Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure amongst architects, politicians and policy makers. ... See full summary »
Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure amongst architects, politicians and policy makers. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth explores the social, economic and legislative issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America, and the city centers in which they resided, while tracing the personal and poignant narratives of several of the project's residents. In the post-War years, the American city changed in ways that made it unrecognizable from a generation earlier, privileging some and leaving others in its wake. The next time the city changes, remember Pruitt-Igoe. Written by
The movie includes fascinating archival footage and interviews with five former residents of the public housing development. Some of these residents talked about the joyful experiences they had there, while others told harrowing stories. One of the most interesting things was listening to why they moved to the project initially. They told of how exciting it was to get into a modern development.
The movie also suggests some causes for the decline of the project, such as population loss in St. Louis, lack of funding for maintenance, and the loss of manufacturing jobs to the suburbs. When I discussed the movie with friends afterwards, we remained unsure in our speculation about the true causes.
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