Alison Dunleavy

Historic Preservation Specialist

Alison’s interest in historic preservation sprang from a desire to understand how people interact with spaces. As an undergraduate at Southern Illinois University, she explored these interactions through ceramic installations and researched portrayals of public and private spaces in medieval art. A semester in Florence, Italy cemented Alison’s interests in history and architecture. Alison expanded on these interests as a graduate student at the Clemson University and College of Charleston Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. She used paint analysis as a tool for investigating the history of buildings. Since moving to Kansas City, she continues to investigate the stories buildings tell through architectural analysis and historical research.

Favorite Historic Building

I don’t have a favorite building, but I do have a favorite building material: terra cotta. I love the textural quality of terra cotta — it brings movement and dimension to an otherwise flat building.

I am a Preservationist because…

our experiences in and around buildings, and the emotions those experiences evoke, shape who we are as individuals and how we tell our own stories. Historic buildings, along with the stories they tell, connect us to the past and naturally invoke a prompt for our own story.