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Normal, Illinois
Normal, Illinois is located in Illinois
Normal, Illinois
Location within the state of Illinois
Coordinates: 40°30′44″N 88°59′19″W / 40.51222°N 88.98861°W / 40.51222; -88.98861Coordinates: 40°30′44″N 88°59′19″W / 40.51222°N 88.98861°W / 40.51222; -88.98861
Country United States
State Illinois
County McLean
Townships Normal, Dry Grove, Towanda
Founded February 1865
Incorporated 1867
Government
 - Mayor Chris Koos
Area
 - City 13.7 sq mi (35.4 km2)
 - Land 13.6 sq mi (35.3 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.44%
Elevation 869 ft (265 m)
Population (2008)
 - City 52,056
 Density 3,687.5/sq mi (1,427.1/km2)
 Metro 164,209
Time zone Central Standard Time (USA) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) Central Daylight Time (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 309
Website www.normal.org

Normal is an incorporated town in McLean County, Illinois, United States. It had a population of 45,386 as of the 2000 census. The smaller of two principal municipalities of the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area in area and population, Normal's population had risen to 50,519 by 2005.[1]

Originally known as North Bloomington, the town was founded under the name of Normal in February 1865 and officially incorporated in 1867.[2] The name was taken from Illinois State Normal University, a normal school (teacher-training institution) located there. The school has since been renamed Illinois State University after becoming a general four year university. Normal is adjacent to Bloomington, Illinois, and when mentioned together they are known as the "Twin Cities," "Bloomington-Normal," or simply "B-N." The current mayor of Normal is Chris Koos.

The main campus of Illinois State University, a four-year, fully accredited institution, Illinois' oldest public university, is located in Normal, as is Heartland Community College, a two-year, fully accredited institution. There is also a satellite campus of Lincoln College, which offers associate degrees as well as four-year programs.

As of 2009, downtown Normal is being revitalized to attract new businesses, and was recently made the home of the new Children's Discovery Museum. The district is also home to the historic and non-profit Normal Theater, a restored Art Deco theater owned by the Town of Normal that runs classic and independent films. In 2007, the town council voted to name the downtown area "uptown Normal",[3] though the name change was not popular in town.[3][4][5]

A large percentage of residents of Normal are employed by Illinois State University, State Farm Insurance (Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington), Country Financial (Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington), Unit 5 schools, and the Mitsubishi Motors North America manufacturing facility, which manufactures the Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder, Endeavor, and Galant.

Contents

Geography

Normal is located near 40°30′44″N 88°59′19″W / 40.512189°N 88.988701°W / 40.512189; -88.988701 (40.512189, -88.988701).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 13.7 square miles (35.4 km2), 13.6 square miles (35.3 km2) in land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2) (0.44%) in water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 45,386 people, 15,157 households, and 8,184 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,286.6/km sq (3,332.6/mi sq). There were 15,683 housing units at an average density of 444.6/km sq (1,151.6/mi sq). The racial makeup of the town was 87.57% White, 7.71% African American, 0.15% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.56% of the population.

There were 15,157 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.0% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the town the population was spread out with 17.5% under the age of 18, 38.1% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 13.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males. The unusual age and sex distributions are due in large part to the presence of Illinois State University. A significant number of students at Illinois State University reside in Normal, and the institution has large programs in several female-dominated academic fields, such as education and nursing.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,379, and the median income for a family was $60,644. Males had a median income of $41,323 versus $27,486 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,775. About 5.6% of families and 19.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over. However, traditional measures of poverty can be highly misleading when applied to communities with a large proportion of students, such as Normal.

Transportation

Three Interstate highways pass through Normal. Interstate 55 wraps around the north and northwest edge of the city. Interstate 74 shares the I-55 roadway on the western edge of Normal before splitting off toward the northwest. Normal is the southern terminus of Interstate 39.

