The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

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The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby Sentenza » May 4th, 2013, 11:59 am

I always wondered wether they have any influence on crime and what impact public housing has on society?
Good or bad thing?

Post some pics, facts, knowledge in here.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today, urban legend, news reports and rap lyrics detail the deadening effects of concentrated poverty and misguided public policy that these “projects” have become.

7) Pruitt-Igoe, St. Louis MO

Image

Designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, who later designed the World Trade Center towers, Pruitt-Igoe was first occupied in 1954 but completed in 1956. Because Missouri public housing was racially segregated until 1956, the 33 11-story buildings were originally built to house segregated sects of young, middle-class whites and Blacks; but the projects became the home of mostly African American inhabitants as St. Louis’ white population fled for the suburbs.
Unlike most public housing plots, Pruitt-Igoe survived for only a short period of time. Critics say design failures, including “Skip-stop” elevators which only stopped at every three floors contributed to the downfall of the once heralded housing development. Reports of muggers waiting to rob residents in the stairwells as they trekked between elevator floors fueled high crime rates.
By 1971, Pruitt–Igoe housed only six hundred people in 17 of its original 33 buildings. That same year, federal authorities agreed to demolish parts of Pruitt-Igoe. By 1976, the rest of the Pruitt–Igoe was demolished.

6) Queensbridge Houses, Queens NY

Image

The 3,142-unit Queensbridge Houses is the largest public housing development in the U.S. Located in the western part of the borough of Queens, the houses are technically two separate complexes (North and South Houses) that house nearly 7,000 people. Architects designed the collection of six-story buildings in a unique Y shape hoping to give residents more access to sunlight.
During the 1950s, a majority of Queensbridge residents were white. Since, they have become inhabited by predominantly African American and Latino families. Like many of the infamous housing projects, Queensbridge was the home to a host of notable hip-hop artists (Nas, Marley Marl, MC Shan, Roxanne Shante and Mobb Deep) who have detailed the housing project’s poverty-stricken conditions in their rhymes. Gun violence and a vibrant illegal drug-trade sum up their details of the harsh realities living in Queensbridge.
In 2005, Queensbridge made news after New York authorities raided the housing project to dismantle the infamous “Dream Team” drug syndicate.

5) Robert Taylor Homes, Chicago IL

Image

Located in the Bronzeville neighborhood of the South Side of Chicago, the Robert Taylor Homes were at one time the largest public housing development in the country. Completed in 1962, the developments were named after Robert Taylor, the first Black student to enroll at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology back in 1888.
Composed of 24 16-story high-rises and a total of 4,415 units, the Robert Taylor Homes were once home to Mr. T, athletes Kirby Puckett and Maurice Cheeks, and the current governor of the state of Massachusetts Deval Patrick.
During its time, the Robert Taylor homes housed some of the poorest residents in the country. A 1999 article reported that 95 percent of the housing development’s 20,000 residents were unemployed and listed public assistance as their only income source. With such poverty, the Robert Taylor Homes recorded some of the highest rates of violent crime and gang activity in Chicago.

4) Jordan Downs, Watts CA

Image

Originally constructed in the Watts section of Los Angeles as temporary housing for war workers during World War II, but converted to public housing in the early 1950s, the Jordan Downs Housing projects is one of the few public housing developments named after regular people (David Starr Jordan, and Samuel Elliot Downs, two of the area’s oldest residents).
What started as a partially integrated development in its early years, became majority African American by the mid-60s due to Los Angeles’ restrictive covenants and an influx of African Americans who continued to migrate west after the war. Since, Jordan Downs has become a microcosm of the ills of South Los Angeles. Police brutality and a lack of employment fueled a sense of hostility among African Americans living in Jordan Downs and throughout Watts. The world witnessed these social tensions during the 1965 Watts riots. Gang violence in the 80s and 90s highlighted the plight that still persists today.

3) Magnolia Projects, New Orleans LA

Image

Officially named the C.J. Peete Projects, the Magnolia Projects were built in a part of Uptown New Orleans known as Central City.
When construction began in 1941, the development bordered Louisiana Ave., Magnolia Street, Washington Ave. and La Salle Street. Fourteen years later, the complex was expanded north six additional city blocks to Clara Street. Flint Goodridge Hospital, African American New Orleanians’ primary source for medical care from the time of Jim Crow until the 1980s when it closed, was located in Magnolia’s southwest corner.
Rife with all the urban blight consistent with many poor areas and public housing developments, Magnolia’s murder rate consistently ranks the highest of all the city’s public housing developments, a startling fact considering that New Orleans itself frequently has one of the highest murder rates in the nation.
The Dooney Boys, one of New Orleans’ largest street gangs, calls Magnolia its home. More notably, Magnolia has bred many of the south’s biggest hip-hop artists including Juvenile, Soulja Slim, and Jay Electronica.

