Pruitt-Igoe was supposed to be the answer to low-cost housing needs and overcrowding in St. Louis when it opened in 1954. All 33 of the development's 11-story apartment buildings were razed by 1976.

Pruitt-Igoe was supposed to be the answer to low-cost housing needs and overcrowding in post-World War II St. Louis. But within 20 years, several of the 33 11-story apartment buildings constituting Pruitt-Igoe would lie in rubble following their widely televised demolition. The rest would come down within four years. Thick, overgrown foliage and trees now blanket the vacant site where the uniform high-rises once stood.

An upcoming event will take a look back at the failed urban housing development.

A Pruitt-Igoe sidewalk tour and screening of the documentary “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” will begin at 6 p.m. July 26 at the St. Louis Fire Department Training Auditorium, 1421 Jefferson Ave. in St. Louis (63106). Michael Allen, director of the Preservation Research Office, a St. Louis-based historic preservation and architectural research organization, will lead the tour at 6 p.m.

“The Pruitt-Igoe Myth,” which will be shown at 7 p.m., uses the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development and its residents to tell the story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II.

A panel discussion will follow the film screening.

The event is sponsored by the St. Louis Metropolitan Research Exchange and the Institute for Urban Research at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. STLMRE is a consortium of academic scholars from universities and institutions across the St. Louis metropolitan area, including Terry Jones, chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and Mark Tranel, director of the Public Policy Research Center at UMSL.

The event is free. Contact Rebecca Pastor at 314-516-5277 or rebecca@umsl.edu to register.

Click here or below to view the trailer for “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth.”

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Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz

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