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SPRINGFIELD — Two Twin City historic sites are going to the final stage of consideration for the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Park Service will decide whether to list the former Bloomington High School at 510 E. Washington St. and Normandy Village, eight former cottages at the former Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School in Normal, after a state board signed off Friday.

"It's a big day for Bloomington and Normal. It’s not very often, I’m guessing, one community has two historic sites approved in one day,” said Bob Broad, who owns Normandy Village and attended Friday's Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council meeting. "We’re pretty excited for the whole community.”

Dan Monroe, the council's chairman and an associate professor at Millikin University in Decatur, said members were impressed by both applications. 

“I thought both historic sites had a lot of integrity. They’re great, very consistent sites in terms of their historical integrity, and the nominations were very well-written and well-argued,” said Monroe. “The council was very pleased with both of them and delighted to approve.”

The council's recommendation now goes to the deputy state historic preservation officer, who is expected to send the applications to the National Park Service. The sites could be added to the register within 45 days.

Officials hope to get federal grants for site improvements that become available once they're added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Both currently house various businesses.

“The best hope of keeping it (the former high school) going as a viable tax-producing entity is to do an adaptive reuse like what they’re considering, which is housing for senior citizens” and commercial space, said Sherry Graehling, head of the city's Historic Preservation Commission.

The register already includes several Twin City locations, including Broadview Mansion, 1301 S. Fell Ave., Normal.

Follow Derek Beigh on Twitter: @pg_beigh


Normal and McLean County Reporter

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