RBC STL Weekend Schedule

Former home of Cherokee Street Brewing / new home of Earthbound Brewing. Photography courtesy of Jason Gray.

The 4th meeting of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists is almost here! Read up for details on the weekend.

Sleeping Arrangements: If you requested a place to sleep, you’ve already received an email with your assignment and details. If you have not received an email or have additional questions regarding lodging, contact Caitlin at catmeives@gmail.com.

Hashtags: #rustbelttakeover #rustbeltSTL #showmeSTL

Weekend Contact:  Rust Belt Takeover weekends are fun, action-packed, and informal. If you get distracted with all Saint Louis has to offer and need to catch up with the group, call or text Katy at (412) 535-3533 to find out where everyone is at.

Packing / Prep List: 

  • Register for Sunday’s Renegade Bus Tour (space is limited!)
  • Comfy shoes, rain gear, a flash light or head lamp (or, a cell phone with a flashlight app that we can duct tape to your head)
  • A six pack or growler of your favorite local brew for Saturday’s #beersavesplaces Rust Belt BYOB Craft Beer Competition
  • Clear off some space on that phone for serious IG and Snapchat action
  • Snacks + water

Weekend Map

Orange: Scheduled Events

Blue: Other fun things to check out


Friday Evening / May 19

STL Style House. Photography courtesy of STL Style

We’ll meet at the ST-STYLE Style House at 3159 Cherokee Street at 7p for a brief introduction to the Rust Belt Takeover weekend. Then, we’ll walk over to Earthbound Beer Stock House at 2720 Cherokee Street. Meet up with us whenever you get to town!

7p: Meet at 3159 Cherokee Street

8p-11p: Earthbound Beer Stock House / 2720 Cherokee Street


Saturday Morning / May 20


Cahokia Mounds. Photography courtesy of Don Burmeister and Ira Block


We’ll meet again at STL Style House at 3159 Cherokee Street Saturday morning to caravan out to Cahokia Mounds and the National Buildings Art Center. Be sure to eat a hardy breakfast before you arrive at Cherokee Street. Mike Panzitta is not attending and granola breaks cannot be guaranteed.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will be joining us at the National Buildings Art Center for lunch and a led discussion on preservation across the Rust Belt.

10a: Leave 3159 Cherokee Street at 10a sharp to head east

10:30a: Cahokia Mounds / Collinsville, IL

Noon: National Buildings Art Center / 2300 Falling Springs Road, Sauget, IL

1p: Lunch + Talk with the National Trust for Historic Preservation / National Buildings Art Center


Saturday Afternoon / May 20

Former site of the Pruitt Igoe Housing Complex. Photography courtesy of David Carson.

It’s time to breakout and explore STL! Local historian Michael Allen will be providing a guided tour of the former grounds of the Pruitt Igoe Housing Complex. We also have provided lots of recommendations for those who would rather break out and see other exciting things Saint Louis has to offer.

3p-5p: Pruitt Igoe Tour with Michael Allen / Meet at the intersection of Cass Avenue and North 25th Street

3p-5p: Choose Your Own Saint Louis Adventure

Do you like free things? Scope out the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, designed by Tadao Ando.

Not into contemporary art? Head to Forest Park to visit SLAM, the St. Louis Art Museum, then roam through the nearby Saint Louis World’s Fair Grounds. Another free option in Forest Park: the St. Louis Zoo.

The top of everyone’s must-see list is the City Museum – perhaps the coolest playground ever built with a bar on the roof. Open Saturday 9a-midnight / $12 admission.

This weekend is the grand opening of the Keiner Plaza at the Arch grounds, part of a project to transform the grounds surrounding the iconic Gateway Arch. Take the opportunity to wander around Laclede’s Landing with a self-guided walking tour.

Would you rather take advantage of Saint Louis lax liquor laws? Then head to the Soulard, the city’s oldest neighborhood, grab a drink, and wander around.

Or do you really want to dive into Saint Louis local brews? Check out the 6th Annual IndiHop, featuring over 50 local beers served inside 25 business at the Grove and Cherokee Street. 1p-7p / $30 tickets can be purchased here.

Whatever you choose, be sure to grab some dinner before heading to Dixie Cream Donut Flour Factory Saturday evening, or plan on grabbing a late dinner before heading back to Cherokee Street.

Saturday Evening / May 20

dixie cream.jpg
Dixie Cream Donut Flour Factory. Photography courtesy of Matthew Dickey.

