This aerial, taken by The Pantagraph’s very own news plane “Scoop,” shows the Henry C. and Carrie Berenz, Jr. residence in the fall of 1933. They moved into the newly built home at 5 County Club Place in February 1930.
During the Great Depression an infusion of federal dollars through New Deal “alphabet” agencies and projects kept millions of Americans on the job and able to put food on the family table. In 1934, the Bloomington-Normal Sanitary District received a loan and grant from the PWA to construct a storm water sewer running roughly 3,000 feet.
Much of what’s seen here is long gone, lost forever to the wrecking ball. The view is the 400 block of East Washington Street looking southwest. The “motor bank” drive-in is no longer there. Today at that location is a former dry cleaners that’s now home to Meltdown Creative Works.
It is impossible to study the history of agriculture and rural life in McLean County without examining the career of Gordon Ropp. His dedication to the advancement of agriculture and enrichment of rural life has played an instrumental role in shaping McLean County.
A Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and an internationally respected authority on the game, Jill Hutchison’s first brush with organized athletics was her seventh grade basketball team. But soon after, the self-proclaimed “Army brat” transferred to Germany where she spent three years in a physical education class that featured marching as an appropriate activity for young women. Jill says that disappointing experience would be a motivation for the rest of her career.
Since Father Ric Schneider arrived in Bloomington to become the pastor of St. Mary’s Parish 23 years ago he has built St. Mary’s into an institution that contributes to the well-being of the entire community, serving the needy regardless of faith.
Jack Porter’s passion for social justice has defined his life and career over five decades. Inspired by his Christian faith and his experiences while studying in India, Jack has long immersed himself in local struggles to end unfair housing practices, to fight racism, to give legal representation to the poor, and to stop predatory actions that threaten people, neighborhoods, and the environment.
A longtime fixture on the west side of the Courthouse Square, Thompson’s Restaurant welcomed locals and out-of-town visitors alike for about 40 years—from the mid-1910s into the 1950s.
The south side of the 200 block of West Washington Street is seen here about 1883. That’s the three-story Bloomington Fire Department Station No. 2 in the middle with the lookout “tower” and bell. The firemen posing out front are likely from Hose Co. No. 2.
By the mid-1950s, Dutch elm disease had ravaged many of the city’s tree-lined streets. The disease had yet to reach this stretch of East Grove, though. Phillip Hogan (on bike) chats with Marty Weigman is this summer of 1956 scene along East Grove Street, looking east.
Advocate BroMenn Medical Center opened its doors way back in May 1896. In 1901, it was called Brokaw Hospital after a large donation by Bloomington plow maker Abram Brokaw. With expansion and the merger with Mennonite Hospital of Bloomington in 1991 came the “mash-up” name of BroMenn Regional Medical Center and the Advocate part of the name was introduced in 2010.
Once Normal’s oldest church building, First American Baptist was located at the northeast corner of School and Mulberry streets. It was built in 1870-1871, making it 130 years old when it was torn down on September 26, 2000.
The Central Illinois Holiness Association, an interdenominational camp meeting grounds, is situated east of Underwood Park off Jersey Avenue. The association dates to 1883 and was first located in Farmer City, DeWitt County. The association relocated to Normal in 1894 and this property was acquired in 1916.
Forty nurses, doctors, and supervisors attended the annual Mennonite School of Nursing banquet on May 14, 1930, held at the Illinois Hotel in downtown Bloomington. Eloise Lehmann of Pontiac and Eula Peden of Lexington, presidents of the junior and senior classes respectively, addressed those gathered, as did Dr. H.P. Sloan
What was once the far southwestern edge of Bloomington is seen here in this 1933 aerial. Obviously, there was no Route 66 “Beltline” / Veterans Parkway at this time! Today, Veterans Parkway curves around the northwestern corner of the Jewish Cemetery.
Seen here is an undated photograph of the “Lost Children” area for an Easter egg hunt at Miller Park held by Bloomington Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department. The three children and adult are unidentified.
Seen here is a section of downtown Saybrook in the spring of 1941. The view is from the intersection of West Lincoln and South Center streets, looking south down Center Street. The rail line barely visible in the background is the Nickel Plate Road.
Back in 1968 there wasn’t much at what’s today the intersection of Veterans Parkway and GE Road! The General Electric plant opened in 1954 and shutdown remaining manufacturing in the fall of 2010.
Seen here is the north side of the 200 block of East Washington Street about 1956. Partially visible on the left edge of this photograph is old Withers Library, the forerunner to Bloomington Public Library. The handsome building to the east of Withers is the Arthur L. Pillsbury designed Bloomington Club. In the 1950s, the apartment-like building east of the Bloomington Club served as professional offices.
This aerial, taken by The Pantagraph’s own news plane “Scoop,” shows the northern end of under-construction Lake Bloomington in the summer of 1929. By the following spring, late March 1930, the city was pumping fresh water from this lake to the city reservoir off Division Street.