Photograph by Micah Mickles, June 2023.


Michael Allen has given lectures, led workshops and facilitated conversations about architecture, cultural landscapes, historic preservation and urbanism across the United States and beyond.

Frequent topics of talks and appearances:

  • Histories of US public housing and especially Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis
  • The history of the US historic preservation movement, its cultural biases and its relationship to international heritage practices
  • What is historic preservation?
  • The history and development of modernism in US architecture
  • The development of US architectural styles
  • Racial segregation and US urbanism
  • How nationalism shapes architecture and urban space
  • The politics of monuments and memorials
  • The history of St. Louis architecture

He is available as a speaker or facilitator for your organization, course or event. Please contact him at


Michael has conducted critical walking, bike and bus tours of St. Louis for over a decade, in formats ranging from a bike tour of the relationship of architecture to native geology to a squatters’ tour of abandoned housing suitable for squatting. Michael has crafted and delivered lively tours for the Harvard Fogg Art Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Organization of American Historians, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Teach For America and many other organizations and groups (including families and groups of curious friends).

If you want an experiential tour that unpacks embedded histories of capital, labor struggle, racial segregation, regionalism in architecture, urban renewal and deeper colonial pasts, send him a note at He likes to walk the spaces in between the spaces that seem to answer our questions.