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Thread: CAIRO, Ill - Where Two Rivers Converge and Two Histories Divide

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    CAIRO, Ill - Where Two Rivers Converge and Two Histories Divide

    Article in the Sunday NY Times.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/us/20land.html?ref=us

    A good discusion about
    the dilemma of Cairo, defined as much by its proud and shameful history as by its position at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers

    For one thing, no one can afford demolition. So, in the residential area, historic mansions and well-maintained homes sit beside abandoned mansions and decrepit homes — eerie reminders that only 3,600 now live in a city designed for 15,000. Even the hospital stands empty.
    I guess Cairo (pronounced CARE-oh), like Centralia, PA
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/bu...=1&oref=slogin still fascinates us.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Interesting. I was in Cairo last summer and it was much like East St. Louis except that there wasn't any St. Louis to accompany it. The number of buildings that deserve restoration are overwhelming but I'm not enough of a visionary to see how that can happen.

    I was aware of Centralia but haven't been there. I do remember the controversy over the fire in the 80's and never envisioned that it was still burning away unchecked. Wonder how many tons of CO2 and particulates that contributes to the atmosphere?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    How’s this for “visionary”

    Look Cairo, Ill up on goggle maps. It’s a very self-contained community surrounded by the rivers and fields all round. Hardly any sprawl at all. If I were a billionaire, I would just buy up a much of the town and its surroundings as possible and turn the region into a producer on non-GM, organic produce/livestock. Restore much of the creeks/countryside/riverside to natural conditions/wildlife. The theme would be sophisticated, turn of the century ranch/country club. The town itself: renovate all the old buildings a build a few new ones – bars, restaurants – nice shops. It would be a weekend destination (smart, green country weekend fro St’Louis and Louisville area residents (hip urbanites and jaded suburbanites). You could run well-appointed (steam?) train services from either town so people who don’t feel like it or want to drink don’t have to drive. Fort Defiance could be tarted up and there are several nice old mansions in town. The town is of course also linked to M Twain and to the Underground Railroad and all that can definitely be played up. The central idea, though, is that the area could become a small town + rural retreat of some substance (creating job opportunities for the local population, of course).

    Whaddya think?
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    If I were a billionaire
    This is the part where my vision fails. The lottery just hasn't provided the income I so justly deserve and Bill Gates never stops by to see what he can do for me.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    ...the bastard!!

    On a smaller scale, I think I would start with redeveloping a town that has fewer issues
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Cairo must be Cyburbia's favorite dying city. We sometimes talk about how cool it would be to buy a few buildings and start a colony of sorts. Here's a group that did it in a small Kansas town.
    Last edited by Dan; 05 Jun 2007 at 2:13 PM. Reason: fixed url tag

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