200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

#Towns -- Bloomington

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Model-Paris, 1938 Downtown Bloomington

Back in 1938, Model-Paris Launderers & Cleaners had two location in the Twin Cities: 208-216 E. Market St., seen here, and the corner of Beaufort Street and Broadway Avenue in Normal.

The Model-Paris building shown here is long gone. Today the old building site is—what else!—a surface parking lot.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Majestic Theatre, Bloomington May 1937

First opened in 1910, the Majestic Theatre was located at the corner of East and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington. This March 1937 scene shows folks lined up for a musical variety show presented by the employees of State Farm Insurance. The show was held May 26-28.

This old vaudeville house came down in 1956 to make way for the Bloomington Federal Savings and Loan Association building (today known as the Government Center).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Vroom, vroom

This undated photograph shows a Pantagraph motorcycle and sidecar at the corner of Madison and Washington streets. The view is looking east. What a way to deliver newspapers!

Behind the stylish rider is the Hills Hotel, which later became the Tilden-Hall, which was torn down in 1962.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Pillsbury House The Wrecking Ball Looms

Second Empire and Italianate architectural style house.

This undated photograph was taken not too long before this historic house, a mix of Second Empire and Italianate architectural styles, was torn down.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington’s far west side Undated aerial

At the time of this photograph, Funk Bros. Seed Co. operated the grain silos and complex of buildings seen in the lower half of this view. The plant in the upper right shows a Ralston-Purina Co. facility. Today, the Funk Bros. silos are home to Upper Limits, the popular climbing gym. Cargill, Inc. now operates the Ralston-Purina site.

What else do you see here?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Hot Times on in Downtown Bloomington June 19, 1949

This early summer scene shows a crowd gathered outside the Western Union office on the 200 block of West Washington Street. The business had been evacuated due to a fire call (note the BFD engine parked in the middle of the street).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

‘Craig’s Wife,’ February 1947 Community Players, Bloomington

On February 6 and 7, 1947, Community Players Theatre staged the domestic drama “Craig’s Wife.” The theater company’s current home on Robinhood Lane did not open until 1962, so at this time plays were held at the Scottish Rite Temple (now the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts).

We don’t know who’s who here. If you can identify anyone, please let us know.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington High Swim Team February 1953

Five BHS swimmers prepare for the Big 12 Conference meet in Peoria in this mid-February 1953 scene. Left to right: Peter Whitmer, Hal Johnstone, Ray Baxter, Chuck Dunbar, and Adlai Rust, Jr.

Five BHS swimmers prepare for the Big 12 Conference meet in Peoria in this mid-February 1953 scene. Left to right: Peter Whitmer, Hal Johnstone, Ray Baxter, Chuck Dunbar, and Adlai Rust, Jr.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Carrie Behrend Retires February 1, 1958

After 33 years with C.W. Klemm’s, a locally owned department store in downtown Bloomington, Carrie Behrend retired on Saturday, February 1, 1958. She had spent the past 14 years in the pattern department. Located on the north side of the Courthouse Square, Klemm’s closed in November 1981.

Miss Behrend passed away on August 8, 1964.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Urban Renewal, Bloomington Future Site of Library, 1971

This view, looking north-northeast, shows the future site of Bloomington Public Library (opened in 1977).

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