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#1960s

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Excuse me, comin’ through May 1968

On May 22, 1968, workers removed a roof off a gas station being dismantled at the corner of Lee and Washington streets on the west end of downtown Bloomington. The roof was being moved to Locust Street where it would be placed atop another gas station.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Defense Work at Firestone May 1968

a woman is pictured standing in the middle of a gigantic approx 12 foot diameter firestone tire.

Janet Froemming, receptionist at the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (now Bridgestone Tires) plant in Normal, gets a close look at a tire produced for the U.S. Army’s latest generation amphibious vehicle known as the LARC (Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo). These LARC tires were first shipped to the Army Depot in Polk, CA on May 29, 1968.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

St. Joseph’s Hospital, Bloomington Under Construction, circa 1967

This circa 1967 aerial looks northwest. That’s under-construction St. Joseph’s Hospital in the center, with the Route 66 “beltline” (now Veterans Parkway) in the foreground. To the right (or north) is Eastland Mall, which formally opened in February 1967. This east side St. Joe’s, which would open in March 1968, replaced the old west side hospital off Morris Ave.

Who remembers when the east side of Bloomington liked like this?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Normal Fire Department New pumper, May 1968

Fire Inspector Charles Smalley (left) and Fire Chief Victor “Spud” Sylvester, Jr. take a close look at the controls of Normal’s new 1,000-gallon-per-minute pumper truck. It cost $23,000 at the time, which would be more than $162,000 in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Eureka Williams aerial June 1966

This summer 1966 view of the near southeast side of Bloomington, looking east, offers a wealth of information. “A” is Oakaland School; “B,” Holiday Club, a private park that the city purchased in 1970; “C,” Meadows subdision; “D,” Lakeside County Club; and “E,” Eureka Williams Co.

What else can you see? Who remembers the water tower north of Holiday Club?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Penney’s Readies Eastland Store November 9, 1966

J.C. Penney opened in the new Eastland Shopping Center (now Eastland Mall) on November 10, 1966. This photograph was taken a day before the grand opening as employees readied the store for the expected crush of bargain hunters.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

The Shattertones June 1966

Timothy P. Irvin (left, kneeling in front of the guitar) formed The Shattertons in 1960 as a high school freshman. Six years later the band was performing local gigs.

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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

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

Pillsbury House The Wrecking Ball Looms

Second Empire and Italianate architectural style house.

This undated photograph was taken not too long before this historic house, a mix of Second Empire and Italianate architectural styles, was torn down.

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