Central Illinois Regional Airport is located on Route 9 in Bloomington, approximately five miles east southeast from Downtown Normal. The airport is served by five airlines and five rental car agencies, and has direct daily flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Orlando and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

The Bloomington-Normal Amtrak station is located in Downtown Normal at 100 E. Parkinson St. The station serves five trains in each direction between St. Louis and Chicago each day. The station also serves connecting bus service to Peoria and Amtrak stations in Galesburg and Champaign/Urbana. It is the second busiest Amtrak station in the state of Illinois after Chicago, servicing more than 180,000 passengers each year.[7] Traveling to Bloomington-Normal via Amtrak is a two and a half hour ride from both St. Louis and Chicago.

The Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System has 11 color-coded fixed routes in the area; a lift-assisted paratransit service called NiteRide, which operates when Illinois State University is in session; and a campus shuttle for ISU called Redbird Express.

Attractions

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Recreation and entertainment

The Children's Discovery Museum
  • The Children's Discovery Museum in uptown Normal provides hands-on exhibits, classes and programs for children. The museum has three floors of exhibits including a two-story mesh climber for children to climb to the third floor and a 2,000-square-foot (190 m2) agriculture exhibit called AgMazing. The museum also offers education programs and houses the Discover More! Store.[8][9]
  • The Illinois State University Planetarium offers a variety of science and astronomy programs for children from preschool to high-school. The planetarium is located in Felmley Hall of Science on ISU's campus. Public programs are usually offered on weekends and during special events.[9][10]
  • The manufacturing division in Normal, Illinois represents Mitsubishi Motors' only passenger car assembly plant in North America. Free tours of the facility, which require reservations, are available on certain days.[9]
  • Redbird Arena is a 10,200-seat sports arena at ISU. The arena is the home to the Illinois State Redbirds men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams. In addition to sports, the arena also hosts the Gamma Phi Circus, concerts, tournaments, conferences, job fairs, and other events.
  • Normal offers many parks and facilities. As of summer 2008 there are 17 parks available for use: David S. Anderson Park, Carden Park, Children and Elders Forest, East Detention Basin, Fairview Park, Fell Park, Fransen Nature Area, Hidden Creek Nature Area, Ironwood Park, Kelly Detention Basin, Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Maxwell Park, Oak Street Ballfield, One Normal Plaza and Community Activity Center, Savannah Park, Underwood Park, and the West Detention Basin. Fairview and Anderson Parks include swimming pools; Fairview Park includes a skate park for in-line skating and skateboarding; Carden Park includes "Safety Town", a place for pre-school aged children to "drive" tricycles complete with traffic signs; and Maxwell Park has a fenced-in dog park.

Retail

The city's major retail center is on Veterans Parkway east of town. It includes The Shoppes at College Hills, an outdoor mall on the site of the former College Hills Mall.

Sports

Club League Venue Established Championships
Normal CornBelters FL Baseball The Corn Crib 2009  

Nature and wildlife

  • The Bloomington-Normal Constitution Trail is one of Central Illinois’ most notable parks. This 24-mile (39 km) jogging, walking, cycling, and rollerblading trail has become a hit with the community. The north-south segment of the trail follows the abandoned Illinois Central Gulf (ICG) railroad from Kerrick Road in Normal to Grove Street in Bloomington. The east-west segment intersects the north segment at Normal City Hall Annex and continues east to Towanda-Barnes Road. The Liberty Branch begins at Commerce Drive and ends at Old Farm Lakes Subdivision. The Freedom Branch begins at Lincoln Street and ends at Route 9 West. Parking is available at adjoining lots throughout the area. The trail is open to walkers, runners, in-line skaters, skateboarders, cyclists, wheelchair users, and other non-motorized forms of transportation. During winter months, it is not cleared of snow, and is available to skiers; weather permitting.[9]
  • The Ecology Action Center is a walk-in information and environmental education center for individuals, classes, workshops, and meetings. Opened in 1995, it provides the community with practical workshops on recycling, composting and energy saving, nature walks and educational field trips for schools and groups. Various publications and materials are available. [1] [9]
  • The Normal Parks & Recreation Department offers 13 parks encompassing over 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land, a golf course, the Historic Normal Theater, a Community Activity Center, 2 outdoor pools, a 10 field softball complex, the Children’s Discovery Museum, and 13 miles (21 km) of the Constitution Trail. Parks are open from 6:00am to 11:00pm, alcoholic beverages and smoking are prohibited and pets are allowed in all parks on a leash. [2] [9]

