The Evolution of Bloomington-Normal: Where Have We Come From, Where Are We Going?
May 19, 21, 26, 28 (Tuesdays / Thursdays)
Freedom, Land and Community: McLean County in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Tuesday, May 19
The story of McLean County is one of people defending their freedoms, as they understood it; living on the land for sustenance as they had the means to do so; and developing communities to sustain their dreams. This presentation is based upon his research and writing on the history of McLean County in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Greg Koos, Executive Director Emeritus, McLean County Museum of History
Bloomington-Normal: From Neighborhoods to Subdivisions
Thursday, May 21
Into the 1950s, most of Bloomington-Normal lived within walking distance—roughly 1.5 miles—of workplaces. By the 1970s, housing, employment and much else had dispersed along roadways and into subdivisions. This talk traces the area’s decentralization and considers its consequences.
Alan Lessoff, Professor of History, ISU
East Side, West Side, All Around Downtown: The Power of Our Historic Neighborhoods
The heart of Bloomington is reflected in the historic neighborhoods surrounding downtown. While sprawl to the east and southwest has often overshadowed these neighborhoods, they are thriving and continue to be revitalized. What is working and why does it matter?
Ruthie Cobb, Local Historian
Karen Schmidt, Former Bloomington City Council Alderwoman
The Tale of Two Central, Core Business Districts
Tuesday, May 26
Uptown Normal has undergone major changes in the past 25 years. Learn how this transformation was accomplished and what’s in store in the future with Normal 2.0 and beyond. Downtown Bloomington has been in the cross-hairs of redevelopment for 50+ years. A major piece of commerce in downtown has been centered in the State Farm building, and now this iconic office building is on the verge of being reborn. Get an overview of the changes in downtown.
Mercy Davison, Town Planner, Town of Normal
Bill Kemp, Librarian, McLean County Museum of History
Our Community’s Growing Diversity
Thursday, May 28
Hear from a panel of local residents from various minority ethnic groups and cultures who have diversified and enhanced the Bloomington- Normal community. Learn about their first-hand experiences of opportunities and challenges moving here, both the joys and pains, and how the community has changed in the past several generations in terms of acceptance, food, entertainment and more.
*Walk-in The Evolution of Bloomington-Normal: Where Have We Come From, Where Are We Going?, $15.00 for individual session pay at the door.