July 13, 2007

Volunteers needed to help with Cairo project

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale's "Preservation Summer" project is looking for volunteer help in Cairo.

An organizational meeting is set for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 17, in the community room of the Presbyterian Church, 1708 Washington St., in Cairo and the public is welcome to attend. A helping hand is needed inventorying lots and structures in the city.

SIUC's School of Architecture and Department of History sponsor "Preservation Summer." Participants are teaming with the Cairo Rotary Club and the Southern Illinois Development Empowerment Zone to help lay the groundwork for revitalization efforts in the local community. The inventory will be a planning tool for redevelopment of vacant land, houses and businesses in Cairo. Volunteers may select one or more blocks to inventory for the project.

It's all part of a multi-year urban design and community improvement project that will also involve the fall SIUC Urban Studies class. Organizers encourage those interested in historic preservation, neighborhood improvement and economic development to attend the meeting. For more information contact Robert Swenson, associate professor and architect from the School of Architecture, at 618/453-4772.