All About Bloomington
The City of Bloomington is located in the heart of Central Illinois, approximately 125 miles southwest of Chicago, 155 miles northeast of St. Louis, and 64 miles northeast of Springfield, the State Capital. Bloomington is the County Seat of McLean County, the largest county in Illinois (approximately 762,240 acres). Bloomington (pop. 76,610) is a twin City with the Town of Normal (pop. 52,497). Interstates 39, 55 and 74 converge on Bloomington-Normal, as well as US Route 51 and State Route 9.
The twin cities are also serviced by two major railroad lines and Amtrak, as well as air transportation at the Central Illinois Regional Airport, one of the fastest growing airports in the country, which services commuter, corporate, and private aircraft.
Bloomington is located in one of the most productive agricultural areas in the nation, but the economy is diverse and well-balanced. In addition to the major manufacturers and industries , there are two universities, two hospitals, a convention center, one indoor mall, one outdoor mall, and many banks and Savings & Loan Associations located in Bloomington-Normal. The City of Bloomington is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Illinois with and estimated 20.25% increase in population between 1986 and 1995. New construction continues to enhance residential, industrial and commercial growth. (source: http://www.cityblm.org/visitors/about-the-city)
Things To Do In Bloomington:
Come Spend A Day In Bloomington!
Whether teeing off on one of its three golf courses, biking along the 37 miles of Constitution Trail or observing a Sumatran tiger at the Miller Park Zoo, tourists visiting Bloomington, Illinois, find plenty of things to do. In fact, for a city with fewer than 100,000 residents, there’s a lot going on.
In 2005, Golf Digest ranked the Twin Cities of Bloomington and Normal, the smaller neighbor immediately to the north, as the fifth best golf city in the country. Together, the Twin Cities boast nine golf courses, providing ample access to the sport. The Den at Fox Creek, one of Bloomington’s three municipal courses, is an Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course.
Another reason for visiting Bloomington is to enjoy one of its annual dramatic productions. The Illinois Shakespeare Festival has brought together theater professionals and interns for summer performances since 1978. The Illinois State University School of Theater joins forces with its College of Fine Arts for these productions, staged in an Elizabethan-style outdoor theater on the grounds of Ewing Cultural Center in Bloomington. The American Passion Play, another annual performance, is one of the oldest continuously performed passion plays.
Anyone who loves the outdoors will revel in Constitution Trail. Bloomington and Normal worked together in the late 1980s to establish the initial hiking and biking trail along 4.3 miles of abandoned railroad track. Today, the trail spans 37 miles. Community groups, including the McLean County Wheelers and the Friends of the Constitution Trail, help maintain it. In 2000, the White House recognized Constitution Trail as one of its Millennium Trails.
Parents looking for a great place to take their children need look no farther than Miller Park Zoo, home to an assortment of animals, including reindeer and red pandas. Although small, this quaint zoo offers some unique and engaging exhibits. At the Wallaby WalkAbout, for example, guests wander through an area where kangaroo-like wallabies roam. Children may also participate in classes or camps. The Overnight Program, available for youth groups, is another one-of-a-kind experience at Miller Park Zoo.
For history buffs, one of the top attractions in Bloomington is the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, which dates back to 1820. The 87-acre grounds serve as the final resting place for several notable individuals. Perhaps the most famous is Adlai Stevenson, who served as Vice President under Grover Cleveland. The grave of five-month-old Dorothy Gage is also of interest. This child was the niece of Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, who named the protagonist in his famous novel after her. A soldier from the Revolutionary War and the top baseball pitcher of the 19th century are also buried in the cemetery. (source: https://www.mapquest.com/us/il/bloomington-282037754)
Education in Bloomington
About Bloomington Educational System
Bloomington is served by two public school districts. The interior of the city is served by Bloomington Public Schools District 87, which operates one high school, Bloomington High School, one junior high school, Bloomington Junior High School, and six elementary schools (Oakland, Washington, Bent, Irving, Sheridan, and Stevenson elementary schools) and one pre-school, Sarah Raymond (named for the first female superintendent for Bloomington).
Growth has taken the city well into the boundaries of a second district, McLean County Unit District No. 5. Although Unit Five originally served only suburban areas, including Normal, the majority of its students now are from Bloomington itself. Unit Five operates two high schools (Normal Community High School and Normal Community West High School), four junior high schools, and numerous elementary schools. As of 2010, Unit Five was constructing its fourth junior high school which is called George Evans Junior High School more commonly known as EJHS. The construction was finished in 2011 Unit 5 was also making two new elementary schools in Bloomington, and is projecting the need for another high school.
