Media Archive

A salvager’s decades-long dream to build a museum of architectural artifacts

Curbed // May 9, 2017

“Soldier, salvager, and now curator, Larry Giles wants to open a museum in St. Louis to honor the history of the buildings arts”


Historic Bank Sign That Served as Weather Beacon Saved From Scrapyard

Riverfront Times // June 4, 2014

Another Modernist landmark will soon vanish from St. Louis once wrecking crews complete the demolition of State Bank of Wellston. But at least once piece of the historic bank at Martin Luther King Drive and Kienlan Avenue will live on. Last month preservationist Larry Giles salvaged the building’s iconic sign and safely transported the massive structure to his architectural non-profit, National Building Arts Center.

For decades the State Bank of Wellston anchored the western end of a lively commercial strip that straddled the city-county divide. But by the 1970s many of the major commercial institutions along that stretch of MLK Drive had either moved out to newer suburbs or closed, including a JC Penney that left the strip without a major anchor on its eastern edge. The State Bank of Wellston, meanwhile, was eventually bought by Regions Bank that now occupies a newer building nearby.


Profile of Larry in the St. Louis Business Journal

St. Louis Business Journal // August 22, 2014

Larry STLBJ thumbnail


Frank Lloyd Wright Birthday Benefit

Photo Gallery // June 2, 2013

Frank Lloyd Wright Birthday Benefit

Help Needed Saving Iconic North St. Louis Weatherball and Sign

Riverfront Times // January 7, 2013

Help Needed Saving Iconic North St. Louis Weatherball and Sign

Dream of Architectural Artifact Museum Gets Closer To Reality

St. Louis Beacon // June 18, 2012

Dream of architectural artifact museum gets closer to reality

Industrial Urbanism as an Archival Project: The Work of the Building Arts Foundation

Art Documentation Volume 28, Number 1 // 2009

“St. Louis-based salvage contractor and self-taught curator Larry Giles has spent the last thirty-seven years assembling one of the largest collections of architectural artifacts in the United States. Under the auspices of the non-profit Building Arts Foundation, he has gathered together tens of thousands of unique artifacts in material and print form. In this interview conducted in the fall of 2006, Mr. Giles talks about the origins of his collection, its unparalleled scope, and his vision for its future home in a new national museum devoted to architecture and the allied arts. The authors provide an update on the work of the Building Arts Foundation as of January 2009.”


Brick by Brick

KETC | Living St. Louis //  April 30, 2008



Building Collector Larry Giles

KETC | Living St. Louis // February 13, 2008


Architecture Museum

KETC | Living St. Louis //  October 16, 2007


A Conversation With Larry Giles

St. Louis Magazine // March 15, 2007

A Conversation With Larry Giles