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Cairo, Illinois is mostly abandoned.It was once a thriving city of 15,000, but the Mississippi barges don’t stop there anymore, and racial turmoil, including a three-year boycott of white-owned businesses that refused to hire black workers, killed the town’s economy. The Cairo Project, from Southern Illinois University, is a good overview of Cairo’s history and its current situation. Can punk label Plan-it-X start a rebirth by moving to Cairo and opening a coffeeshop? If it helps, there’s still good barbecue.

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From “Foreclosed,” Alison Elizabeth Taylor - May 7 - June 19, 2010 - Selected Works - James Cohan Gallery
Studio 360: “Damaged homes are the focus of artist Alison Elizabeth Taylor’s show at  New York’s James  Cohan Gallery, called “Foreclosed.” A native of Las  Vegas, one of the cities hit hardest by the mortgage crisis, Taylor  snuck into empty houses in the region. Her pictures show the frustration  and rage that homeowners took out on their repossessed houses. Kurt  asks Taylor why she used the challenging medium of inlaid wood to recast  quick images of vandalism.”

From “Foreclosed,” Alison Elizabeth Taylor - May 7 - June 19, 2010 - Selected Works - James Cohan Gallery

Studio 360: “Damaged homes are the focus of artist Alison Elizabeth Taylor’s show at New York’s James Cohan Gallery, called “Foreclosed.” A native of Las Vegas, one of the cities hit hardest by the mortgage crisis, Taylor snuck into empty houses in the region. Her pictures show the frustration and rage that homeowners took out on their repossessed houses. Kurt asks Taylor why she used the challenging medium of inlaid wood to recast quick images of vandalism.”

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Many national retailers are in “lock-down” because of the recession, Sherer said, which means local retailers such as he are being courted more now, he believes. While it is possible that Sherer could have moved into Market Street without the recession, retail analysts maintain that opportunities for local independent retailers to get prime locations are exceptionally good now.

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"There’s a lot more that comes with those McMansions. There’s a lot more cleaning. There’s a lot more heating, a lot more cooling."

Builders Downsize the Dream Home - WSJ.com

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Idea for street-art project: Signs advertising fanciful future-use development plans