tetley, architect, architectural historian, and well-known photographer, will be presenting, "Unraveling the Mysteries of Theodore Link's Architectural Practice".  He will focus on some of the previously unknown young architects in Link's office who made significant contributions to the firm's output.



Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Steedman / SAH lectures for 2017 are announced


We are once again thrilled to announce the 2017 series of architectural talks jointly sponsored by the Steedman Library and the local chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.  All will be held at the Central Library of the St. Louis Public Library on Tuesday nights.  At 6:00 pm, the Steedman Room will be open for viewing, and at 6:30 pm the talks will begin.  Here is a brief schedule -- keep tuning in for more details as the date for each one draws closer.


Tuesday, February 28
Unraveling the Mysteries of Theodore Link's Architectural Practice
Gary Tetley, Managing Agent and Architect of Mainline Group Architect, architectural historian, and photographer


Tuesday, March 28
Landmarks of St. Louis: Most Endangered and Most Enhanced
Andrew Weil, Executive Director, Landmarks Association of St. Louis


Tuesday, April 25
Observations from Cuba: The Architecture of Havana, Matanzas, and Varadero
John Guenther, architect and architectural historian


Tuesday, September 26
Missouri's Roadside Architecture
Bill Hart, Executive Director, Missouri Preservation


Tuesday, October 24
Harris Armstrong, St. Louis Modernist
Andrew Raimist, architect, designer, photographer, architectural historian


Tuesday, November 28
The History of Landscape Architecture in St. Louis
Esley Hamilton, architectural and preservation historian







Thursday, October 27, 2016

Architecture of Norway, Nov. 15

Please join us Tuesday, November 15 for the final event in this year's series of talks co-sponsored by the Steedman Library and the local chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.  

Architect John Guenther will speak on the architecture, old and new, of Norway at 6:30 pm in the Carnegie Room of Central Library.  

The Steedman Room will be open for viewing from 6:00 to 6:30. 

And, stayed tuned for the announcement of next year's lineup of great speakers and topics! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Architecture of Scotland, Part 2, October 25

Please join us for the 5th in our series of talks co-sponsored by the  Society of Architectural Historians, "Architecture Around the World".  



Architectural historian Esley Hamilton will speak on "The Architecture of Scotland, Part 2" at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, October 25 in the Carnegie Room of Central Library.

The Steedman Room will be open for viewing from 6:00 to 6:30, as well!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Amanda Burke's cemetery preservation lecture

Tuesday (09/27/16) night, Amanda Burke's informative talk on the documentation and care of historic cemeteries and grave markers was a real success.

Related books, and new architecture books, were available for checkout.
Attendees learned quite a lot, and were grateful that Missouri's State Historic Preservation Office now has forms online to document and request help from the agency.  One example is this Cemetery Survey Form PDF:  http://dnr.mo.gov/shpo/docs/Cemetery%20Survey%20Form.pdf

Saturday, August 27, 2016

SAH lectures resume in September

We are thrilled to begin the second half of our lecture series, "Architecture Around the World", in September.  This series is a partnership between the St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Steedman Architectural Library of SLPL.  

First up will be Amanda Burke of the Missouri State Preservation Office  speaking on "Historic Cemeteries: Maintenance, Documentation, Restoration, and Funding".  It will be held on Tuesday, September 27.  Starting at 6:00 pm, the Steedman Room will be open for viewing; the talk will be at 6:30.  

NOTE:  Because of our Fantasy Maps exhibit in the Carnegie Room, this talk will be held in the "Training Room", a room that is on the same (second) floor as the Steedman Room and Fine Arts Dept.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Steedman Treasure: A. W. N. Pugin's prototype for Contrasts

A. W. N. Pugin's book Contrasts, self-published in 1836, had a profound impact on the development of architectural and decorative taste of the nineteenth century.

The text of the book is Pugin's passionate indictment of what he saw as the failings and inappropriate uses of the Neo-classic style, and was his first salvo in a lifelong campaign of championing the medieval design forms of Britain's Catholic past.  The final chapter is entitled "The Wretched State of Architecture at the Present Day."

The illustrations Pugin used were literally a series of contrasts. He presented one image of a building or object in the Neo-classic style, in his mind depleted and inappropriate.  Next to it he drew an image of the same type of structure, but designed in his idea of a proper, honest, and high Gothic design.

The Steedman sketchbook for this book is an early version (1833) of the drawings that Pugin was considering using, and does not include any text, only a series of beautifully drawn images of 15 "Contrasts".   The book that was eventually published in 1836 does not include any of these generic drawings; Pugin chose instead to use real buildings as his examples.