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Planning promises on the north side, from Pruitt-Igoe to Paul McKee

Pruitt-Igoe in the 1960s
U.S. Geological Survey

By Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio


St. Louis – The heart of developer Paul McKee's ambitious plan for St. Louis' North Side is an empty lot that was once home to the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex.

In the 1950s, Pruitt-Igoe was touted as a model of urban planning, but it became a high profile failure.

McKee is making even bigger promises and says a more diverse plan to attract jobs and residents will help turn things around in North St. Louis.

Maria Altman begins St. Louis Public Radio's four-part serieson McKee's plans for the North Side with a look at how one man hopes to succeed where others have failed.


For all of the documented problems at Pruitt-Igoe, it was home to thousands of people. Many former residents have fond memories of their time in the housing complex, especially in its early years.