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Thread: Cairo, Illinois: worth the stop if I'm going in that direction?

  1. #26
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I looked through Dan's pictures. Holy cow, WTF happened?!?! Wiki wasn't much help. That's really depressing.
    I looked at the pics too. Amazing!

    You know, it might be interesting and enlightening to examine Cairo from the standpoint of what's left and the who/what/where/when/why of how ANYTHING managed to survive after such a spectacular decline - not unlike the way certain folks study the few surviving American chestnut trees or survivors of the ebola virus.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    I've just been looking through your pictures, which leant itself to looking through other pictures in the gallery... If one thing has happened over the years i have been reading this forum, you have all done a rather good job of putting me off ever even going to America.

    Perhaps you could take some pictures of some nice bits?

  3. #28
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I've got the last of the Cairo images uploaded, which show the now very small portion of the city that hasn't been decimated by decades of abandonment and neglect. I'll be starting a new thread soon where all the images will be in one place.

    To non-US Cyburbians: please understand that Cairo is NOT a typical American small town. We're fascinated with it because while many small towns in the United States have struggled in recent decades, noplace has fallen as hard as Cairo, and the backstory is so fascinating and tragic. Americans are proud, but we're also very transparent; like a skateboarder proudly showing off his scars to his buddies, we tend not to hide our scrapes, bruises, scabs and infections.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #29
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    I fully understand your point, and that Cairo is an exception. But to be honest I was referring to the greater body of photo and places threads I have come to love reading over the years as well. Perhaps if i come into money i should take a year off and travel around (/buys lottery ticket).

  5. #30
    interesting thread. I work in a 39 county region of Illinois that includes Alexander County (Cairo)...

    I drove through town on one of my random "get to know the area I work in" road trips one saturday... it really is the land time forgot... its population is barely 20% of what it was in the 20's (when a lot of those structures were built)... doing some wikipedia research... population is 60%+ black, and 60%+ in poverty... making it one of the poorest school districts in America

    There are a lot of towns down here in Southern Illinois (south of I-70 by my definition) that have deteriorated because of loss of jobs and capital... Lawrenceville, Centralia, Mt. Vernon all come to mind... but none of them are as bad as Cairo... the race riots killed the town (not that the waning importance of the town along the river helped much)

    the "little egypt" counties around the tip of the state are the poorest in Illinois... populations aging in place, no jobs, limited social services, no mobility for residents... its not a pretty situation.

  6. #31
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    Cairo Illinois visit

    My husband and I drove through Cairo Illinois today. The desolation of this river town is unbelievable--it reminds one of an old abandon movie set.

    However, what did surprise me were the infrastructure improvements made to the historic downtown area. Lining the streets filled with condemned buildings and closed businesses are modern gas lights that appear to be 5 - 10 years old. The intersections also have newer brick pavers. Additionally, the riverfront has recently undergone an restoration, complete with a brand new parking lot.

    It would be interesting to know where the dollars came from for the improvements, as the improvements seem to be a too little and a little too late. It will take much more than street lights and brick pavers to bring back this sad town.

    I found a plan on the Internet to spend an additional $10 million in Cairo for a Civil War park. Does anyone know of any other plans for improvement? I could find nothing that spoke to improving the historic downtown other than a few college summer programs at UI.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian Plus
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    BUMP -
    Be careful if you drive through area -
    HEADLINE: Layoffs, lost cruisers: Sheriff's headaches mount
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...,5054562.story

    This article was printed in my fair city's newspaper's sunday edition.

    HIGHLIGHTS:
    this month laid off three-fourths of his staff, leaving just four deputies to help cover the county that spans more than 250 square miles in far southern Illinois. Just days later, he surrendered five patrol cars to the local bank for nonpayment, leaving his department just one county-owned vehicle

    And by midweek, Barkett's prisoners may be turned away from the regional jail because the county hasn't kept up paying for the upkeep of its inmates there.
    Would you be afraid if that was your county's budget circumstance ?
    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)

  8. #33
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Would you be afraid if that was your county's budget circumstance ?
    No, I'd be elated. You don't even want to think about the red ink here.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #34
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    BUMP -
    Be careful if you drive through area -
    HEADLINE: Layoffs, lost cruisers: Sheriff's headaches mount
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...,5054562.story

    This article was printed in my fair city's newspaper's sunday edition.

    HIGHLIGHTS:


    Would you be afraid if that was your county's budget circumstance ?
    I just saw on the news the other night that a department in or near Rockford was donating 5 squad cars to Alexander County so they could continue to police Cairo and surrounding areas. SOME good news, at least.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  10. #35
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Could there be a push forthcoming to 'rationalize' some of the local-level government in that area, such as dissolving cities/villages, (force?) merging counties and school and other special-use districts, etc?

    Mike

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