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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington High from Above June 1963

“New” Bloomington High School, which opened four years earlier, is seen here in a June 1963 aerial. The view is looking southwest. Note the beginnings of Towanda Plaza in the lower right.

What else can you see of interest?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Long way up … and down! WJBC radio tower, 1949

Robert Bible (left) and Wilson Hall of the International Derrick and Equipment Co. of Columbus, Ohio, work on the installation of WJBC’s new radio tower. This 400-foot steel tower was adjacent to the station’s under-construction office and studio building off Route 66 (now Veterans Parkway) on the southwest edge of Bloomington.

Sixty-eight years later WJBC is still located at this site.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Unfinished Business Interstate 74 , October 1965

This aerial shows Interstate 74 under construction southeast of Bloomington in the fall of 1965. Note the abrupt end of the interstate at the bottom of this photo. Talk about traffic delays!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Extra! Extra! Read All About it! BHS student newspaper, 1954

The Aegis is Bloomington High School’s longtime student newspaper. Here’s chief photographer Bob Stoner in late October 1954 snapping BHS students Mary Ellen Ponsford and Courtney Read, both holding fund drive posters.

Who has fond memories working for their school newspaper?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Cotton’s Village Inn 401 N. Main St., Bloomington

Melton “Cotton” McNabney and his wife Millie took over management of this downtown eatery in 1948. Located in the basement of the three-story building on the northeast corner of Main and Monroe streets, some old-timers might remember Millie McNabney’s ham loaf, creamed chicken pie, or Swiss steak and pan gravy.

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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

Dennie Bridges, IWU February 1958

The Illinois Wesleyan legend is seen here as a promising freshman guard. A native of Anchor, a small village in eastern McLean County, Bridges would go on to coach the men’s team for 36 seasons, leading the Titans to a NCAA Division III national championship in 1997. He retired as the university’s athletic director in 2015.

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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

Better Babies Conference May 1929

The Pantagraph and Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, sponsored a three-day “Better Babies Conference,” May 7-9, 1929. Seen here are participants gathered around the registration table at Second Presbyterian. Seated is Nellie Motherway, president of the Holy Trinity School Parent Teacher Association.

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