Who says we can’t party inside a vacant donut flour factory on Saturday? You bring your headlamp or a flashlight, and we’ll bring the donuts

We’ll also be holding the 2nd Annual #beersavesplaces Rust Belt BYOB Craft Brew Competition. Read up on the rules and learn how you can feature your favorite brew – whether it’s beer, cider, or soda – from your hometown (or your new favorite from STL : )

6p-8p: Dixie Cream Donut Flour Factory / 2215 Scott Avenue, St. Louis, MO

After the brew competition, we’ll all head back to Cherokee Street to check out the Lo-Fi Cherokee 2017 Premiere Party, and otherwise explore the night life on Cherokee Street. Tickets for the premiere party are $5 and can be purchased here. If the party isn’t your thing, grab a preservation buddy and take a stroll on Cherokee Street.


Sunday / May 21


Our friends and sponsors at Renegade STL are offering weekend attendees a free Whole Damn City bus tour on Sunday, May 21st!

Thank goodness St. Louis isn’t a normal city, because Renegade doesn’t provide normal bus tours. Explore beyond the neat and tidy parts of the city, and discover the grandeur and the dark underbelly that is St. Louis. Expect a unique entertaining style, with lots of discussion and dialogue. And maybe a few curse words.

Space is limited – register today!

10a-noon: Renegade Whole Damn City Bus Tour

As always, email rbc@youngpreservationists.com with any questions. See you all next weekend!


Happy Hours With Carrie

Happy Hours With Carrie

By Katy SawyerYoung Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

One of the best activities of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists meetup in Pittsburgh was our a 2-hour tour of the Carrie Furnace Blast site on Sunday, April 10th. The Carrie site was an extensive complex of blast furnaces for the manufacture of iron for Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead Steel Works (more on Homestead later).

In 1995, as demolition was just beginning on the furnace, In 1996 the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area was created by Congress to preserve and interpret Pittsburgh’s steel industry. The site, which only has one remaining intact blast furnace, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006.

An interesting characteristic of the Carrie Furnace site is the incorporation of public art. In the mid 1990’s, a group of artists snuck into the site and worked for almost a year on the beloved Carrie Furnace Deer. There is also extensive amounts of graffiti art throughout the site. Rivers of Steel has chosen to embrace previous artistic endeavors on the site, and has started the new program called Rivers of Steel Arts that supports the interpretation of local history and encourages the re-imagining of familiar places.

Classroom time: Getting schooled by Tom. Photo credit: Katy Sawyer


Classroom time: Getting schooled by Tom. Photo credit: Katy Sawyer

In addition to honoring our industrial heritage and local guerrilla art, Rivers of Steel is continuing the Pittsburgh tradition of stopping at a local pub for a beer after leaving a shift at the mill. It hosts an event called Happy Hours with Carrie on the first Wednesday of every month. A ticket purchased for $20 in advance gets you a 1-hour tour of the Furnace, and one beer at the featured bar after the tour. And the best news – tour guides will be on hand at the bars to have a pint with you! (Or perhaps Tom’s favorite – an Imp & Iron.)

Read on for more info on some of our favorite places that Rivers of Steel is partnering with for Happy Hour with Carrie!

Voodoo Brewery – Homestead, PA / May 4 & August 3

Homestead, PA is located just outside the Pittsburgh City limits on the Monongahela River. The steel mill town is perhaps best known for the 1892 Homestead Strike, one of the most important events in the history of labor relations in the United States (This fun fact has been brought to you by Tour Guide Tom. Thanks, Tom!)

The Waterfront shopping mall replaced the Homestead Works on the Monongahela River in 1999, which has helped the borough regain a robust tax base after dwindling from a population of 20,000 people in 1920 to just 3,165 people in 2010. The outdoor shopping mall with national chain stores and restaurants and a large movie complex has attracted people from all over Pittsburgh to the area for almost two decades.

Despite the localized success of the Waterfront shopping mall, however, the development did little to attract people to the nearby Homestead business district, which is located just over a bordering railroad track from the shopping complex. Enter local businesses to the rescue! Some of these include the hugely successful (but now relocated) Smoke Barbecue TaqueriaBlue Dust Gastropub, and Voodoo Brewery.

