Uptown Normal | WGLT

Uptown Normal

Underpass location
Staff / WGLT

Normal Public Works Director Wayne Aldrich said there is still a long complex road ahead before an underpass could connect Uptown and Uptown South.

Rodney Davis and Dan Brady
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The Town of Normal’s original grant application for the Uptown underpass included a long list of benefits—including enhanced safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and even children’s museum visitors—and also a willingness to put millions in local funding toward the project.

Town of Normal / File Image from 2017

The Town of Normal will receive a $13 million federal grant toward construction of its long-planned Uptown underpass, officials announced Wednesday.

architects rendering of the Trail East five story building
Town of Normal

The start of construction on the Trail East project in Uptown Normal has been delayed from this fall to next spring because of financing issues, Mayor Chris Koos said Tuesday.

Uptown before development.
WGLT / Staff

If the past is prologue, there is disagreement on what the past means for Uptown Normal.

A recent report on the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in Normal drew praise from some council members who have seen the area go from dumpy and run down to a vibrant district. The report went to the council without a chance for members to read it beforehand because the TIF administrator was still finishing it up.

Scaringe and Pritzker
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Two years after arriving to a community filled with the hopeful and the doubtful, the electric automaker Rivian received an enthusiastic reception Sunday in Uptown Normal as it showed off three vehicles and invited jobseekers to apply at its manufacturing plant.

Blue Rivian on display
Twitter / @Rivian

Nearly two years after Rivian first arrived in Normal, community members will finally be able to see the company’s first electric vehicles in person.

Andrew Huhn presents
Joe Deacon / WGLT

An influx of tax dollars has helped produce a 10% increase in Normal’s year-end general fund balance, according to a mostly positive report presented to the Town Council on Monday.

ribbon-cutting at museum's mall location

Most of the founding team that first brought the Children’s Discovery Museum into existence 25 years ago will be honored at a two-part anniversary celebration this week in Normal.

architects rendering of the Trail East five story building
Town of Normal

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on the $30 million mixed-use building that will rise on the northeast arc of Uptown circle. It is known as Trail East.

PGAV Planners

An analysis of the tax increment financing (TIF) district in Uptown Normal indicates the effort to spark development in the city center begun in 1999 has been a good value for taxpayers, according to a consultant.

Council members sit at a dais.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has approved a development agreement with an Uptown business to create a two-story brewpub and rooftop dining establishment using the old Bill's Key and Lock shop property.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

Updated 4:15 p.m. | Illinois State University is officially a tenant of the planned Trail East Building in Uptown Normal.

Denise LaGrassa at the piano
Mark Gordon

Denise LaGrassa is known best in the Central Illinois area and in Chicago for her jazz-blues sound.

Mural and Beaufort buildings
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The identity of the mystery Uptown Normal mural artist who signed over his rights has been revealed – though the legal fight over the public artwork could soon be rendered moot if the Town of Normal fulfills its promise to safely move it.

Uptown Mural
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 3:40 p.m. | The Town of Normal says it has obtained a release and waiver from one of the Uptown mural artists—a potentially significant development in the lawsuit over the public artwork.

Mural and Beaufort buildings
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A federal judge has denied a request for a temporary restraining order to stop demolition at the Trail East site and ordered the mural’s artists and the Town of Normal to return to court for settlement talks.

Janet at the counter
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Janet Mariani needed a home for her first business—an ice cream shop. She chose Downtown Bloomington.

Mural in Uptown
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A federal judge has given both sides more time to try and resolve the legal dispute over the Uptown Normal mural.

Uptown Mural
Staff / WGLT

A federal judge on Monday said he wants to know more about where the Uptown Normal mural might be moved—and whether it will remain publicly visible—before deciding whether to delay the start of construction at the Trail East site.

Moving the wall mockup
Farnsworth Group

The Town of Normal has pushed back against the 13 artists who’ve sued over the Uptown mural, claiming federal copyright law doesn’t protect them because their artwork can be safely moved.

Uptown Mural
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 3:40 p.m. | The artists who sued the Town of Normal over their work on the Uptown mural are now asking a judge for a restraining order that would temporarily prevent it from being moved or destroyed.

Uptown Mural
Staff / WGLT

Thirteen of the artists who created the Uptown Normal mural have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the Town of Normal and a developer from demolishing their work.

Family holds photo
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Army Ranger Sgt. Josh Rodgers of Normal was on his third tour of Afghanistan before he turned 22. He died in a raid of an ISIS headquarters in Afghanistan two years ago this weekend.

Trail East
Farnsworth Group

The developer behind the Trail East project said Monday that Afni, an Illinois State University business incubator, and a mystery “multinational technology company” could be among the tenants in the new Uptown Normal building.

IAS staff in Uptown Normal
Town of Normal

UPDATED 9:40 p.m. | A community arts group at Illinois State University plans to renovate and move in to the unfinished ground floor of the College Avenue parking deck in Uptown Normal.

Vivian Doctora
Darnysha Mitchell / WGLT

Uptown Normal has several places to get a bite to eat. It’s about to get a dozen more.

Farnsworth Group

The Normal Town Council granted developer Bush Construction several variances on preliminary design plans for the Trail East building on Uptown Circle.

The design for the new Trail East building in Uptown Normal
Farnsworth Group

Designs for the Trail East project submitted to the town of Normal are close to what the developer promised earlier, according to town staff.

Beaufort Street buildings
Google Maps

McLean County could soon be getting its fifth craft brewery—and its first in Uptown Normal.