Normal, Illinois
Uptown Normal, looking east on North Street, 2011
Uptown Normal, looking east on North Street, 2011
Location of Normal in McLean County, Illinois.
Location of Normal in McLean County, Illinois.
Normal, Illinois is located in Illinois
Normal, Illinois
Normal, Illinois
Location within the state of Illinois
Coordinates: 40°30′44″N 88°59′19″W / 40.51222°N 88.98861°W / 40.51222; -88.98861Coordinates: 40°30′44″N 88°59′19″W / 40.51222°N 88.98861°W / 40.51222; -88.98861
CountryUnited States
StateIllinois
CountyMcLean
TownshipsNormal, Dry Grove, Towanda
Settled1854
FoundedFebruary 1865
IncorporatedFebruary 25, 1867
Government
 • MayorChris Koos
 • City ManagerPamela Reece
Area
 • Total18.03 sq mi (46.70 km2)
 • Land17.94 sq mi (46.47 km2)
 • Water0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)  0.33%
Elevation
869 ft (265 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total52,736
 • Density2,939.25/sq mi (1,134.85/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central Standard Time (USA))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (Central Daylight Time)
Area code(s)309
FIPS code17-53234
Websitewww.normal.org

Normal is a town in McLean County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2020 census, the town's population was 52,736. Normal is the smaller of two principal municipalities of the Bloomington–Normal metropolitan area, and Illinois' seventh most populous community outside the Chicago metropolitan area. As of 2022, Chris Koos has been Normal's mayor since 2003.[2]

The main campus of Illinois' oldest public university, Illinois State University, a fully accredited four-year institution, is in Normal, as is Heartland Community College, a fully accredited two-year institution. There is also a satellite campus of Lincoln College, which offers associate degrees as well as four-year programs.

History

Jesse W. Fell, founding citizen
Jesse W. Fell, founding citizen

The town was laid out with the name North Bloomington on June 7, 1854 by Joseph Parkinson.[3] From its founding, it was generally recognized that Jesse W. Fell was the force behind the creation of the town. He had arranged for the new railroad, which would soon become the Chicago and Alton Railroad, to pass west of Bloomington then curving to cross the Illinois Central Railroad at a point where he owned or controlled land. Most of the original town lies south of these tracks, with Beaufort Street as its northern limit, and some blocks west of the Illinois Central and north of the tracks.[4] Fell, his brothers, and associates quickly laid out many additions to the original town.

The town was renamed Normal in February 1865 and officially incorporated on February 25, 1867.[5][6] The name was taken from Illinois State Normal University, a normal school (teacher-training institution) located there. The school has since been renamed Illinois State University after becoming a general four-year university. Normal is adjacent to Bloomington, Illinois, and when mentioned together they are known as the "Twin Cities", "Bloomington-Normal", "BN", or "BloNo".

In 2007, the town council voted to name the downtown area "Uptown Normal",[7] and, as of 2011, Uptown Normal is home to the Children's Discovery Museum, Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Hyatt Place Hotel, Uptown Station and Town Hall, and a variety of local shops and restaurants all centered around a roundabout.[8] The district is also home to the historic and non-profit Normal Theater, a restored Art Deco theater owned by the Town of Normal that runs classic and independent films.

On August 31, 2021, a mass shooting occurred at a mobile home park in Normal that left three people dead and three more injured. The deceased were two women and a man, the latter being the gunman. He was killed by Normal Police Officers.[9][10]

Awards

Geography

Normal is located near 40°30′44″N 88°59′19″W / 40.512189°N 88.988701°W / 40.512189; -88.988701 (40.512189, −88.988701).[18] According to the 2010 census, Normal has a total area of 18.412 square miles (47.69 km2), of which 18.35 square miles (47.53 km2) (or 99.66%) is land and 0.062 square miles (0.16 km2) (or 0.34%) is water.[19]