Golfing

Bloomington-Normal has been ranked the fifth best American city for golf by Golf Digest for two consecutive years.[9]

A Normal golfcourse
  • Ironwood Golf Course: 6,960 yards, Par 72, 18 holes. Ironwood Golf Course, owned and operated by the Town of Normal Parks and Recreation Department, is a championship course that includes four water hazards and four sets of tees that range from 5,580 to 6,960 yards. Ironwood’s attributes, which include a grass tee driving range, large practice putting greens, a practice bunker, banquet room, pro shop, carts and individual or group lessons, offer a challenging test to players of all abilities. The 18-hole course, which opened in 1990, has hosted high school regional, sectional and conference championship tournaments and numerous collegiate tournaments; as well as state amateur qualification tournaments. Ironwood also hosts the COUNTRY Youth Classic each summer.[9]
  • Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University: 6,730 yards, Par 71, 18 holes. Weibring Golf Club, formerly known as University Golf Course, is located near the northwest corner of the Illinois State University campus. The course was designed by golf course architect Robert Bruce Harris and opened for play in 1964. Re-designed in 2000, the course features bent grass greens, tees and fairways, continuous cart paths from tee to green, strategically placed bunkers and a variety of tees for every skill level. Weibring Golf Course has hosted IHSA Regional, Sectional and State Championships, NCAA Regional Championships and Intercollegiate Tournaments as well as annually hosting the COUNTRY Youth Classic.[9][11]
  • Golf Learning Center: Located at All Seasons, the Golf Learning Center is a synthetic turf facility, named one of the top 100 American golf ranges by Golf Range Magazine.[12]

Arts and theatre

As the Bloomington-Normal Area continues to blossom, so does the creative arts scene throughout the communities. In fact, according to creativeclass.org, Bloomington-Normal is ranked in the top 1% among national creative workforces.[9]

  • Braden Auditorium, located inside Illinois State University’s Bone Student Center, serves as the hub of student life at ISU and a landmark resource to the Bloomington-Normal community. The Auditorium seats about 3,500. Eight to ten annual shows feature a variety of Broadway musicals, pop and country stars, touring variety shows, comedians and big name performers. [3] [9]
  • The streets of downtown Normal are painted with artists and art lovers alike during the Sugar Creek Arts Festival held each July. The combination of high-quality art, live music and food has kept the streets of Normal full of color and activity for over 22 years. The festival has a unique trait- only original pieces of artwork are shown; not copies of prints or items purchased overseas. The Sugar Creek Arts Festival, hosted by the McLean Country Arts Center, is one of the largest art festivals in Central Illinois and continues to grow. [4] [9]

Historic Sites

The Normal Theater

The three attractions detailed here are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • The Normal Theater opened in 1937 and was the first theater in Bloomington-Normal built specifically for sound films. The strong art-deco design was then very avant-garde for a small Illinois town. The Normal Theater has been completely restored to its original condition. In addition to showing classic movies and independent films, the theater is used for a variety of activities including group outings, meetings and other events where assembly seating is required. [5] [9]

Education

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The Town of Normal is in the McLean County Unit District No. 5.[6]

  • Normal Community High School (NCHS)
  • Normal Community West High School (NCWHS)
  • Kingsley Junior High School (KJHS)
  • Parkside Junior High School (PJHS)
  • Chiddix Junior High School (CJHS)
  • Parkside Elementary
  • Oakdale Elementary
  • Fairview Elementary
  • Grove Elementary
  • Glenn Elementary
  • Colene Hoose Elementary
  • Prairieland Elementary
  • Sugar Creek Elementary
  • Brigham Elementary
  • Fox Creek Elementary
  • Northpoint Elementary
  • Pepper Ridge Elementary
  • Towanda Elementary
  • Carlock Elementary
  • Hudson Elementary

There are also two schools in Normal that are operated by Illinois State University. They are:

Private schools

Epiphany Catholic School, a Roman Catholic primary and middle school, is in Normal.

