Monday, April 4, 2011

Short Life Of Pruitt-Igoe




I have always been fascinated by this story. Last night we were talking about it and then today it was talked about on St Louis On The Air. Chad Freidrichs, director of Pruitt-Igoe Myth, was on to share his insight. His movie is playing at the History Museum on Saturday at 2. I would love to go but it's $10. It sounds really good. He presents a personal side to the story rather than just the failure of it all.
Pruitt-Igoe was a large federal public housing project completed in 1956. The 33 high-rise buildings were demolished in 1972. It is now a huge forest encircled with tall barbed wire. If i was brave I would love to venture in and take a nature walk.
Minoru Yamasaki was the architect who designed the complex as well as the World Trade Center Towers. Both of these projects have blown up for different reasons. I find that interesting.
The Federal Government helped build it, but did not maintain it. This led to all sorts of problems and decay was rapid.

I don't know if Paul McKee has his futuristic hands on this property, but i would love love love to see it turned into a fabulous park. Or an urban farm. Something green. Nothing else would make sense. It would make that part of the city desirable in a way it isn't right now. No sort of strip mall or casino can do that.
If i had time and money, it would be something i worked toward. But i have neither, so i am hoping that someone else takes it on. (Gateway Greening?) I would help.

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