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#Towns -- Normal

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Briarwood Neighborhood Bloomington-Normal, 1934

Aerial view of Briarwood, 1934.

This aerial photograph, looking southwest, shows a section of the Briarwood neighborhood that straddles the Twin Cities of Bloomington and Normal. This photo was taken on February 8, 1934, by Pantagraph farm co-editor Frank Bill from “Scoop III,” a black-and-silver Stinson Jr. monoplane, the third of four planes owned by the newspaper.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Postwar Housing Boom Maplewood Subdivision, January 1957

Maplewood subdivision, 1957.

New suburban-like developments sprouted up in the Twin Cities in the years after World War II to accommodate young couples and their Baby Boom children. Seen here are 1404 (left) and 1406 Maplewood Drive in Normal’s Maplewood subdivision.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

ISSCS Christmas Circa 1950

Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School children, 1950.

Christmastime at the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School in Normal included many traditional activities, such as trimming the tree. Seen here are ISSCS students decorating a Christmas tree placed in front of the state orphanage’s Norman-style residential cottages.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Say Cheese! ISNU Basketball, 1939

ISU basketball, 1939-1940.

Seen here is the 1939-1940 Illinois State Normal “A” or varsity squad, which would go on to finish the season 21-5 and champions (two years running) of the “Little Nineteen” athletic conference.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Eleanor Roosevelt visits the Twin Cities, November 9-10, 1937

Eleanor Roosevelt, 1937.

On November 9-10, 1937 First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, sans husband Franklin Delano, paid a visit to Bloomington-Normal. Mrs. Roosevelt is seen here relaxing at the Illinois Hotel in downtown Bloomington while taking questions from a Pantagraph reporter.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

‘Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile’ 1961 Edition

Fall leaves, 1961.

Seen here is Illinois State Normal University senior Connie Townsend from Princeton, IL, enjoying an idyllic fall day back in early November of 1961.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Illinois State Normal University Homecoming Parade, October 25, 1958

ISU Homecoming parade, 1958.

The Illinois State University homecoming parade has passed through Uptown Normal since the 1920s. Pictured here from the 1958 parade are members of the visiting Northern Illinois University marching band heading east on North Street. In the football game later that afternoon, the #Redbirds dispatched the NIU Huskies 33-18. Illinois Wesleyan University also held its homecoming on this day.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Angelic Coeds, September 27, 1940 Dedication of the Van Leer Chime Tower

Van Leer Chime Tower, 1940.

Bill Kemp's “Page from Our Past” column in the Pantagraph (linked below) detailed the estate in south Normal The September 27, 1940 dedication ceremony of the history of the chime tower on the Broadview Mansion included theatrical elements, such as Illinois Wesleyan University students Dorothy Mae Wilson and Helen Jean Brooks dressed as angels.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

The Times They Have Changed! Town of Normal, 1966

Ariel view of Normal, 1966.

This view of the Town of Normal and Illinois State University, taken in 1966 from either Hewett or Manchester halls, two recently opened high-rise dormitories, looks west. Visible in the distance are Hancock Stadium and the Tri-Towers residential complex (Haynie, Wilkins, and Wright halls). The houses shown here were later razed to make way for the ISU Student Center (completed in 1973) and Milner Library - Illinois State University (1976).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Old Main Comes Down September 9, 1958

Old Main building, 1958.

On September 9, 1958, a one-ton wrecking ball made quick work of Illinois State University’s first campus building, affectionately known as “Old Main.” Today, a memorial featuring the building’s bell can be found on the north end of the Illinois State Quad.

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