Calvary Christian Academy, a Christian pre-K through 12th grade school in Normal.

Colleges and universities

Normal is also home to three centers of higher learning.

  • Heartland Community College has more than 4,800 students, and is the youngest community college in Illinois. Heartland Community College offers training in more than 40 career fields in innovative and technologically progressive leaning facilities. Classrooms and labs combine the latest advances in technology with the type of personal, hands-on instruction students need to reach their academic goals. The HCC Campus features a library, community meeting spaces, a pond, bookstore, café and numerous locations for students to study or work on school projects. Recently, Heartland completed a new Corporate Education Center and founded an athletic program that includes baseball, softball and men’s and women’s soccer teams. [7] [9]
Watterson Towers
  • Founded in 1857, Illinois State University was the first public university in the state, and is one of the Midwest’s oldest institutions of higher education. It is a co-educational, residential university with an emphasis on the undergraduate program, offering more than 160 fields of undergraduate study. The Graduate School coordinates 38 masters, two specialist and seven doctoral programs. The 350-acre (1.4 km2) campus includes over 60 major buildings with state-of-the-art technology, and Watterson Towers is one of the most remarkable structures. It is the tallest dorm building in the world. From meeting facilities to cultural opportunities through the arts and excitement of numerous sporting events each year, ISU is a vital part of the Bloomington-Normal community. [8] [9]
  • Lincoln College, Illinois, a private residential college, offers academic and vocational programs to nearly 600 students. Accredited by the North Central Association, Lincoln offers Bachelor’s degrees in Business Management, Liberal Arts, Criminal Justice and Tourism, Sports and Hospitality Management, as well as Associate Degrees. The college now offers an accelerated degree program as well. Courses are offered at convenient and flexible times in a small classroom environment with a student/faculty ratio of 14 to 1. A student activity center and fully furnished apartment suite housing is available on campus. [9] [9]

Police and Crime

The Normal Police Department currently consists of approximately 76 sworn officers and 30 civilian staff. The current Chief of Police is Kent Crutcher. The department is also nationally accredited by the Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The department provides 24-hour town wide coverage. In addition to deploying officers in patrol cars, the department also deploys officers on bike patrols and has been doing so since the 1980s.

Notable natives

Media

FM radio

AM radio

Analog television

Digital television (DTV)

  • 28 WYZZ-DT (43.1 - High Definition) "Fox 43", Fox
  • 40 WHOI-DT (19.1 - High Definition), ABC
  • 40 WHOI-DT (19.2 - Standard Definition), The CW Television Network
  • 46 WTVP-DT (47.1 - Standard Definition), PBS
  • 46 WTVP-DT (47.2 - High Definition), PBS HDTV
  • 46 WTVP-DT (47.3 - Standard Definition), Create
  • 56 WEEK-DT (25.1 - High Definition) "News 25", NBC
  • 56 WEEK-DT (25.2 - Standard Definition), NBC Weather Plus

Print

Companies

The original Steak and Shake restaurant was opened in Normal in 1934. [10] Mitsubishi's only North American car manufacturing facility is located in Normal. [11]

Points of interest

References

  1. ^ Community Profile - Town of Normal, Illinois
  2. ^ History of Normal
  3. ^ a b "'Down' is now 'up' in Normal". 2006-11-19. http://www.pantagraph.com/news/article_bccd0a94-dfba-5c29-908a-64308910666a.html. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  4. ^ "Longtime shoe repair business to leave uptown Normal". http://www.pantagraph.com/business/article_d9154ed0-3908-5dbd-b4fd-8ce771e6e9ac.html. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  5. ^ "'Uptown' should stay; 'Judy Dome' will fade". http://www.pantagraph.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_2101edcd-cd55-5348-9905-d7d2d8706cd9.html. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Amtrak Fact Sheet Illinois 2008
  8. ^ http://www.childrensdiscoverymuseum.net
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
  10. ^ http://www.phy.ilstu.edu/planet.html
  11. ^ http://www.isugolf.com/
  12. ^ http://www.allseasonsglc.com/

In The Media

  • "I Got High" by Clem Snide (The Meat Of Life, 429 Records)

External links


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