Illinois Central and North College

The 600 block of North College, located at the north edge of downtown's commercial core, retains a concentration of large substantial homes dating from the earliest years of the twentieth century. Although the area is bracketed by clearances and new commercial construction, the corridor still conveys the comfortable residential scale of an upper class enclave. The area developed during the heyday of industrial development on the west side. Its roster of famous residents included William Graham of hotel and motor car fame.

Several architecturally significant properties decorate the corridor that still constitutes one of the two main streets through town. These properties include Bloomington's best example of Mission Revival style (011) and an exceptionally fine Tudor style bungalow with flared gables (002). There is also an imposing Greek Revival House (005) built in 1865 on a massed plan with four rooms over four rooms, a form relatively uncommon in Bloomington. Facing across College are a pair of Free Classic residences representative of a later era of development but similar in scale and in the grand expanse of porch. Because of recent development pressure, the existing buildings which show a lack of maintenance are probably at risk. Illinois_North College One house, individually listed on the National Register, is the home and studio of prominent local architect, J.L. Nichols (021) many of whose buildings are protected by local designation because of their significance to the community.

The construction of the Illinois Central Passenger Depot in 1906 (034) and the development of the residential neighborhood around it reflects the expansion of the railroad to serve the growing limestone industry and the resulting growth of Bloomington. Both the Nichols' house and the gabled-ell cottage on North Walnut Street housed the station master (033) at one time or another. The Depot has been heavily modified, but is in active use as a restaurant. Several of the houses have been converted to apartments and rooming houses, as commercial development presses from the south. Apartment and condominium construction may further endanger these properties. However their size permits attractive possibilities for reuse.