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Photo of the Week, 103: Broadview Mansion Bell Tower, November 1939

Broadview Mansion Bell Tower, November 1939

For nearly 75 years the Broadview Mansion bell tower has served as a local landmark. Bloomington architect Phil Hooten designed this 110-foot-high tower, seen here in November 1939 under construction, in what he called a Northern Italian Romanesque style. The tower is situated on the old estate of Bird Colladay "B.C." Van Leer and his wife Margaret Diadem Langstaff. The grounds also include the Van Leer's 1906 residence known as the Broadview Mansion. B.C. Van Leer passed away in 1933, and Margaret saw to the erection of this tower as a memorial to her husband. On Sunday, September 29, 1940, a crowd of some 1,500 local residents and invited guests gathered at Van Leer estate for a formal dedication ceremony.

Today the mansion, tower, and five-acre estate are owned by the Immanuel Bible Foundation with financial assistance coming from the Town of Normal.

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

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

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