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

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
26,678
Points
70
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/business/yourmoney/20shelf.html?_r=1&oref=slogin still fascinates us.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
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?
 

Luca

Cyburbian
Messages
1,194
Points
22
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?
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
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.
 

Luca

Cyburbian
Messages
1,194
Points
22
...the bastard!! :)

On a smaller scale, I think I would start with redeveloping a town that has fewer issues
 
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