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Photo of the Week, 51: Unexpected Archaeology, Downtown Bloomington, 1969

In November 1969, employees of Danville, IL-based Fairhall Elevator Co., while installing a new elevator at American State Bank on the east side of the Courthouse Square, were surprised to uncover remnants of an older elevator. Their discoveries included a 30 to 40-foot-long hydraulic tube buried at the bottom of the shaft, equipment that likely dated to a time when the building was the Metropole Hotel more than a half century earlier, back when elevators operated with water hydraulics.

Seen here are Kerney Poole (left), an American State employee, and Roy Stoller of Fairhall. Renovations and new construction in older downtown buildings often brings surprises, then and now! “Sometimes you just don't know what you're getting into when you start a job," quipped one Fairhall employee.

For a history of American State Bank, see Museum Librarian Bill Kemp's “A Page from Our Past" column in last Sunday's Pantagraph here:

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

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