Climate

Climate data for Normal 4NE, Illinois (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1893–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 69
(21)
73
(23)
88
(31)
95
(35)
103
(39)
106
(41)
114
(46)
105
(41)
103
(39)
93
(34)
82
(28)
72
(22)
114
(46)
Average high °F (°C) 33.4
(0.8)
38.2
(3.4)
49.8
(9.9)
62.8
(17.1)
74.0
(23.3)
83.3
(28.5)
86.0
(30.0)
84.4
(29.1)
78.8
(26.0)
65.6
(18.7)
50.2
(10.1)
38.3
(3.5)
62.1
(16.7)
Daily mean °F (°C) 24.5
(−4.2)
28.5
(−1.9)
38.8
(3.8)
50.3
(10.2)
61.9
(16.6)
71.6
(22.0)
74.5
(23.6)
72.6
(22.6)
65.9
(18.8)
53.7
(12.1)
40.5
(4.7)
29.8
(−1.2)
51.1
(10.6)
Average low °F (°C) 15.6
(−9.1)
18.9
(−7.3)
27.8
(−2.3)
37.9
(3.3)
49.8
(9.9)
59.9
(15.5)
63.0
(17.2)
60.8
(16.0)
53.0
(11.7)
41.8
(5.4)
30.7
(−0.7)
21.4
(−5.9)
40.0
(4.4)
Record low °F (°C) −24
(−31)
−24
(−31)
−15
(−26)
5
(−15)
21
(−6)
31
(−1)
41
(5)
38
(3)
22
(−6)
6
(−14)
−7
(−22)
−22
(−30)
−24
(−31)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.43
(62)
1.99
(51)
2.61
(66)
3.72
(94)
4.81
(122)
4.08
(104)
4.12
(105)
3.83
(97)
3.22
(82)
3.48
(88)
2.80
(71)
2.30
(58)
39.39
(1,001)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 7.5
(19)
5.5
(14)
2.2
(5.6)
0.5
(1.3)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.8
(2.0)
3.6
(9.1)
20.1
(51)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.9 8.3 9.8 11.5 12.1 10.5 8.4 9.1 7.6 9.2 8.7 8.9 113.0
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 4.8 3.8 1.7 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8 3.1 14.5
Source: NOAA[20][21]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860847
18701,11631.8%
18802,470121.3%
18903,45940.0%
19003,7969.7%
19104,0246.0%
19205,14327.8%
19306,76831.6%
19406,9833.2%
19509,77239.9%
196013,35736.7%
197026,39697.6%
198035,67235.1%
199040,02312.2%
200045,38613.4%
201052,49715.7%
202052,7360.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[22]
2018 Estimate[23]

As of the 2000 census,[24] there were 45,386 people, 15,157 households, and 8,184 families residing in the town. The population density was 3,332.6 people per square mile (1,286.6/km2). There were 15,683 housing units at an average density of 1,151.6/sq mi (444.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 87.57% White, 7.71% African American, 0.15% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.93% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.56% of the population.

There were 15,157 households, out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.0% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 17.5% under the age of 18, 38.1% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 13.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,379, and the median income for a family was $60,644. Males had a median income of $41,323 versus $27,486 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,775. About 5.6% of families and 19.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Normal is served by I-39, I-55, Interstate 74, one railroad line, the Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI) in neighboring Bloomington, and Connect Transit provides public bus service in the area.

Highways

Interstate 55 wraps around the north and northwest edge of the town. Interstate 74 shares the I-55 roadway on the western edge of Normal before splitting off toward the northwest. Normal is the southern terminus of Interstate 39. Historic Route 66 runs through the town.

Airport

The Central Illinois Regional Airport is on Route 9 in Bloomington, approximately five miles east southeast from Uptown Normal. The airport is served by four airlines, five rental car agencies, and has direct daily flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Detroit, and Minneapolis/St. Paul.[25] A record 559,481 passengers flew to or from CIRA in 2010.[26]

Mass transit

The Bloomington-Normal Transportation Center
The Bloomington-Normal Transportation Center

Connect Transit has 11 color-coded fixed routes in the area; a lift-assisted paratransit service called NiteRide, which operates when Illinois State University is in session; and a campus shuttle for ISU called Redbird Express.

