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Page last updated on May 12, 2023 at 5:04 pm

The Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department purchased the 1.223 acres of Seminary Park from the Monroe County Community School Corporation in 1975 for $1. This constitutes the northeast corner of the original Seminary Square. It was the original location of the Indiana State Seminary. The first classes were held there in 1824 with an enrollment of 10 men, one professor and a curriculum consisting solely of Latin and Greek.

Indiana University moved to the spacioius open areas around Dunn's woods, and the city bought the old College Building and the surrounding campus in 1967. This was the site of Bloomington High School. The old College Building was razed in 1965, and the High School building, built in 1914, burned down in 1967.

The ash trees along Second Street, which had been in the park since the days of the seminary, were blown down in a storm May 25, 2011. The Seminary Park white oak that formerly stood along Second Street, was removed due to its declining health in January 2016.

Seminary Park was designed a Local Historic Site by Mayor Frank McCloskey in 1976. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 19, 1977. A pieced limestone sidewalk constructed by the Works Progress Administration during the 1930s is still visible near Second Street. Bloomington High School alumni purchased the limestone sign for the park. 

At the centennial celebration of the opening of Indiana University on May 7, 1924, a time capsule was buried near the site of the Old College Building on the Seminary site. 

Seminary Park was renovated and re-dedicated in 1996. The limestone arch in the park comes from the original Old College Building, ca. 1836. The historic renovation project included lighting, a brick patio, drinking fountain, a plaque commemorating the park's history, a stone retaining wall, and site amenities like park benches.

(C)olumn sculpture - 2015

Artists: Jiangmei Wu and Jon Racek

11-foot-tall steel sculpture at the corner of South Walnut and West Second Streets; Laser cut by Poynter Sheet Metal of Greenwood, Indiana

A configuration of words and phrases that describe Bloomington. Each word or phrase was submitted online by members of the community in 2014, presented on a website for public viewing, and ranked to show how many times they had been submitted. No content editing was done by the artists.

The “C” in the name (C)olumn stands for community, culture, and the actual shape of the artwork when viewed from above. Visitors can also walk inside the shape.

This sculpture was commissioned by the City of Bloomington’s Percentage for the Arts program to design a work of public art that would serve as a gateway into the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD) as well as enhance the streetscape near Seminary Square Park—according to Miah Michaelsen, who was Bloomington’s Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts at the time the sculpture was commissioned and completed. Michaelsen says the city set aside $25,000 for the sculpture when the streetscape was completed. Click here to learn more about the (C)olumn piece and how it was created.