The question of where were the commitments and the will to survive arises when looking back at the traces of decay of Pruitt-Igoe in 1977. How could we let this happened, was it our lack of commitment, was it the moral decay, or was it the failure of planning and architecture?
I believe the key driver in the myths of Pruitt-Igoe is the lack of “dignity”. It is the essential qualitative substance that allows one to commit and strive to for a better day. In this design, I want to introduce not a tangible object, but a framework for the human condition. To provide hope where there is despair, to patch where it decays, and save the essence where there is death.
The images of abandoned structures are proof of despair. Those structures to me represent the dignity that St. Louis need to save. A community and its people need to preserve what it stands for, in this case. I believe we need to salvage the remains of what is left and surgically adapt to the tears that disintegrate the urban fabric of St. Louis. Cass Avenue to me links Pruitt-Igoe to the most essential symbol of life and purification that is the Mississippi river. It represents the cultural corridor that can potentially link the site to the city and ultimately interstate. Strengthening Cass Avenue will create a spine for future development. Once the salvage structures are relocated the empty parcels can be lease or a form of re-introducing the Homestead Act to generate the economic engine that will save the city. The goal is to give back dignity and bust the myth of Pruitt-Igoe.