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The Pruitt-Igoe Myth and Farewell to Oak Street at the Mayfair

Wednesday, March 2, 2016,  6:30pm (Doors Open at 6:00pm)

Special Location: Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa

Download the Poster

Urban Forum is pleased to present its second Urban Film night at the Mayfair.  The aim of the Urban Film Series is present films that focus on the mutually impactful relationship between urban design, architecture and people.  This year’s selections include “The Priutt Igoe Myth” as the feature, preceded by the National Film Board of Canada’s Farewell to Oak Street as a single program.

Admission is free and on a first come first served basis.  We are in the process of sorting details on advance reservations for tickets, so please stay tuned for more details.

About The Priutt-Igoe Myth

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth tells the story of the wholesale changes that took place in the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development in St. Louis. At the film’s historical center is an analysis of the massive impact of the 1949 Housing Act, which built Pruitt-Igoe and other high-rise public housing of the Fifties and Sixties. This critical piece of legislation also initiated the so-called urban renewal program and prompted the process of mass suburbanization, which emptied American cities of their residents, business and industry. Those that were left behind faced a destitute, rapidly de-industrializing St. Louis, parceled out to downtown interests and increasingly segregated by class and race. The residents of Pruitt-Igoe were among the hardest-hit. Their gripping stories of survival, adaptation and success are at the emotional heart of the film. The domestic turmoil wrought by punitive public welfare policies, the frustrating interactions with a paternalistic and cash-strapped Housing Authority, and the downward spiral of vacancy, vandalism and crime, led to resident protest and action during the 1969 Rent Strike, the first in the history of public housing. And yet, despite this complex history, Pruitt-Igoe has often been stereotyped, with help from a world-famous image of its implosion, and used as an argument against Modernist architecture or public assistance programs. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth seeks to set the historical record straight, to examine the interests in Pruitt-Igoe’s creation, to re-evaluate the rumors and the stigma, to implode the myth.

For the trailer click here

For an Interview with Chad Freidrichs (the film maker) click here

About Farewell to Oak Street

This documentary presents a before-and-after picture of people in a large-scale public housing project in Toronto. Due to a housing shortage, they were forced to live in squalid, dingy flats and ramshackle dwellings on a crowded street in Regent Park North; now they have access to new, modern housing developments designed to offer them privacy, light and space.


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