Normal, Illinois

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Normal, Illinois
Uptown Normal, looking east on North Street, 2011
Uptown Normal, looking east on North Street, 2011
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
TownshipsNormal, Dry Grove, Towanda
FoundedFebruary 1865
IncorporatedFebruary 25, 1867
 • MayorChris Koos
 • City ManagerMark R. Peterson
 • Total18.41 sq mi (47.7 km2)
 • Land18.35 sq mi (47.5 km2)
 • Water0.06 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.33%
Elevation869 ft (265 m)
Population (2013)Large Portion are Students of Illinois State University
 • Total54,664
 • Density3,000/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zoneCentral Standard Time (USA) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)Central Daylight Time (UTC-5)
Area code(s)309
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Normal, Illinois
Uptown Normal, looking east on North Street, 2011
Uptown Normal, looking east on North Street, 2011
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
TownshipsNormal, Dry Grove, Towanda
FoundedFebruary 1865
IncorporatedFebruary 25, 1867
 • MayorChris Koos
 • City ManagerMark R. Peterson
 • Total18.41 sq mi (47.7 km2)
 • Land18.35 sq mi (47.5 km2)
 • Water0.06 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.33%
Elevation869 ft (265 m)
Population (2013)Large Portion are Students of Illinois State University
 • Total54,664
 • Density3,000/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zoneCentral Standard Time (USA) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)Central Daylight Time (UTC-5)
Area code(s)309

Normal is a town in McLean County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town's population was 52,497.[1] Normal is the smaller of two principal municipalities of the Bloomington–Normal metropolitan area, and the seventh most populous community in Illinois, outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. The mayor of Normal is Chris Koos.

The main campus of Illinois' oldest public university, Illinois State University, a fully accredited four-year institution, is located 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.

A large percentage of residents of Normal are employed by Illinois State University, State Farm Insurance (Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington), Country Financial (Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington), Unit 5 schools, and the Mitsubishi Motors North America manufacturing facility, which manufactures the RVR.


The town was laid out with the name North Bloomington on June 7, 1854 by Joseph Parkinson.[2] From its founding, it was generally recognized that Jesse W. Fell was the force behind the creation of the town. Fell had arranged for the new railroad, which would soon become the Chicago and Alton Railroad, to pass west of Bloomington and then curve to cross the Illinois Central Railroad at a point where he owned or controlled land. Most of the original town lies south of the tracks, with Beaufort Street as its northern limit, and some blocks west of the Illinois Central and north of the tracks.[3] Fell, his brothers, and associates quickly laid out many additions to the original town.

The name "Normal" is an English corruption of the original name. Like many cities in the region, it was originally settled by the French. The earliest expedition to the location termed it "Noire Mal" in their journal, an appellation that denotes "dark and evil". As the journal was later discovered, and no survivors returned from the expedition, the reason for this daunting entry is unknown.

The town was renamed as Normal in February 1865 and officially incorporated on February 25, 1867.[4][5] 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", "B-N", or "Blo-No".

In 2007, the town council voted to name the downtown area "uptown Normal",[6] and, as of 2011, Uptown Normal is home to the Children's Discovery Museum, Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, restaurants, and a variety of stores.[7] 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.


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).[8] According to the 2010 census, the town has a total area of 18.41 square miles (47.7 km2), of which 18.35 square miles (47.5 km2) (or 99.67%) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) (or 0.33%) is water.[9]


Historical population
Est. 201354,6644.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
2012 Estimate[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, 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 population was spread out with 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.


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.


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


The Central Illinois Regional Airport is located 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.[13] A record 559,481 passengers flew to or from CIRA in 2010.[14]

Mass transit[edit]

The Bloomington-Normal Transportation Center

The Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System 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.


The Bloomington-Normal Amtrak station is located in Normal at 100 E. Parkinson St. The station serves five trains in each direction between St. Louis and Chicago each day. The station also serves connecting bus service to Peoria and Amtrak stations in Galesburg and Champaign/Urbana. It is the second busiest Amtrak station in the state of Illinois after Chicago, servicing nearly a quarter million passengers in fiscal year 2011.[15] Traveling to Bloomington-Normal via Amtrak is a two and a half hour ride from both St. Louis and Chicago.


Recreation and entertainment[edit]

Children's Discovery Museum, 2008

Nature and wildlife[edit]


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.[26]

Arts and theatre[edit]


Annual Events[edit]

Historic sites[edit]

Normal Theater, 2006

The three attractions detailed here are all listed on 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.[41]


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 and Body Works, Chico’s, Coldstone Creamery, Coldwater Creek, Colorific, Dress Barn, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Flat Top Grill, Gordman’s, 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.[42]

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, Starplex Cinemas, Famous Labels and Dollar Tree.[43]




Normal CornBeltersFL BaseballThe Corn Crib2009 


Normal Mayor Chris Koos and Rep. Debbie Halvorson, 2011

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

The Town of Normal is in the McLean County Unit District No. 5.[51]

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

Private schools[edit]

Epiphany Catholic School, a Roman Catholic primary and middle school, is in Normal.

Calvary Christian Academy, a Christian pre-K through 12th grade school in Normal.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Normal is also home to three centers of higher learning.

Watterson Towers, 2004

Trade schools[edit]


The Normal Police Department currently consists of approximately 78 sworn officers and 26 civilian staff. The current Chief of Police is Rick Bleichner. The department is also 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.



FM radio[edit]

AM radio[edit]


In the media[edit]


Notable people[edit]

Sister Cities[edit]


  1. ^ "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McLean County (Chicago: Munsell, 1908) p.902.
  3. ^ Combined Indexed Atlas 1852 - 1914, McLean County, Illinois (Bloomington: McLean County Historical Society and McLean County Genealogical Society, 2006) p. 89.
  4. ^ History of Normal[dead link]
  5. ^ Illinois Regional Archives Depository System. "Name Index to Illinois Local Governments". Illinois State Archives. Illinois Secretary of State. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "'Down' is now 'up' in Normal". 2006-11-19. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  7. ^ "Uptown Normal". Uptown Normal. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files for Places – Illinois". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
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  14. ^ "CIRA Press Release". 2011-01-14. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
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  33. ^ "Heartland Theatre Company | Think. Feel. Live!". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
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  43. ^ [6][dead link]
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  45. ^ "Girls Basketball | IHSA Sports & Activities". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
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  47. ^ "Normal CornBelters". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  48. ^ [7][dead link]
  49. ^ "Hancock Stadium". Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  50. ^ "Hancock Stadium Club". Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
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  54. ^ Lincoln College-Normal. "Lincoln College Normal IL - Illinois Continuing Education Center". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
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  59. ^ "Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing Of America, Inc". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  60. ^ a b
  61. ^ a b c
  62. ^ "Sister Cities Internation Directory: Remedios, Cuba". Retrieved 2014-08-10. 

External links[edit]