Documentary: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

By DOCOMOMO Belgium / May, 26, 2012 / 0 comments

40 years ago today, clinic the post-war housing project Pruitt–Igoe (St.-Louis, doctor Missouri, USA) was demolished.
It was one of the first demolitions of modernist architecture; postmodern architectural historian Charles Jencks called its destruction The day modern architecture died.” The world-famous image of its implosion has helped to perpetuate a myth of failure, a failure that has been used to critique modernist architecture.

This anniversary is seized as an opportunity to release the documentary:

"The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" official release: May 15, 2012

Pruitt-Igoe 1950/1956 designed by architect M. Yamasaki, demolished in 1972-1976

“The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History”

It began as a housing marvel. Two decades later, it ended in rubble. But what happened to those caught in between? The Pruitt-Igoe Myth tells the story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development and the St. Louis residents who called it home. At the film’s historical center is an analysis of the massive impact of the national urban renewal program of the 1950s and 1960s, which prompted the process of mass suburbanization and emptied American cities of their residents, businesses, and industries. Those left behind in the city faced a destitute, rapidly de-industrializing St. Louis , parceled out to downtown interests and increasingly segregated by class and race. The residents of Pruitt-Igoe were among the hardest hit. Their gripping stories of survival, adaptation, and success are at the emotional heart of the film. (…)

read more and view film trailer here