Rail

The Bloomington-Normal Amtrak station is in Normal at 11 Uptown Circle. It was designed by RATIO Architects. The station is served daily by four Lincoln Service trains in each direction between Chicago and St. Louis, and one Texas Eagle in each direction between San Antonio and Chicago. Three days a week, the Eagle continues on to Los Angeles. The station also serves connecting bus service to Peoria and Amtrak stations in Galesburg and Champaign/Urbana. It is Illinois' second busiest Amtrak station after Chicago, servicing nearly a quarter million passengers in fiscal year 2011.[27] Traveling to Bloomington-Normal by Amtrak is a two and a half hour ride from St. Louis and Chicago.

Attractions

Recreation and entertainment

Children's Discovery Museum, 2008
Children's Discovery Museum, 2008

Nature and wildlife

Golfing

In 2005, Golf Digest ranked Bloomington-Normal as the Fifth Best American City for Golf in their "Best in America" Metro Golf Rankings. Golf Digest ranked America's largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas on four different criteria: access to golf, weather, value of golf, and quality of golf.[39]

Arts and theatre

Facilities

Annual events

Historic sites

The WPA mural, "Development of the State Normal School" by Albert Pels, is on display in the Normal Post Office
The WPA mural, "Development of the State Normal School" by Albert Pels, is on display in the Normal Post Office

These three locations are listed in the National Register of Historic Places:

In December 2010, a Route 66 Wayside Exhibit was installed at the historic Sprague's Super Service building in Normal. The exhibit tells the story of Route 66's great significance and impact on the community. Visitors are welcome anytime during daylight hours.[55]

Retail

The town's major retail center is on Veterans Parkway on the east side of town. It includes The Shoppes at College Hills, an outdoor mall on the site of the former College Hills Mall. As of April 2011, The Shoppes at College Hills includes Ann Taylor Loft, Bath & Body Works, Chico's, Cold Stone Creamery, Coldwater Creek, Colorific, Dress Barn, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Flat Top Grill, Gordmans, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hobby Lobby, J. Jill, Joe's Stationhouse Pizza Pub, Jos. A. Bank, Lane Bryant, Motherhood Maternity, Portrait Innovations, Starbucks, Target, The Children's Place, Verizon Wireless Premium Retailer/The Digital Store, Vitamin World, Von Maur and Yankee Candle.[56]

The Constitution Trail Center on the corner of N. Main Street and Raab Road contains a variety of stores, restaurants and entertainment venues including Schnucks, AMC CLASSIC Normal 14, Bronze Giraffe Antiques, Pet Supplies Plus and Anytime Fitness.[57]

Sports

Facilities

Teams

Club League Venue Established Championships
Normal CornBelters PL Baseball The Corn Crib 2009  

Education

Normal Mayor Chris Koos and Rep. Debbie Halvorson, 2011
Normal Mayor Chris Koos and Rep. Debbie Halvorson, 2011

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The Town of Normal is in the McLean County Unit District No. 5.[65]

There are also two schools in Normal that are operated by Illinois State University. They are:

Private schools

Colleges and universities

Normal is also home to three centers of higher learning.

Watterson Towers, 2004
Watterson Towers, 2004

Trade schools

Weekend education

Bloomington/Normal Japanese Saturday School (ブルーミントン・ノーマル補習授業校 Burūminton Nōmaru Hoshū Jugyō Kō), a Japanese weekend school, was established in 1986 and held at the Thomas Metcalf School.[71] It has a separate office in Normal.[72]

Police

The Normal Police Department consists of approximately 81 sworn officers and 26 civilian staff. The Chief of Police is Rick Bleichner. The department is nationally accredited by the Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

The department provides 24-hour town wide coverage. In addition to deploying officers in patrol cars, the department also deploys officers on bike patrols and has been doing so since the 1980s. The department also has a full-time Criminal Investigation Division and two full service canines.

Media

Print

FM radio

AM radio

In the media

"I got high with a Sufjan Stevens fan in Normal, Illinois
And this song goes out to all you beautiful
American girls and boys"[73]

Companies

Notable people

Sister cities

References

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