Cochran Gardens was a public housing complex on the near north side of downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Construction was completed in 1953. The complex was occupied until 2006, it was famous for its residents' innovative form of tenant-led management. In 1976, Cochran Gardens became one of the first U.S. housing projects to have tenant management. Built by the same firm, Leinweber, Yamasaki & Hellmuth, as the infamous Pruitt–Igoe complex, Cochran Gardens was more successful than its ill-fated sister project. In 1969 it was as run down as Pruitt–Igoe; casual sniper firing at pedestrians earned it the nickname of "Little Nam". In the same year, twenty-year-old Bertha Gilkey led a nine-month rent strike in protest against living conditions at Cochran Gardens; in 1976 she finally won a property management contract from the city. Independent management improved Cochran Gardens and created small business jobs in the neighborhood. President George H. W. Bush visited the site in 1991, commending tenant management and Bertha Gilkey. However, in 1998 city authorities took over Cochran Gardens, citing tax mismanagement by the tenant association. The buildings rapidly deteriorated, by 1999 vacancy rate increased from under 10% to one-third.
Cochran Gardens, which survived into the 21st century, was demolished in 2008.
- Pruitt–Igoe, in St. Louis, Missouri
- Cabrini–Green, in Chicago, Illinois
- Robert Taylor Homes, in Chicago, Illinois
- St. James Town, in Toronto, Canada
- Ballymun Flats, in Dublin, Ireland
- Red Road (flats), in Glasgow, Scotland
- Panel house, in various communist countries
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Photos of Cochran Gardens