City History

The City of East St. Louis, Illinois is located immediately east and across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis. In 1958, East St. Louis was named an “All American City” by the National Civic League, having developed an industrial core with railroad-related industries and warehouses, and achieving a population of over 82,000 residents.


Established in 1865 along the banks of the mighty Mississippi, the area has served as one of the main transportation hubs in the Midwest and throughout the country. Its location in the St. Louis region is strategic with four major highways (I-70, I-64, I-55, and I-255), an extensive railroad network, direct access to the Mississippi River, and close proximity to several major airports. The City is also part of the Metro light rail system which connects the region and its citizens.


With over 14 square miles of area, the once heavily industrialized City has been a victim of an industrial decline and subsequent resident flight for many years. However, the City is experiencing a renaissance of new development activity and stabilization of the community through increased housing and commercial activity. We invite you to become a part of this emerging rebirth!