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New film takes a look at the legacy of the Pruitt-Igoe housing project

Why the Pruitt-Igoe housing project failed Pruitt-Igoe Photographs The Pruitt-Igoe Myth The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: Journal of Architectural Education [pdf] Living St. Louis: Wendell Pruitt William Leo Igoe Opened in 1954, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex in St. Louis was seen as a symbol of modern progress in terms of housing the poor. Designed by noted architect Minoru Yamasaki (who also designed the World Trade Center Towers); there were high hopes for the complex. Only 16 years later, the demolition of the entire complex began, and noted architectural historian Charles Jencks later referred to its demolition as the "day Modern architecture died". Conversation about this failed project has been piqued as of late due to a new documentary film about the complex titled "The Pruitt-Igoe Myth". The film takes a close look at the broader set of social and economic transformations at play during this period in St. Louis, and it offers a bit of a contrast to most traditional critiques that tend to focus entirely on the architecture of the complex as the root of the problem for its steady decline. Certainly the film will spark a new discussion about the pros and cons of Modern architecture and arguably about urban planning and public policy matters. The first link will take visitors to a bit of commentary on Pruitt-Igoe and this new film from The Economist's "Prospero" blog. The second link leads to a great trove of historic photographs of the housing complex, courtesy of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The third link will take visitors to the homepage for the new documentary. Here visitors can learn more about the movie and watch the trailer. The fourth link whisks users away to an interesting academic paper from the Journal of Architectural Education by Katharine G. Bristol which discusses the myths surrounding the received wisdom about the Pruitt-Igoe complex. Moving on, the fifth link leads to a feature on Wendell Pruitt (an African-American WWII pilot) and his life via the "Living St. Louis" program. The final link leads to a short biography of the other namesake of the housing project, one William Leo Igoe, who was member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1910s.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date Issued
October 21st, 2011
Date of Scout Publication
October 21st, 2011
Date Of Record Creation
October 21st, 2011 at 10:53am
Date Of Record Release
December 5th, 2011 at 3:35pm
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