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Bloomington, Indiana, population 69,000, is located about fifty miles south of Indianapolis in Indiana's limestone country, and is seat of Monroe County and home to Indiana University.

I drove there to see an exhibit of Thomas Hart Benton's work at the Indiana University Art Museum, and spent a little more than a day walking around the town and campus with my camera. Enjoy the photos.

Looking west on Kirkwood Avenue from the Indiana University campus.












Nick's was a long-time tradition when I haunted these parts more than forty years ago.


















































The 1906 Monroe County Courthouse was designed by Fort Wayne architects Mahurin and Mahurin. It's a beautiful building kept in beautiful condition; the copper dome recently was restored.
























Keep your city beautiful. Exterminate Taggers.






Indiana Memorial Union


The topography is limestone hills, and summer storms often dump heavy rains. When that happens, the Jordan River expands rapidly to cover most of the meadow.










Downtown Bloomington seen from the IMU tower.


IMU Hotel entrance.


Beck Chapel and Dunn Cemetery.
















Auditorium with Indiana Murals by Thomas Hart Benton.











Lilly Library


Indiana University Art Museum.


























The Light Totem is lit with colored light-emitting diodes that change color and pattern in frequently-changing sequences. At night they illuminate the nearby building wall.





Owen Hall, named for Richard Owen of the New Harmony Owen family. He was state geologist and made many contributions to Indiana and to his science.


Wylie Hall, where I sweat my way through quite a few exams more than 40 years ago.








Dunn's Woods is home to many beautiful, towering old Beech trees.






Maxwell Hall, nicely Romanesque.


The Student Building was gutted by fire in 1990 during renovations; only the exterior walls were left standing. It was completely rebuilt to modern codes while appearing just as it originally did..




























One of the guys in my dorm was an accomplished builder of radio-controlled model aircraft. He used to test-fly them on Woodlawn Field. Early one evening he put the finishing touches on a beautiful biplane with a wingspan of about four feet. Eager to try it out, he carried it to the field accompanied by an enthusiastic entourage. The plane took off and flew perfectly and he put it through its paces until it started to run out of fuel.

In the failing light he didn't see the power lines that ran above the far end of the field then, and coming in for a landing the plane suddenly disintegrated in mid-air and rained down in a shower of pieces. He didn't cry, but I wanted to when I saw how hard he was trying not to.


In 1962-1963 Monroe Hall and surrounding Brown, Green and Morgan Halls were pretty much the center of my life for nine months. They were brand-new then. Now, they look drab 'n shabby.




New construction; I don't know what it will be.




Campus power plant.




Sorry. No trains this time; the only ones I heard were late at night after I was all tucked in at my motel.


I got a couple buses, though!




Returning to Campus at dusk for some photos of the Light Totem displays.


















Heading down Kirkwood for a view of downtown after dark.












School's out for the summer - not much going on. G'night.
 

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Fantastic work as always, Rob! I love the look and feel of campus. It looks like the inner-city area remained fairly intact through the second half of the century.

Bloomington looks like it is poised for good times ahead, especially with the planned expansion of I-69 past town.
 

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my favorite place on earth. Where is that Monroe hall? I thought I knew every building on campus, but I don't think I have ever seen that before. I'm pretty sure that is no longer a dorm.

you might be interested in this.

http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/8142.html

there is a ton of new construction going on as the new president is pushing to build new facilities and renovate all of the older spaces. They're doing a pretty good job of building attractive new buildings and preserving open space. That building that they are building that you were wondering about is MS2, the second of 4 new science research building to be built. The simon building which was built on the old side of campus between myers and ballentine was the first and was named the best new research lab facility by a science tech magazine. Hopefull buildings 2-4 go as well.
 

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Thanks Rob - your pictures are wonderful. Looks like another beautiful day in Bloomington. I was there from 1980 - 1984. Always great to get back. Hopefully will do so again soon. Love all that limestone mixed in with the green of the trees. There's nothing like Summer in Bloomington. A little more peaceful - and its mostly the locals that are still hanging out. Really nice pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
my favorite place on earth. Where is that Monroe hall? I thought I knew every building on campus, but I don't think I have ever seen that before. I'm pretty sure that is no longer a dorm.
Thanks for that info.

Monroe is part of a mini-complex; it's surrounded by Morgan, Brown and Green Halls, on the northeast corner at Cottage Grove and Woodlawn. It's fine arts studios now. The inconspicuous 1960s design and drab paint job makes it eminently unnoticeable.

I believe the complex was built specifically to accomodate a Defense Language Institute school; at was all new and Morgan was still under construction when I arrived in May 1962. Morgan was dorm rooms on the upper two levels and classrooms on the lower level. Brown and Green were entirely dorms; I lived on the third floor of Brown from May '62 until February '63. Monroe was our orderly room/dayroom/mail room, and in the parking lot to the east were two weatherbeaten WWII-era two-story barracks buildings. One was storage, and the other housed classrooms on two floors. The classroom building was a firetrap, all pine construction and old and dry, with no sprinklers and creaky floors and stairs. It hadn't been painted in years and looked derelict.
 

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What other major businesses and industries are there in Bloomington other than the University? What is their current health?
 

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Probably the biggest company with a good amount of influence on the local economy, outside of the University itself, is Cook Group - which is a very large manufacturer of medical devices like catheters and angioplasty tubing. I don't think it is a fortune 500 company - but it is pretty large and employs several thousand people in Bloomington. Hopefully someone local can add some details on other large employers. On a related side note, I was just browsing through the June 2008 issue of Men's Journal which has an article on America's Best Places to Live. Which city was listed as the "Best College Town in America"? Bloomington, IN! Other towns mentioned as runners up were Durham, NC; Madison, WI; Moscow, ID; and Missoula, MT Nice.
 

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Another Best of the Midwest.

An anchor for our region to recapture its gravitas.
 

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Bloomington was traditionally a heavy manufacturing center, much like other central Indiana towns of its size. GE appliances, Otis elevators, Televisions, etc. Effectively all of those jobs are gone. Cook Group is a newer life sciences company as noted. I've often heard it said that Bloomington is an attractive town to live in, but there are few jobs for college educated people. One group that doesn't seem to mind is retirees.
 

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Bloomington was traditionally a heavy manufacturing center, much like other central Indiana towns of its size. GE appliances, Otis elevators, Televisions, etc. Effectively all of those jobs are gone. Cook Group is a newer life sciences company as noted. I've often heard it said that Bloomington is an attractive town to live in, but there are few jobs for college educated people. One group that doesn't seem to mind is retirees.
Bloomington is starting to get a lot of retirees from the east coast. It's much cheaper and much more layed back, and there is probably more culture per capita than just about any place in the country. The IU opera productions are better than in some major citites, and there is literally a world class recital every night.
 

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Ah, Nicks, Irish Lion, BlueBird..."memories..."

I was a master of making fake BlueBird stamps when I was underage!
 
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