By 1935, The Pantagraph had outgrown its 1887 home. Construction of new and expanded quarters began that year at the same location.
The Twin Cities first McDonald’s restaurant opened in early 1959. The view here is looking southeast from the 800 block of South Main Street in Normal. The chain, which at this time boasted some 100 restaurants, had earlier opened drive-ins in Peoria and Decatur. Today, of course, McDonald's is one of the largest fast food restaurant chains in the world, with more than 36,000 “outlets” in 119 countries.
This colorful view shows the 200 block of North Main Street in the late 1970s. All of these buildings are gone, including the Griesheim Building, seen on the left, the granddaddy of downtown office buildings. In late August 1984, it was lost in a spectacular blaze started by an arsonist.
Much of what’s seen here is long gone, lost forever to the wrecking ball. The view is the 400 block of East Washington Street looking southwest. The “motor bank” drive-in is no longer there. Today at that location is a former dry cleaners that’s now home to Meltdown Creative Works.
A longtime fixture on the west side of the Courthouse Square, Thompson’s Restaurant welcomed locals and out-of-town visitors alike for about 40 years—from the mid-1910s into the 1950s.
The south side of the 200 block of West Washington Street is seen here about 1883. That’s the three-story Bloomington Fire Department Station No. 2 in the middle with the lookout “tower” and bell. The firemen posing out front are likely from Hose Co. No. 2.
Seen here is the north side of the 200 block of East Washington Street about 1956. Partially visible on the left edge of this photograph is old Withers Library, the forerunner to Bloomington Public Library. The handsome building to the east of Withers is the Arthur L. Pillsbury designed Bloomington Club. In the 1950s, the apartment-like building east of the Bloomington Club served as professional offices.
Ross Griffin of Stark Excavating keeps an eye on crane operator John Quiram as he makes short work of the Mar-Len Hotel, 309 N. Center St., in early June 1988.
Back in the summer of 1925 iron workers were completing the steel frame for the new Ensenberger’s furniture store high rise. This seven-story beauty was designed by local architect Arthur L. Pillsbury. It opened in May 1926, but Pillsbury had been killed in an automobile accident the previous October.