Uptown Normal | WGLT

Uptown Normal

Candidates competing for three open seats on the Normal Town Council sparred Thursday over how best to handle town finances and infrastructure, future development, and whether divisive politics is tainting town governance.

Pantagraph Media hosted the forum, moderated by Central Illinois Editor Chris Coates. He asked candidates what they viewed as Normal’s recent successes, what policy ideas they’d bring to the table if elected, and how they’d prioritize infrastructure funding, among other questions.   

Emily Bollinger / WGLT

More train horns are likely to be heard in Normal over the coming weeks, as crews work to repair damage caused by this month's train derailment.

The Normal Town Council on Monday night heard updates about this weekend’s train derailment and fires, including that specialized equipment should arrive Tuesday to transport debris.

Town of Normal

The new climbing playspace coming to the Children’s Discovery Museum will be more accessible to those with disabilities and could become an eye-catching after-hours feature for Uptown.

The fierce debate over the future of the Uptown Normal mural has inspired a documentary about the controversy and the role public art plays in our lives. 

Amtrak train
Staff / WGLT

Amtrak riders will soon have fewer options when traveling through Uptown Station.

kohls entrance
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Vandalism and looting continued for a second straight night in Bloomington-Normal, as police confronted crowds and made several arrests late Monday near the Kohl's store at Eastland Mall.

Uptown One building
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

A black box theater, a temporary post office location, and a long list of restaurants are among the many options considered to fill the vacant first-floor space at One Uptown—or the “missing tooth in a beautiful smile,” as the developer puts it.

Mural and Beaufort buildings
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Many factors influence how much rent the Town of Normal charges tenants of town-owned property, according to the mayor of Normal.

Ron Batory
Eric Stock / WGLT

The head of the Federal Railroad Administration took to a train ride to Uptown Station to see the facility that's getting $13 million for an underpass.

Mural in Uptown
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Thirteen of the artists who painted the Uptown mural are asking a federal judge to keep alive their lawsuit against the Town of Normal while they wait for their work to be moved.

Front of Hyatt Place
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The Hyatt Place hotel in Uptown Normal has a new owner.

Uptown Mural
Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal and Trail East developer have asked a federal judge to end a lawsuit filed by some of the Uptown mural artists, claiming that plans to safely move the artwork means “there is nothing here for the court to decide.”

People at rally holding signs
Izzy Carroll / WGLT

Advocates for immigrant children held in detention centers on the country's southern border are ramping up efforts in Bloomington-Normal to protest the Trump administration family separation policy.

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.

ISU Approves Trail East Incubator Space

Jul 26, 2019
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.