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East Side Exodus, November 1966 Penney’s to Eastland Mall

Aerial view of Eastland Mall, 1967.

On November 10, 1966, JCPenney moved into the still under-construction Eastland Shopping Center on what was then the far eastern edge of Bloomington. Eastland Mall would officially open its doors three months later, February 16, 1967, though Penney’s and other retailers, such as Sears, Roebuck and Co., were already doing business there.

This June 1967 aerial photograph, looking north, shows Bloomington-Normal’s east side on the cusp of full-blown development sprawl. Seen here are Fairway Knolls subdivision (A); Illinois Agricultural Association (B); Veterans Parkway (C); Kmart (D); Eastland Mall (E); and St. Joseph’s Hospital (F).

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

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

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