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2017 House Tour to feature West Side

From raucous beer gardens to the grit and grime of the coal mines, the West Side was an exciting place to live. Old House Society is partnering with the West Bloomington Revitalization Project​ and the McLean County Museum of History to present this event celebrating the architecture and history of Bloomington.

Bill Kemp and Mike Matejka, two well known historians, will lead a history walk on the West Side that explores the neighborhoods and industry. This will be a one mile walk from the McLean County Museum of History to St. Mary's Church (and one mile back to you car). Tickets for the history walk are very limited and will be sold on a first come first serve basis. The history walk is only available as a combination ticket.

All participants in the 10 am history walk should present their online receipt to an OHS volunteer at the entrance to the museum, near the Lincoln bench. You will receive your booklet for the house tour at this location. All participants in the 2 pm history walk should present their online receipt at Miller Park.

While downtown, we encourage you to visit the new Farming in the Great Corn Belt exhibit, which explains the developments and people that made McLean County an agricultural powerhouse! Also, if you have not already, visit the Making a Home exhibit, which explores the home life of the people that have made McLean County home from the perspective of their various cultures and ethnicities. This exhibit will give you new insights into the historic homes you will see on the house tour, so we encourage you to visit this exhibit in the weeks before the House Tour!

The Museum will also have a booth at the booklet distribution center at Miller Park where you can learn about the history of West Side institutions such as Miller Park and Miller Park Zoo. You will have an opportunity to visit the new West Bloomington Revitalization Project at 714 W. Washington and learn about the Tool Library, Book Bike and other WBRP projects. The Tool Library makes home improvement tools available to the public that can ease your budget in making your own old house renovations!

We invite you to explore Miller Park and rediscover the peaceful lakes and picnic grounds, the magnificent memorial to McLean County war dead, and the massive train engine and cars. Visit the zoo, where we have the new flamingo exhibit and our adorable snow leopards, who are a very successful part of a national snow leopard breeding program. Bring your children or grandchildren to enjoy the spray park, miniature golf and paddle boats after you have completed the House Tour.

Ticket exchange


This year's booklet distribution will be in Miller Park at the location indicated by the "B" circle. Please drive through the park on one of the routes indicated (A circles) and tour volunteers will come to your car at or near the booklet distribution point to exchange your ticket for a booklet. (If you prefer, you may approach the booklet distribution on foot.) If you have purchased online tickets, please bring your printed receipt.

Check out the latest in the Warehouse

lightsAn ongoing, updated posting of photos of the newest items that have recently been added to our warehouse inventory can be found on our Facebook page. Click here to see photos of the latest items that have been salvaged by our warehouse crew or donated by generous patrons like you.

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