2) Marcy Projects, Brooklyn NY

Image

Located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, the Marcy Houses or Marcy Projects were named after William L. Marcy, the 11th Governor of New York, who later served as the U.S. Secretary of War and U.S. Secretary of State. Its 1,705 apartments house more than 4,200 residents.
Known as the childhood home of rapper Jay-Z, Marcy ‘s infamous reputation has been documented in countless rap songs. Jay-Z ‘s “Murder Marcyville” was named to describe the development’s violent lure. And his “Where I’m From” track details the poverty and prevalence of gun violence and crack cocaine that consumed the housing development. In the song, Jay-Z raps “ [I’m from...] Where you can’t put your vest away and say you’ll wear it tomorrow / Cause the day after we’ll be saying, damn I was just with him yesterday.”

1) Cabrini Green, Chicago IL

Image

Originally named the Frances Cabrini Rowhouses after Frances S. Cabrini, the first American citizen to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, the public housing development on Chicago’s near North Side was bordered by Evergreen Ave. on the north, Orleans Street on the east, Chicago Ave. on the south, and Halsted Street on the west. Made up of 3,607 units at its peak, Cabrini Green housed more than 15,000 people.
After nearby factories closed in the 1950s leaving many of Cabrini Green’s working-class residents out of work, poverty and crime began infecting the development. Since, Cabrini Green’s poverty-stricken high crime conditions have been documented more than any of Chicago’s housing projects. USA Today described Cabrini Green as “a virtual war zone, the kind of place where little boys were gunned down on their way to school and little girls were sexually assaulted and left for dead in stairwells.”
In 2010, Chicago closed Cabrini Green.

http://newsone.com/1555245/most-infamou ... -projects/

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Re: The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby Sentenza » May 4th, 2013, 12:51 pm

^^ I read somewhere that Jordan Dowans arent even the biggest housing project in LA but that Nickerson-Gardens are considerably bigger.
JD had 700 housing units and NG about 1000 in the article i read.


Heres some stuff from my Hometown, we have some huge housing projects, bigger then the US ones (due to the GDR/communist public housing policy)...

Berlin-Marzahn (62,000 housing units)

Thats the biggest housing project in europe right there, you can get lost easily there.
20 years ago they were infamous for skinhead gangs and vietnamese organized crime wars, because a lot of vietnamese guest workers were housed there as part of socialist dealings between the GDR and Vietnam...

Image

This housing block in Berlin is not even near as big, but used to have a bad reputation.
It was built on the exact same place where the Berliner sportpalast (sports palace) stood during the Nazi era (the place where Goebbels, the nazi minister for propaganda held his famous speech about total war during WW2.
It was called "sozialpalast"/welfare palace, because of the people who lived there and my dad used to say that the landlord collects his money with a machine gun there (proverbially).

Image

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Re: The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby alexalonso » May 5th, 2013, 12:19 am

Sentenza wrote:I always wondered wether they have any influence on crime and what impact public housing has on society?
Good or bad thing?

Post some pics, facts, knowledge in here.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today, urban legend, news reports and rap lyrics detail the deadening effects of concentrated poverty and misguided public policy that these “projects” have become.

7) Pruitt-Igoe, St. Louis MO

Image

Designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, who later designed the World Trade Center towers, Pruitt-Igoe was first occupied in 1954 but completed in 1956. Because Missouri public housing was racially segregated until 1956, the 33 11-story buildings were originally built to house segregated sects of young, middle-class whites and Blacks; but the projects became the home of mostly African American inhabitants as St. Louis’ white population fled for the suburbs.
Unlike most public housing plots, Pruitt-Igoe survived for only a short period of time. Critics say design failures, including “Skip-stop” elevators which only stopped at every three floors contributed to the downfall of the once heralded housing development. Reports of muggers waiting to rob residents in the stairwells as they trekked between elevator floors fueled high crime rates.
By 1971, Pruitt–Igoe housed only six hundred people in 17 of its original 33 buildings. That same year, federal authorities agreed to demolish parts of Pruitt-Igoe. By 1976, the rest of the Pruitt–Igoe was demolished.

6) Queensbridge Houses, Queens NY

Image

The 3,142-unit Queensbridge Houses is the largest public housing development in the U.S. Located in the western part of the borough of Queens, the houses are technically two separate complexes (North and South Houses) that house nearly 7,000 people. Architects designed the collection of six-story buildings in a unique Y shape hoping to give residents more access to sunlight.
During the 1950s, a majority of Queensbridge residents were white. Since, they have become inhabited by predominantly African American and Latino families. Like many of the infamous housing projects, Queensbridge was the home to a host of notable hip-hop artists (Nas, Marley Marl, MC Shan, Roxanne Shante and Mobb Deep) who have detailed the housing project’s poverty-stricken conditions in their rhymes. Gun violence and a vibrant illegal drug-trade sum up their details of the harsh realities living in Queensbridge.
In 2005, Queensbridge made news after New York authorities raided the housing project to dismantle the infamous “Dream Team” drug syndicate.

