Gem Theatre — Cairo, Illinois

Cairo, Illinois (March 2017) The Gem Theatre opened its doors in 1910, and seated 685.
A fire in 1934 completely gutted the theatre, and it was rebuilt two years later in Art Deco style, including a new, elegant marquee.
Cairo, Illinois (March 2017) The Gem Theatre continued to operate for nearly another half century, before it was closed in 1978. On January 26, 1979 the Cairo Historic District, including the Gem Theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sadly, many of the buildings included in that district have fallen to the wrecking ball in the last 5-10 years.

Cairo, Illinois (2012)
The Gem Theatre as seen in March 2012

As you can see from the pictures above, the last 5 years has not been particularly kind to the Gem Theatre. As buildings surrounding it have fallen to the wrecking ball, a giant tree now grows out of the side, bursting through the brick wall of the Gem.

Cairo, Illinois (March 2017)
The Gem Theatre and the giant tree that is breaking through the side wall (March 2017)
Advertisements

McClure High School — Alexander County, Illinois

DSCN0436 McClure (population approximately 200) is located in Alexander County near Cape Girardeau, Missouri. McClure sits about a mile southeast of the Mississippi River on Illinois Route 3. The Old Prairie Creek flows through the center of McClure. The area was first settled in 1836 and a post office there was named “Clear Creek Landing”. The town was later officially recognized and the name changed to “Wheatland” in 1887. The name of the town was changed to McClure in 1895 in honor of a man named J.T. McClure.

DSCN0441
In 1938, McClure High School was built through an effort by the Public Works Administration. The school districts of McClure, Wolf Lake and Grand Tower consolidated around the mid-1950’s into the Shawnee School District. After the three districts merged the high school waslocated in Wolf Lake in Union County. McClure then became an elementary school.
DSCN0438 In September of 2013, after nearly 10 years of pushed back plans, ground was broken on a new Shawnee Consolidated Elementary School and McClure which had been operating as Shawnee Elementary School-South would close at the end of the 2012-13 school year. DSCN0440
When the school closed it was home to 76 students in grades Kindergarten through 4th.

Old Route 3 Bridge — Gale, Illinois

This truss bridge carries old Illinois state route 3 over Sexton Creek near the community of Gale in northern Alexander County, Illinois.

Old Gale Bridge -- Alexander County, Illinois
The bridge was constructed in 1933 and bypassed by the reconstruction of state route 3 to the west in 1990.
Old Gale Bridge -- Alexander County, Illinois
The bridge is 337 feet long and 23 feet wide. It was rehabilitated in 2011
Old Gale Bridge -- Alexander County, Illinois
This bridge is elegible to be considered to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.