In the late 1800’s, Bloomington, Illinois was a powerhouse of agriculture, transportation and finance. The downtown business district is full of historical significance, and the buildings are loaded with the work of craftsmen from a century ago. The streetcars were replaced by city buses and Old Couthouse is now a museum, but you still can’t miss the Old Town’s historic charm.

The Old Coliseum Streetcar on North Main The People's Restaurant

The 1856 Dewenters Building is among several buildings on the National Historic Register. Abraham Lincoln worked with the attorneys here on landmark Civil Rights legislation. In the Kersey Fell building next door, Normal founding father Jesse Fell first proposed to Lincoln that he run for President.

The 1903 Livingston building, designed by noted architect George Miller was the town’s first skyscraper. Renowned for it’s lovely rooftop garden, it hosted many elegant affairs and saw it’s share of gossip-worthy intrigue as well. The upper floor luxury apartments are still some of the most coveted addresses in town.

Steeped in Bloomington history, The Castle Theatre also housed Williams Oil O’ Matic (Now Electrolux) manufacturing and WJBC radio. The Tilbury Flash- the orange airplane in the McLean County museum- was built in the garage. The building has undergone over $2 million in restorations recently and 6,500 sq ft lofts are available.

The 1843 Miller-Davis Law Building is Downtown Bloomington’s oldest surviving structure. Local historical greats Asahael Gridley and David Davis met with their friend Abraham Lincoln when he tried cases at the Eigth Criminal Circuit court nearby. Lincoln sometimes used an upstairs office to meet with clients and work.

Dewenters building Historic register plaque
Modern Livingston building Old Livingston building
Castle theatre building Williams Oil O Matic
Miller Davis Law building Historic plaque