5) Robert Taylor Homes, Chicago IL

Image

Located in the Bronzeville neighborhood of the South Side of Chicago, the Robert Taylor Homes were at one time the largest public housing development in the country. Completed in 1962, the developments were named after Robert Taylor, the first Black student to enroll at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology back in 1888.
Composed of 24 16-story high-rises and a total of 4,415 units, the Robert Taylor Homes were once home to Mr. T, athletes Kirby Puckett and Maurice Cheeks, and the current governor of the state of Massachusetts Deval Patrick.
During its time, the Robert Taylor homes housed some of the poorest residents in the country. A 1999 article reported that 95 percent of the housing development’s 20,000 residents were unemployed and listed public assistance as their only income source. With such poverty, the Robert Taylor Homes recorded some of the highest rates of violent crime and gang activity in Chicago.

4) Jordan Downs, Watts CA

Image

Originally constructed in the Watts section of Los Angeles as temporary housing for war workers during World War II, but converted to public housing in the early 1950s, the Jordan Downs Housing projects is one of the few public housing developments named after regular people (David Starr Jordan, and Samuel Elliot Downs, two of the area’s oldest residents).
What started as a partially integrated development in its early years, became majority African American by the mid-60s due to Los Angeles’ restrictive covenants and an influx of African Americans who continued to migrate west after the war. Since, Jordan Downs has become a microcosm of the ills of South Los Angeles. Police brutality and a lack of employment fueled a sense of hostility among African Americans living in Jordan Downs and throughout Watts. The world witnessed these social tensions during the 1965 Watts riots. Gang violence in the 80s and 90s highlighted the plight that still persists today.

3) Magnolia Projects, New Orleans LA

Image

Officially named the C.J. Peete Projects, the Magnolia Projects were built in a part of Uptown New Orleans known as Central City.
When construction began in 1941, the development bordered Louisiana Ave., Magnolia Street, Washington Ave. and La Salle Street. Fourteen years later, the complex was expanded north six additional city blocks to Clara Street. Flint Goodridge Hospital, African American New Orleanians’ primary source for medical care from the time of Jim Crow until the 1980s when it closed, was located in Magnolia’s southwest corner.
Rife with all the urban blight consistent with many poor areas and public housing developments, Magnolia’s murder rate consistently ranks the highest of all the city’s public housing developments, a startling fact considering that New Orleans itself frequently has one of the highest murder rates in the nation.
The Dooney Boys, one of New Orleans’ largest street gangs, calls Magnolia its home. More notably, Magnolia has bred many of the south’s biggest hip-hop artists including Juvenile, Soulja Slim, and Jay Electronica.

2) Marcy Projects, Brooklyn NY

Image

Located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, the Marcy Houses or Marcy Projects were named after William L. Marcy, the 11th Governor of New York, who later served as the U.S. Secretary of War and U.S. Secretary of State. Its 1,705 apartments house more than 4,200 residents.
Known as the childhood home of rapper Jay-Z, Marcy ‘s infamous reputation has been documented in countless rap songs. Jay-Z ‘s “Murder Marcyville” was named to describe the development’s violent lure. And his “Where I’m From” track details the poverty and prevalence of gun violence and crack cocaine that consumed the housing development. In the song, Jay-Z raps “ [I’m from...] Where you can’t put your vest away and say you’ll wear it tomorrow / Cause the day after we’ll be saying, damn I was just with him yesterday.”

1) Cabrini Green, Chicago IL

Image

Originally named the Frances Cabrini Rowhouses after Frances S. Cabrini, the first American citizen to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, the public housing development on Chicago’s near North Side was bordered by Evergreen Ave. on the north, Orleans Street on the east, Chicago Ave. on the south, and Halsted Street on the west. Made up of 3,607 units at its peak, Cabrini Green housed more than 15,000 people.
After nearby factories closed in the 1950s leaving many of Cabrini Green’s working-class residents out of work, poverty and crime began infecting the development. Since, Cabrini Green’s poverty-stricken high crime conditions have been documented more than any of Chicago’s housing projects. USA Today described Cabrini Green as “a virtual war zone, the kind of place where little boys were gunned down on their way to school and little girls were sexually assaulted and left for dead in stairwells.”
In 2010, Chicago closed Cabrini Green.

http://newsone.com/1555245/most-infamou ... -projects/


i interviewed people in 4 of these projects.

