Saturday, July 10, 2010

Parks College, Cahokia, IL.

I grew up in Cahokia, IL. It's a small town on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River across from St. Louis. Parks College was part of life in Cahokia, it was an aviation college that was part of St. Louis University. In 1997 the College was moved across the river to the main campus of SLU. The buildings in Cahokia have remained abandoned and left to vandals and nature.

I couldn't resist getting a few pictures of the place. A police officer stopped in, checked on us and what we are doing. He said there were plans to convert one of the buildings into a new police station, but the cost to renovate was to great. They have built a YMCA on part of the campus.



I added more pictures from the college on flickr.

8 comments:

Small City Scenes said...

I always found it odd that perfectly good buildings are just left to decay. And then just to be used the cost to bring them up to code is too much. Crazy!! MB

PJR said...

Thanks for the pictures - I graduated from Parks in 1976 and have not been back since. It is sad to see the place now - had such great memories of the school and the people of Cahokia. Is the Ranch still open?

Anonymous said...

I graduated from Parks in 1996 before they moved over across the river. Lived in Mercury Hall and worked in the dining hall. These are some sad photos. SLU should be ashamed, but will try to send you a pledge letter to build a fountain for dolphin statues.

Anonymous said...

The YMCA bought out the gym. I'd say about 2007, the campus still looked as if they had left it in 1998(?). over the last 1-3 years did vandals decide to break into every building and smash the entire place up( almost as if someone went with a baseball bat and destroyed everything they could find.)

There are still chalk writings on the boards saying something to the effect of- "please have your lab desks clear out before Sept 28". I personally think it's so eery that a professor wrote that back in '98 and it's still there. It's a ghost campus. We've taken pics of the paintings on the walls of the res halls/wind tunnel room to teach the small trace of history to new Parks students that care to learn about it- at least one of the organizations that was born on that campus tries to.

I was a current student that was taught the history of that amazing place. and the sad truth that not many people don't care about the old campus anymore or know of it.

I believe the ranch is no longer there. i think new ownership and building. or just new ownership.

Parks Guard is still there sometimes. To the Guard!

Anonymous said...

Just an additional FYI - the YMCA will soon close here as well...

PJR said...

PJR

This is my second post – I graduated from parks in 1976. The airline that I fly for started service to Saint Louis and on my first long layover I visited the campus. It was an overcast morning around 9AM and there was a light drizzle in the air. As I pulled into the circular driveway (West entrance) a sad and creepy feeling came over me – this was a Ghost Campus just like the pictures show. I walked around the campus – windows busted out , doors hanging off the hinges and just the sound of a light wind humming through the buildings. All the buildings are still there except for the Gym that was across the street (West Side of campus). As I walked by the cafeteria the bulletin board still had announcements posted for upcoming student events. I did not venture into any of the buildings since I was alone.

I had such great memories of that school and I was glad to pay my respect before it gets torn down someday. Park's has an amazing history – it has flying school certificate number 1 and trained pilots in world war II.

My next stop was Bi State Parks ( were I learned to fly) and visited the old Park's hanger again in disrepair and closed up – as I stood and looked at the old building I noticed a Curtis Wright emblem made of concrete hanging proudly over the hanger door – that would be worth something to a collector

There is a private organization that is trying to start a Aviation History museum in the hanger.

And yes the Ranch is still there – but under a different name. Spent many a night drinking a cold one and chowing down on a cheese burger and fry.

Ron Smith said...

I'm Ron Smith, Class of 78 and 97. I went to the college today 3 Feb 2012 and took over 40 pictures of all the buildings. As others have commented, they are in SAD shape. It saddens me to know that this campus, with such a long and rich history, is being left to the elements. I would like to do something...but I don't know what...

Harlan W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.