Friday, May 10, 2013

I love documentaries, in fact the bulk of what I watch these days are documentaries.  I got rid of Direct TV over a year ago and now I stream Netflix, via Roku.  They have an impressive array of documentaries and one of the most well done, thought provoking docs I have watched recently is "The Myth of Pruitt-Igoe."  This documentary details the Pruitt-Igoe housing project that was first occupied in 1954 and the first building demolished in 1972 and the final demolished in 1976.  Pruitt-Igoe is considered by many to be a textbook example of urban decay and the failure of the government's housing project program.

If you get the chance please watch this documentary, I feel it is a very important social commentary that not only presents the housing projects but also introduces the viewers to some amazing people who lived there as children and, as adults, give some pretty heart-felt testimonials to what it was like to live inside of Pruitt-Igoe.  
Some blame the architects for the design of the buildings, claiming that the design was conducive to creating modern slums that replaced the old ones.

        What started as a ambitious project to provide housing for the less fortunate turned into a nightmare...





      But is important to remember that Pruitt-Igoe provided a home for many people during a time when people were living in some of the most unacceptable conditions ever.

 Pruitt Igoe was home, a place where children could safely play...it was a place, that for a time was Utopia.
 The residents of Pruitt-Igoe crossed all ethnicity and races

2 comments:

  1. My cousin is an architect so I would find this fascinating. While his emphasis is historic preservation, I used to sit with him as he worked on projects for class, many of them very contemporary.

    I have to wonder if any one person has the vision to take a "housing project" through numerous generations. In our town, I watched them tear down brick buildings that were actually good looking and replace them with more modern structures that have that pre-fab look. I wonder how long that will last? They don't look as solid as the old buildings, and I questioned them tearing down such solid structures. Maybe the renovations would cost more than building new. Still.

    This documentary really does look interesting. Thanks for the heads up.

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  2. Hi Magpie! This documentary moved (and haunted) me on so many levels. The testimonies of the people who lived there are at the heart of the documentary. Sylvester Brown and others tell their stories with such candor and grace; these stories are poignant, tragic,amazing and powerful! I love architecture and I believe in preserving and saving older structures for future use. I love mid-century modern, Frank Lloyd Wright and many other types and styles of architecture. It is my belief that we must protect and resuse older buildings that reflect a style that is representative of the time during which they were built. Architecture is an important part of history. It pains me when an older structure is torn down to make way for a newer, trendier building that does and is totally pre-fab in looks, quality and design. Thanks so much for your comment. If you get the chance to watch the documentary I would love to hear your comments! Regards, Vickie

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