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Re: The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby alexalonso » May 5th, 2013, 12:42 am

i was born here, inthe McKinley Projects in the Bronx. My parents moved here in 1961 0r 1962 when they were brand new. it didnt make the list.
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Re: The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby Sentenza » May 5th, 2013, 4:58 am

alexalonso wrote:
i interviewed people in 4 of these projects.


Which ones?

I think the list is kind of random though, there are some missing that could be up on there...

And i am surprised that Jordan Downs is kind of smaller then i thought.

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Re: The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby Sentenza » May 5th, 2013, 4:13 pm

When it comes to size Russia has by far the largest areas covered by public/social housing projects, maybe china gets somewhere close, but they have whole cities covered with that stuff.

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Re: The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby cliffard » October 1st, 2013, 3:59 pm

Sentenza wrote:When it comes to size Russia has by far the largest areas covered by public/social housing projects, maybe china gets somewhere close, but they have whole cities covered with that stuff.


eastern europe has the most high rise social housing without a doubt...places like nowa huta in warsaw poland...
we have quite a bit in the uk...i was surprised at the size of that estate in berlin...again the communist building ethic 'workers homes', a good idea especially after the devastation of world war 2 but these places get run down quickly...

i was surprised when i saw the gangbang areas in los angeles, i expected it to be all highrise run down estates like new york/chicago/london etc etc, seeing the nice mom and pop bungalows on 83rd street and just south of USC was a real eye opener...still, space is not such a factor in america as it is in europe, and id rather live in a high rise in london than one of those pretty little bungalows that i described before, im sure mob hood in compton looks similar, it might be miserable weather rotten flats (apartments) and full of thieves in london/birmingham/berlin/paris etc, but at least youre not likely to catch a stray bullet...

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Re: The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby Sentenza » October 1st, 2013, 11:24 pm

cliffard wrote:it might be miserable weather rotten flats (apartments) and full of thieves in london/birmingham/berlin/paris etc, but at least youre not likely to catch a stray bullet...


Very true. When you look at many american ghettos, they dont even look like one, with exceptions like Chicago or some parts of New York, etc.
Shootings are a rare occasion in the places you mentioned compared to the US and other places, no doubt about it...
In the early 90s, the US Military sent their doctors to MLK Hospital in LA to practice for Iraq/gunshot trauma injuries.
But they dont have these high rise PJs in LA because they are death traps in areas with earthquakes. Thats why they mostly have these small buildings in LA County.

This was one of the rare occasions in Berlin, it occurred in the 90s in the housing projects i mentioned above:

Berlin Journal;In Germany, Vietnamese Terrorize Vietnamese
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/05/23/world ... amese.html

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Re: The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby lachica69 » October 2nd, 2013, 11:55 am

I had a chance to visit New Orleans a year after Katrina, a year later. I went to the C.J. Peete Projects, the Magnolia Projects were built in a part of Uptown New Orleans known as Central City. The housing project was abandoned, totally different from the pic we see. It was weird to see a project with no one there. We were the only one's there walking the grounds.

Many of these people migrated to other states and cities around that time, and if you recall hearing of all the new problems these places were having with its influx of immigrants from New Orleans. Crime and violence had risen. I believe these people still had the same mentality even though they left this place. Poverty and lack of education plays a major role in a persons behavior, and especially if its past down from generation to generation. These facilities were originally designed just like government assistance to aid low to poor income people to help them out while they work to get themselves in a better income bracket. But, unfortunately it didn't. It backfired and the people just accepted the lifestyle and rolled with it. Where there is a higher density of people there will be crime and violence.

This project never reestablished itself back to its original state, thank goodness.It was eventually demolished and In 2011,then re branded as Harmony Oaks community and opened as a mixed-use community of 460 apartments and homes including public housing, low income and market-rate dwellings. Very similar to what is to be done with Watt's project, too.

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Re: The 7 Most Infamous U.S. Public Housing Projects

Unread postby Sentenza » October 2nd, 2013, 5:06 pm

lachica69 wrote:
This project never reestablished itself back to its original state, thank goodness.It was eventually demolished and In 2011,then re branded as Harmony Oaks community and opened as a mixed-use community of 460 apartments and homes including public housing, low income and market-rate dwellings. Very similar to what is to be done with Watt's project, too.


What i wonder is, is it the housing lifestyle that causes the crime or is it the people the housing projects attract?
I mean low income, troubled in life people. Cause they will always move where housing is cheapest. No matter what country in the world you look at, its always the same. Thats why there always have been ghettos and always will.
So i am not sure if demolishing housing projects really helps fighting crime. Ok, you might break this or that gangs power but sure as as hell something will replace it some other place, whereever these people go, because they wont change their attitude just because their old house got demolished.....
Its the people who need help & assistance and get their old mindset "demolished".


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