Voodoo Brewery opened in early 2015. The Meadville-based brewery purchased a firehouse from the Borough just off its main drag that had been vacant for 25 years. The brew house not only serves thirsty shoppers from the Waterfront shopping mall, but is a big attraction for bicyclists from Pittsburgh. In fact, a bike ride from downtown Pittsburgh to Homestead is just 45 minutes along the Great Allegheny Passage. The Happy Hour with Carrie on August 3 will be held at Voodoo and is co-hosted by the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh!

The second-best thing about Voodoo? Board games! Shown here, from left to right are Mike Panzitta (Young Preservationists Association) and Rebecca Obley (Young Cartographers Association) rocking Where in the US is Carmen Sandiego? Photo credit: Katy Sawyer

The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company – Braddock, PA / June 1 & September 7

Debriefing at Brew Gentlemen after the RBC PGH Summit. Photo by Katy Sawyer

Braddock sits just outside the City of Pittsburgh in the Mon Valley. While Mon Valley towns like Braddock haven’t seen the kind of renaissance that has occurred in places within Pittsburgh city limits (read more about the sometimes disjointed development in Pittsburgh here), there is much potential for a resurgence. Businesses like the Brew Gentlemen and Studebaker Metals have chosen to locate their business along the main corridor, Braddock Avenue. There are many champions in the Braddock neighborhood, from the local block watch members up to Mayor Fetterman, who are all working to bring investment to Braddock while improving the lives of current residents.

Brew Gentlemen was founded by two graduating Carnegie Mellon University students who decided that since they weren’t really into their chosen majors, they’d pursue their other passion: brewing beer! (This fun fact has also been brought to you by Tour Guide Tom. Thanks, Tom!)

We thought we were done talking preservation for the weekend, but thank goodness some friends came to keep the conversation going! Photo by Katy Sawyer

If you live near Pittsburgh or plan on traveling here this summer, be sure to drop in for a Happy Hour with Carrie.

May 4: Voodoo Brewery – Homestead
June 1: The Brew Gentleman Beer Company
July 6: Blue Dust
August 3: Voodoo Brewery Homestead (co-hosted with YPA Pgh)
Sept 7: Brew Gentlemen Beer Company
October 5: Duke’s Upper Deck

Heart Bombs Across the Rust Belt

We Young Preservationists believe in doing simple projects that engage the community in fun and creative ways. Sooo…enter the Heart Bomb!!

What is a Heart Bomb? Well, it is a piece of paper with a cute phrase pasted onto vacant buildings to show it some love. Many cities have taken on the Heart Bomb and given it their own spin. From Heart Bombing historic taverns in the midwest to celebrating texas courthouses in the south, the Heart Bomb has traveled far and wide and has saved many buildings from the wrecking ball.

If you’re looking for a guide on how to Heart Bomb, it exists here! And let us know how your Heart Bombings go…we love pictures and stories!

Let’s dive in and see how we do it!

Muncie, Indiana

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In Muncie, Preserve Greater Indy Heart Bombed with the Muncie Historic Preservation and Rehabilitation Commission and students from Ball State’s historic preservation program. Our goal is to see all of the Heart Bomb sites be preserved, adapted, and repurposed as part of broader revitalization efforts in Muncie.

Heart Bomb sites included the endangered Kitselman Mansion, which is looking for a new owner and use that will cherish this architectural marvel. The Rainbow Cathedral previously served as Muncie’s first LGBT church, but is now vacant and for sale.  Just a block from the heart of downtown Muncie, the Rainbow Cathedral could be a great asset for Muncie if rehabbed and adapted for a new use. Next, we headed over and shared some love for the brick pavers on Powers Street, as the City of Muncie may pave over this important part of Muncie’s heritage.

Our last Heart Bomb stop was the darling Mid-Century Modern gas station on South Madison Street – the last of its kind in downtown Muncie. At the modest size of 1,400 square feet, we could dream up a variety of new uses for this gem currently for sale. 

Ohio, Just About All of It!

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The Young Ohio Preservationists launched our first Heart Bomb campaign, and partnered with 13 Main Street Programs and the Columbus Landmarks Foundation to bring attention to Ohio’s invaluable historic districts and historic structures.  

In Columbus, we at the YOP Heart Bombed Columbus Railway Power & Light (1915), Macon Hotel (1888), and Bellows School (1905).  The Columbus Railway Power and Light structure is all that is left of Columbus’s long-forgotten rail system.  Privately owned, this building has infinite redvelopment potential due to its proximity to the Short North Arts District. Neglected, the Macon Hotel was once a hub for jazz music performances.  Today the building sits vacant and accumulating code violations.  Bellows School is slated to be demolished in 2023, as part of an ODOT project expanding I-70/71 even though the structure was found to be eligible for the NRHP as part of a 2006 study!  

