Normal, Illinois

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About Normal, Illinois

Normal is a town located in McLean County, Illinois, United States. According to the 2020 census, the population of the town was 52,736. Normal serves as the smaller of the two principal cities within the Bloomington–Normal metropolitan area and ranks as Illinois' seventh most populous community outside the Chicago metropolitan area. The main campus of Illinois' oldest public university, Illinois State University, a fully accredited four-year institution, is situated in Normal, along with Heartland Community College, a fully accredited two-year institution. Chris Koos has held the position of Normal's mayor since 2003.

History of Normal

The town was initially laid out under the name North Bloomington on June 7, 1854, by Joseph Parkinson. From its inception, it was widely acknowledged that Jesse W. Fell played a significant role in the town's establishment. He orchestrated the route of the new railroad, later known as the Chicago and Alton Railroad, to pass west of Bloomington and intersect the Illinois Central Railroad at a location where he owned or controlled land. Most of the original town was situated south of these railroad tracks, with Beaufort Street marking its northern boundary and some blocks lying west of the Illinois Central and north of the tracks. Fell, along with his brothers and associates, swiftly developed numerous additions to the original town.

In February 1865, the town underwent a name change to Normal and was officially incorporated on February 25, 1867. The name was derived from Illinois State Normal University, a teacher-training institution located there. Subsequently, the institution evolved into Illinois State University, a comprehensive four-year university. Normal shares its border with Bloomington, Illinois, and together, they are collectively referred to as the "Twin Cities," "Bloomington–Normal," "BN," or "BloNo."

In 2007, the town council opted to designate the downtown area as "Uptown Normal." As of 2011, Uptown Normal is home to various establishments including the Children's Discovery Museum, Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Hyatt Place Hotel, Uptown Station and Town Hall, and an array of local shops and restaurants centered around a roundabout. Additionally, the district is host to the historic and non-profit Normal Theater, a restored Art Deco theater owned by the Town of Normal that showcases classic and independent films.

Economy: Largest Companies in Normal, Illinois

In 1986, Mitsubishi Motors North America and Chrysler Corporation collaborated to establish a manufacturing plant known as Diamond-Star Motors. This facility served as Mitsubishi's sole car manufacturing site in North America. However, it ceased operations on May 31, 2016, and was subsequently acquired by Rivian Automotive in January 2017.

Farnsworth Group, a nationally recognized architecture and engineering firm boasting over 500 employees, announced its plans to relocate its headquarters to Uptown Normal. This move will coincide with the opening of the 5-story, $30 million Trail East Development, anticipated to be completed in 2020. Additionally, Afni, a prominent customer service firm, and Illinois State University's Small Business Development Incubator (SBDI) are slated to join Farnsworth Group in Trail East.

Rivian's primary U.S. manufacturing plant, situated in Normal, commenced production of all-electric trucks in 2021. Notably, Amazon has placed orders for over 100,000 electric vehicles to be manufactured at this facility. The New York Times has chronicled the transformative impact Rivian has had on the town of Normal.

The town's principal retail hub is located on Veterans Parkway on the east side, featuring The Shoppes at College Hills, an outdoor mall situated on the former site of College Hills Mall.

Education and School Options in Normal, Illinois

The Town of Normal falls within the McLean County Unit District No. 5, encompassing institutions such as Normal Community High School, Normal Community West High School, and Kingsley Junior High School. Additionally, Illinois State University operates two schools in Normal: University High School and Thomas Metcalf Elementary.

Private educational options in the area comprise Cornerstone Christian Academy, Epiphany Catholic School, and Calvary Christian Academy.

Normal Homes For Sale

Normal June 24, 2024
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