I finally made it to Cairo, Illinois with my father last week. I have to admit, while I was prepared to see what many of my friends have already been documenting for years, I was struck how much more there was to this infamous town than just Commercial Avenue (seen above), which is the most common subject in Cairo “ruin porn.” In reality, while much of the town is vacant buildings or lots, a surprising amount of the town is in good to great condition. Over the next week or so, I will show the various facets of Cairo, the town described once as “further south than Richmond, Virgina” both literally and figuratively.
Above the public library, which locals describe as the Queen Anne Style, which I will accept, though that style usually utilizes wood.
Above, the stunning and well preserved Italianate style US Customs House.
Abandonment of both wood frame houses, and brick commercial buildings, dominates the east side of Cairo.
The Second Empire style Riverlore Mansion, and the the Italiante Magnolia Manor show the opulence of the town’s elite.
But much of the rest of the lower and eastern part of town, as mentioned above, is in rough shape.