Watch the Trailer for The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History

The film “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.” It will screen in Oxford, Mississippi and Missoula, Montana in February.

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Here’s the trailer for The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History, a documentary film by Chad Freidrichs, in association with the Missouri History Museum.

Trailer – The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History from the Pruitt-Igoe Myth on Vimeo.

We see vintage advertisements for the “bright, new buildings” that replaced the “crowded, collapsing tenements” in the 1950s. However, as former residents interviewed by Freidrichs point out, it became after two decades a “hell on earth,” in utter disrepair and home to very poor people who, as another resident put it, felt as though they were being “punished for being poor.”

But the documentary, it seems, is just as much about the economic decline of the city of St. Louis and national trends in affordable housing as it is about the housing development itself. “Pruitt-Igoe is such a symbol that we tend to forget that it is no different than the city that surrounded it. What happened to St. Louis was tragic.”

Very much looking forward to seeing this one. For screening information, click here.

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Tags: built environmentarchitecturepublic housingst. louis

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