Cochran Gardens

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Cochran Gardens in their demolition phase
Cochran Gardens in their demolition phase

Cochran Gardens was a public housing complex on the near north side of downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Construction was completed in 1953.[1] The complex was occupied until 2006[citation needed], 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,[2][3] as the infamous Pruitt–Igoe complex, Cochran Gardens was more successful than its ill-fated sister project. In the mid 1970's, Bertha Gilkey and a group of friends successfully led a community driven rehabilitation effort; in 1976 she won a property management contract from the city.[4] Independent management improved Cochran Gardens and created small business jobs in the neighborhood.[5] 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.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wright, John Aaron (2002). Discovering African American St. Louis: A Guide to Historic Sites. St. Louis, Missouri: Missouri History Museum.
  2. ^ "Built St. Louis | Vanished Buildings | Cochran Gardens". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "A Public Housing Success Story [Mackinac Center]". Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  5. ^ Weisman, L.K. (1994). Discrimination by Design: A Feminist Critique of the Man-Made Environment. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252063992. Retrieved 2015-05-17.
  6. ^ "Ecology of Absence: Cochran Gardens Demolition Nearing Completion". Retrieved 2015-05-17.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Photos of Cochran Gardens [1]

Coordinates: 38°38′14″N 90°11′24″W / 38.6373°N 90.1901°W / 38.6373; -90.1901