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Out with the Old . . . Keiser-Van Leer Expansion, 1936

Keiser-Van Leer building, 1936.

Seen here is the northeast corner of East and Market streets in downtown Bloomington, late 1935 or early 1936. Keiser-Van Leer Co., a mechanical contractor and hardware dealer, was preparing to demolish the two-story buildings in the foreground (both the wood frame and brick structures) to make way for a two-story Streamline Moderne addition. The five-story structure looming over the doomed buildings was to undergo a significant facelift as well, with its exterior matching the new addition. The talented Bloomington duo Archie Schaeffer and Phillip Hooton served as architects.

The Keiser-Van Leer building and addition later became home to Clark and Barlow hardware store. Today it’s occupied by East Street Hardware and Tools.

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History

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