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#Businesses

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week: Coachman Motel September 1962

Coachmen Motel, 1962.

The Coachman Motel opened on January 30, 1961, at 406 E. Washington St., on the eastern edge of downtown Bloomington. The 42-room motel was built for $500,000 (or nearly $4 million today, adjusted for inflation) by Robert Dunn, a Bloomington attorney.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Fire Department Demonstration, December 15, 1939

BFD public demonstration of new engines and equipment, 1939.

No need to panic! The State Farm Insurance Co. downtown building was not ablaze in mid-December 1939. This was a BFD public demonstration of new engines and equipment, including an 85-foot Seagrave aerial ladder truck. The photo on the right shows a similar photo angle, circa 2014.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Schultz Meat Market 109 S. Center St., Bloomington

Meat market, undated.

Dewey and Beulah Schultz ran this downtown meat market from 1945 into the 1950s.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Auto Hotel Downtown Bloomington

Fireproof automobile garage, 1937.

In July 1937, a group of Bloomington businessmen purchased the old post office building and then razed the post office in order to build Bloomington’s first fireproof automobile garage. The Auto Hotel opened in late June 1938.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

My Store, undated Downtown Bloomington

​Oscar Mandel's My Store, undated.

Oscar Mandel and brother-in-law Albert Schwarzman opened this five-story “trade palace,” located on the northeast corner of Center and Grove streets, in April 1913. It replaced a much smaller retail outlet at the same location. My Store, Bloomington’s largest discount retailer, closed in early 1931

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

North Side of Courthouse Square Downtown Bloomington, circa 1956

North side of the Courthouse Square, 1956.

Here’s a wonderful view of the 100 block of West Jefferson Street, or the north side of the Courthouse Square. Pictured here are Roland’s and Klemm’s, two longtime local retailers.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

New Corn Belt Bank, November 1961 East and Jefferson, Downtown Bloomington

Construction of Corn Belt Bank, 1961.

Construction began on a new Corn Belt Bank home office on September 13, 1960. The Bloomington bank was moving two blocks east from its longtime home on the Courthouse Square. This bank building opened in October 1961.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Irvin Theatre, June 1938 202 E. Jefferson St., Bloomington

Irvin Theater, 1938.

Opened in 1915 as the finest movie house in the Twin Cities, the Irvin (or at least its marquee) is seen in this June 1938 sidewalk-and-street scene. The view is looking east. The old theater was torn down in the fall of 1987 and today the site is a surface parking lot for Second Presbyterian Church.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Lost Bloomington South End of Downtown

Lost Bloomington, undated.

This undated aerial photo shows the six blocks bounded by Front, East, Olive, and Madison streets (outlined in red) that were razed beginning in the late 1950s to make way for an urban renewal “superblock” featuring the Law & Justice Center, what would become the Abraham Lincoln parking deck, and a nondescript office building.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

McDonald’s Open for Business 806 S. Main St., Normal February 1959

First McDonald's in Normal, 1959.

An intrepid Museum staffer tracked this wonderful image down, taken in mid-February 1959 - this being the first McDonald’s in the Twin Cities. Soon after, the drive-in opened.

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