Bloomington is also home to several private schools, including Central Catholic High School, Holy Trinity Elm./Jr. School, Epiphany Elm./Jr. School,St. Mary’s Catholic School, Trinity Lutheran School, and Cornerstone Christian Academy. Bloomington students also may enroll at Metcalf Elm./Jr. School and University High School, laboratory schools located at Illinois State University.
The city of Bloomington is home to one university and one trade school:
- Illinois Wesleyan University, founded in 1850, is a private residential university with an enrollment of 2,100 and a student/faculty ratio of 12 to 1. Historically, it was affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The University consists of the College of Liberal Arts, with 17 academic departments; the College of Fine Arts, comprising professional Schools of Art, Music, and Theatre Arts; and the School of Nursing. In the past decade, Illinois Wesleyan has added the five-story Ames Library, the Center for Natural Science, and the Shirk Center for Athletics and Recreation. An NCAA Division III school, Illinois Wesleyan has had more than 100 athletes elected into the Academic All-American team since 1970.,
- Hairmasters Institute of Cosmetology, Inc. offers classes in pivot point hair sculpture, hair design, long hair design, hair texture, hair color, people skills and salon management instruction.
Neighboring Normal Illinois is home to:
- Illinois State University
- Heartland Community College
Bloomington/Normal Japanese Saturday School , a Japanese weekend school, was established in 1986 and held at the Thomas Metcalf School, an ISU laboratory school in Normal. The school has a separate office in Normal. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomington,_Illinois#Education)
History of Bloomington:
Bloomington is rich in history!
The Bloomington area was at the edge of a large grove occupied by the Kickapoo people before the first Euro-American settlers arrived in the early 1820s. Springing from the settlement of Keg Grove, later called Blooming Grove, Bloomington was named as county seat on December 25, 1830, when McLean County was created.
When the County of McLean was incorporated, a county seat was established. However, the legislation stated the site of Bloomington “would be located later.” James Allin, one of the new county’s promoters, offered to donate 60 acres (240,000 m2) of his land for the new town. His offer was accepted, and Bloomington was laid out. Its lots were sold at a well-attended and noisy auction on the 4th of July 1831. At this time there were few roads, but rich soils brought new farmers who began commerce by conducting their business in the newly formed county. People came from all over to trade and do business at the town’s center, known today as Downtown Bloomington, including Abraham Lincoln who was working as a lawyer in nearby Springfield, Illinois.
In 1900 an officer on patrol discovered a fire in a laundry across the street from the old City Hall and Police Station. He sounded the alarm but the fire destroyed the majority of the downtown, especially the areas north and east of the courthouse. However, the burnt area was quickly rebuilt from the designs of local architects George Miller and Paul O. Moratz.
During the first two decades of the 20th century, Bloomington continued to grow. Agriculture, the construction of highways and railroads, and the growth of the insurance business (mainly State Farm Insurance) all influenced the growth of Bloomington and its downtown area. The downtown area became a regional shopping center attracting trade from adjoining counties. Labor unions grew in strength. This trend has continued to the present day, where expansion has included many restaurants and other businesses. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomington,_Illinois#History)
Check out Bloomington’s Neighborhood
Bloomington is a larger medium-sized city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 78,292 people and 23 constituent neighborhoods, Bloomington is the 12th largest community in Illinois.
Bloomington is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 86.33% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Bloomington is a city of professionals, sales and office workers and managers. There are especially a lot of people living in Bloomington who work in office and administrative support (14.21%), sales jobs (10.89%) and computer science and math (9.51%).
Also of interest is that Bloomington has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.
One thing that you will notice about Bloomington is that there is a good-sized population of people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. Many singles consider Bloomington a good place to live without being in a really big city, with opportunities for friendships and fun with others like themselves.
Compared to the rest of the country, citizens of Bloomington spend much less time in their cars: on average, their commute to work is only 17.23 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the city are less than they would otherwise be.
Bloomington is a very ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Bloomington home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Bloomington residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Bloomington include German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish and French.(source: https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/il/bloomington/)
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Andrew Cornett is a Branch Manager with LeaderOne Financial Corporation, a mortgage banking firm that was established in 1992 and funds over $1.5 Billion annually in residential real estate purchase and refinance home loans.
Andrew works out of the Springfield , IL mortgage branch office and is licensed for Illinois FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional and Jumbo mortgage programs.