The Curse of Pruitt-Igoe

Rumor had it that the site of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe projects remains empty because the foundations are impossible to demolish. Turns out that the problem is politics, not pilings.
October 2, 2009, 5am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Steve Patterson at UrbanReviewSTL called up his old professor Martin Braeske, who had been a planner working for the St. Louis Public Schools when they were thinking about building a school on the former Pruitt-Igoe site.

Braeske says, "Each tower had a partial basement for boiler and mechanical systems equipment. The ones we found were intact and simple filled in with dirt. We dug them out, punched holes in the bottom to equalize the water table and demolished the walls to about eight feet below the finished ground level. While this did cost a bit, it is not a major deterrent to redevelopment of the site."

Patterson also talks with a Dutch filmmaker who is working on a documentary about Pruitt-Igoe.

Thanks to Reconnecting America

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Published on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 in Urban Review STL
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