About Ecology of Absence
"And so if perforce we must study disease let us study it systematically. I cannot indicate to you the precise nature of that constitutional social disturbance of which our architecture is symptomatic; but little by little I will reveal to you the hidden causes and make clear and palpable to you the aspects and nature of the malady."
- Louis H. Sullivan, Kindergarten Chats
"There is so much empty land that in some places the city seems to have ceased to exist."
- Camilo Jose Vergara, The New American Ghetto
Ecology of Absence is a voice for historic preservation and a chronicle of architectural change in the St. Louis region that started as a companion to the website of the same name. The major theme of the blog is historic architecture and the primary goal is to build awareness of that architecture and interest in preserving it. The editorial approach is to "strike the roots" and look beyond threatened buildings at the larger forces that create, change and often destroy the built environment of the city. Public policy is a key part of the analysis. Consequently, EoA focuses on changes in the built environment that come about as St. Louis attempts to stem the deindustrialization, depopulation, shrinking public services and loss of architectural fabric that define the modern American urban condition. There is occasional coverage of other cities -- Chicago and Peoria are occasional topics -- and adjacent areas in Missouri and Illinois.
Ecology of Absence was launched as a website in 2003. The blog was launched in 2004 and in 2007 all publication moved to the blog. Claire Nowak-Boyd co-edited Ecology of Absence from 2004 - 2007. In 2010, the Preservation Research Office assumed ownership of Ecology of Absence.
The editor of Ecology of Absence reviews all comments before they are posted. Comments that defame individuals, make major unfounded factual statements or advertise products, services or businesses are deleted. Anonymous comments welcome.
While Ecology of Absence only publishes guest articles occasionally, they are welcome and will be published if relevant to the blog's focus. Photographic and video submissions are also welcome. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor & Publisher
Michael R. Allen is an architectural historian currently serving as director of the Preservation Research Office, a technical assistance and preservation consulting firm that he founded in 2009. From 2005 to 2009, Michael worked for the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, serving as Assistant Director from 2007 until 2009. Michael currently serves on the boards of the St. Louis Building Arts Foundation, the North Newstead Association and Preservation Action as well as the Community Advisory Board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Since 2009, Michael has been regional adviser for the Metro East to Landmarks Illinois. Michael created the website and produces most of its content.
Jesiey Mead designed the current header.