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Photo of the Week, 115: Threatened Downtown Beauty

Peoples Bank building (now Commerce Bank), corner of Center and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington

Seen here is the Peoples Bank building (now Commerce Bank), corner of Center and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington, sometime in 1935. The fate of this lovely seven-story commercial building at the southwest corner of the Museum Square is in the hands of city officials. An East Peoria developer has two plans, one that would clear this block and the one immediately to the west, and another that would preserve this structure while clearing the rest. A decision is expected by Bloomington City Council on the $8.2 million project.

Designed by Bloomington architect Arthur L. Pillsbury, the bank building opened in early August 1911. “Every effort has been made to make it attractive in appearance and attractive from a practical working standpoint. Structurally, the building is without a flaw,” Pillsbury said at the time.

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History

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