Drawn from the rich collection of the National Building Arts Center (NBAC), Urban Archaeology brings together salvaged architectural elements from landmark buildings, residential homes and neighborhood institutions built in St. Louis between 1840 and 1950.
The artifacts on display will represent important histories of material innovation, labor and everyday life, and the exhibition at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation will shed light on the city’s history, revealing complicated legacies of power, wealth and neglect that shape our experience of the built environment and daily life.
By studying St. Louis’ architectural past, Urban Archeology encourages us to imagine new ways of building, keeping, knowing and inhabiting places.
Located in Sauget, Illinois, the NBAC emerged in response to the rapid economic decline and widespread demolition that the city experienced beginning in the 1950s. NBAC has worked over four decades to salvage and preserve significant parts of condemned buildings that would otherwise be completely lost, amassing the largest and most diversified collection of building artifacts in the U.S.
Urban Archaeology will be the most extensive public presentation of NBAC’s collection to date.