Heart Bomb events were also done throughout Ohio, in Van Wert, Greenville, Troy, Marietta, Cambridge, Painesville, Mount Vernon, Chardon, Lebanon, Delaware, Defiance, and Cleveland’s Gateway and Warehouse districts.  #HeartbombOhio was made possible thanks to our sponsors: Greater Columbus Arts Council, Designing Local, and Igloo Letterpress.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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The Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh was excited to launch our very first Heart Bomb Campaign this year. All of the buildings we bombed (with love!) have been featured on one of our Top Ten Preservation Opportunities in Southwestern PA lists, which we’ve released annually since 2003. 

On Saturday, YPA heart bombed the Old Stone Tavern, the Allegheny Commons Pedestrian Bridge, and the Drover’s Hotel.

On Sunday, we partnered with the Student Conservation Association to introduce conservation in a whole new way to a group of high school students to Heart Bomb three buildings in Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District. In the early to mid 1900’s, the Hill District, often called “Little Harlem,” was home to over 600 clubs, the crown jewel of which was the Crawford Grill. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Louis Armstrong performed here, and it was where notable Pittsburgh jazz musicians such as Leroy Brown and George Benson cut their teeth. The New Granada Theater was built in 1928 by Louis A.S. Bellinger, Pittsburgh’s first black architect. We also stopped down the street to the first home of August Wilson, whose ten plays known as The Pittsburgh Cycle are considered to be a great American triumph. Two of his plays, “Fences” and “The Piano Lesson”, have won Pulitzer Prizes.

Located very closely to downtown Pittsburgh, the Hill District and its residents never rebounded from the loss of industry in Pittsburgh like other communities have, and many of its historic buildings, and more importantly its history and identity, are severely threatened by demolition either from neglect or for new development. There are no national historic districts in the Hill District.

You can read more about Pittsburgh Heart Bombs and the history of the sites on our blog.

Wheeling, West Virginia

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When the Wheeling Young Preservationists formed in the fall of 2012, a Heart Bombing campaign was one of our first orders of business. The founders of WYP initiated the “All We Need Is Love” campaign to highlight historic buildings in downtown Wheeling that were vacant and/or architecturally significant to the fabric of our city.

The next two years members of WYP and other young (and young-at-heart) preservationists continued what we now refer to as “Lovescaping” in February to bring attention to our city’s historic (and most importantly, available) properties in downtown.
So far, WYP’s Lovescaping campaign has, directly and indirectly, played a role in successfully transferring six buildings out of the demolition radar and into responsible ownership.

In 2015, WYP took Lovescaping to a new level by creating #WheeLove to encourage everyone in the community to post photos to Instagram and Facebook of local structures that they #WheeLove and share why that structure is important to them- a sort of Valentine for their favorite building. #WheeLove is used throughout the year to promote preservation efforts and aid in the discussion of the building’s importance to our city.

The steering committee of WYP decided not to Lovescape in 2016. Instead we will focus on creating a full line-up of events for the whole month of May, to help celebrate and draw attention to National Preservation Month.

Buffalo, New York: Home of the Original Heart Bomb

We Heart Bomb. It’s pretty cool. Once we put a giant 2 story Heart Bomb that said Buffalove on a warehouse that could be seen from Canada! Our goal is to highlight our favorite vacant buildings every year.

This year we Heart Bombed the following buildings:

204 High Street: A vacant Italianate that is steps from our growing medical campus. It has been vacant for nearly 20 years and is a demolition by neglect project that deserves a new life. Check it out: http://www.preservationready.org/Buildings/204HighStreet

The Bachelor : The oldest apartment building in downtown Buffalo, built in 1886. It was originally built for bachelor men moving into the city! Such a cool building with a great history! It is currently up for demolition for a 20+ story hotel, which is odd because its demolition is paired with a SHPO approved restoration of the Christian Center which is a block away.

BYP is currently working to landmark the building and also has had SHPO reconsider the historic tax credits for the project! You can read about it here.

The Crosby Complex: This brick industrial complex has been neglected for 40 years or more. The owner was ready for demo but thanks to the efforts from the entire preservation community, they are now looking into stabilization!


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