Abandoned Cairo

Posted: April 12, 2011 in life
Tags: , ,

I have never seen a place like Cairo, Illinois. Never. In fact, it’s story has consumed me for the last few days.

Cairo (pronounced KAY-row) sits on the southern tip of Illinois, sandwiched between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. If you drove through Cairo and saw its beautiful old storefronts, churches, library and post office, you’d expect 10,000 or more people to live there. Then you’d be surprised to see the population is just over 2500.

It’s nearly abandoned.

Around 1900 the population grew to over 20,000 residents. Then with the decline of river towns across America, the population slowly started dwindling.

The pictures below don’t tell the whole story. Along with the decline of river trade, the civil rights movement tore this small town to shreds. The white business owners were soon outnumbered and instead of selling their businesses they simply closed and moved off to continue business elsewhere, leaving a town with a huge potential only a few residents.

How amazing would it be to revitalize a place like Cairo? Obviously it would take a thriving population, cash and tourism, but a guy can dream, right?

Abandoned house

Abandoned street

Abandoned building

Abandoned hospital

Abandoned street

Abandoned building

Abandoned street

Abandoned building

  1. John Archer says:

    I;m a little bit speechless looking at these, once were beautiful architecture, abandoned buildings. It kind of makes you wonder, when so many people are homeless in the big cities and here we have abandoned buildings that could be used for homes.

    Thanks for the pics – I enjoyed looking at them. It all has an aura of mystery about it. It seems like something is amiss seeing all this.

    . . ./John

  2. Brandon Gilbert says:

    Maybe the guys who are building Not-Gonna-HappenLand in Spring Hill can do something with this.

  3. Beverly King says:

    My husband and I went through Cairo (albeit accidentally) several years ago. It haunted me too as I have thought about it numerous times over the years. Those gorgeous buildings left to decay and in ruins. We drove through the old residential area and the houses were so ornate and their yards were gorgeous. A few were still inhabited but the vast majority were abandoned. So sad.

  4. […] my eyes and picturing that building as a hub of the city. I try to convince my wife to stop in Cairo, IL every time we drive through so I can snap a few new pictures of what once was a thriving […]

  5. Auntie Linda says:

    Makes me sad to see. My family lived in Cairo, adn surrounding cities back in the late 1800’s. I always wanted to visit to see if could find their homes. Too bad it can’t be revitalized.

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