Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex in Saint Louis has become a widespread symbol of failure amongst architects, politicians and policy makers.
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It's a pity to see such a fine building complex deteriorated after a short amount of time and finally demolished (Minoru Yamasaki was probably the most hapless architect of the 20th century). yet the causes for the failure of the project are far from being history.
the visions of a utopia on earth in the modern realm reached from back into europe and had its apparent terminus on fifty seven acres of midwest urbania. realities and the imperfections of human society and endeavors, tragically the dissonance that pushes past the ultimate tensile strength of dreams. a community is only as strong as the will of people and institutions to care for it. 1 corinthians 12:12-27.
If a housing project ever lives up to its own dreams, white liberals will have earned their smugness; til then, everyone's right to call bullshit. TPIM calls BS from the left: why use public $ on low-income housing & not commit $ sufficient for its upkeep? Why institute welfare policies that break families apart? TPIM mourns its subject w/o addressing whether subsidizing housing is the least of infinite evils.
Despite a few redundancies, I love the way this was done - the archival footage, the contemporary interviews, and Benjamin Balcom's score. It's a fine piece of socio-cultural heritage preservation. Freidrich's analysis pushes beyond conventional wisdom re the fate of such urban renewal projects, but I feel his own theories court reductionism. Trippy side note: architect Minoru Yamasaki designed the Twin Towers too!