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East St. Louis in St. Clair County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

700 East Broadway

Remembering the 1917 East St. Louis Race Riot

 
 
700 East Broadway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, November 5, 2019
1. 700 East Broadway Marker
Inscription.  The Broadway "Opera House" was an empty theater on this site. It was rumored that many African Americans were burned to death inside. No remains were identified in the ashes.
 
Erected 2017 by The East St. Louis 1917 Centennial Commission & Cultural Initiative, the Meridian Society, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. (Marker Number 7.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Illinois, Remembering the 1917 East St. Louis Race Riot marker series.
 
Location. 38° 37.357′ N, 90° 9.544′ W. Marker is in East St. Louis, Illinois, in St. Clair County. Marker is at the intersection of East Broadway (Illinois Route 15) and North 7th Street, on the right when traveling east on East Broadway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6 Riverpark Drive, East Saint Louis IL 62201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. S. 8th St. and E. Broadway (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); S. 6th St. and Railroad Ave. (about 700 feet away); S. 8th St. and Brady Ave. (approx. 0.2 miles away);
700 East Broadway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, November 5, 2019
2. 700 East Broadway Marker
An empty lot sits to the side of the marker, where a theater once stood
S. 5th St. and Railroad Ave. (approx. 0.2 miles away); S. 4th St. and E. Broadway (approx. 0.2 miles away); N. 4th St. and Division Ave. (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named S. 4th St. and E. Broadway (approx. mile away); S. 4th St. and Railroad Ave. (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in East St. Louis.
 
Regarding 700 East Broadway. Bystanders claimed to have seen men, women and children seek refuge in the basement of the building. Officially, no bodies were found, but the remains may have been incinerated. Firefighters could not save the theater, but did stop the fire from spreading to a nearby factory storing 1,000 gallons of oil and gas. The library that was next door to the theater was also saved. The theater was originally known as the McCasland Opera House, when it was opened in 1890.

Source: The Crisis, September 1917, p. 224
 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, Music
 

More. Search the internet for 700 East Broadway.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 6, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 6, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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