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Pruitt-Igoe building (1954 - 1976)

Related: death of the avant-garde - modernist architecture - USA

“Modern[ist] architecture died in St. Louis, Missouri on July 15, 1972 at 3:32 pm when the infamous Pruitt-Igoe scheme, or rather several of its slab blocks, were given the final coup de grace by dynamite.” -- Charles Jencks

Pruitt-Igoe, 1955
image sourced here.

Pruitt-Igoe, 1972
image sourced here.


The Pruitt-Igoe housing project, originally built in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, has been regarded as one of the most infamous failures of public housing in American history.

Designed in 1951 by architect Minoru Yamasaki (who would later design the World Trade Center), it consisted of 33 11-story apartment buildings on a 57 acre (230,000 m²) site, totaling 2,870 apartments, and was completed five years later. The project was commissioned as part of the post-WWII federal housing program, as an attempt to bring people back to the city, but within a few years it quickly fell into disrepair and disuse, heavily vandalized by its own residents. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pruitt-Igoe [Jun 2005]

The beginning of postmodern architecture
[I]t is significant that the beginning of postmodern architecture is not considered to be the construction of any great building, but the destruction of the modernist Pruitt-Igoe housing project. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism#The_development_of_postmodernism [Jun 2005]

See also: architecture - modernist architecture - postmodern architecture - 1972 - Charles Jencks

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