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‘Bloomington Fading’ Project Documents City’s Changes

  • Bloomington Fading book cover

    Image 1 of 4

    Photo: Derek and Jennifer Richey

    The Bloomington Fading creators recently released a book of their documentation.

  • BloomingtonFading-6thSt

    Image 2 of 4

    Photo: Derek and Jennifer Richey

    A Bloomington Fading photo combines old and new images of 528 E. 6th St.

  • Old Bloomington High School South

    Image 3 of 4

    Photo: Derek and Jennifer Richey

    The former location of Bloomington High School South on Walnut Street.

  • New Bloomington Post Office

    Image 4 of 4

    Photo: Derek and Jennifer Richey

    The new Bloomington Post Office stands on the former location of Bloomington High School South.

Ever wonder what Rogers Street looked like in the early 20th Century?  Or what business occupied T.I.S. Books in the 1930s?

This week on Noon Edition, we’ll talk with the creators of the Bloomington Fading project, Derek Richey and Jennifer Sommer-Richey, about how the city has changed through the years. Their Facebook page juxtaposes historical photos with present day images, and they’ve just authored a book of their findings, Bloomington Then And Now.

Join us Friday at 12 p.m for our conversation. You can visit this site to be part of our live chat, follow us on Twitter @NoonEdition, or join us on the air by calling in at 812-855-0811 or 1-877-285-WFIU.


Derek Richey

Jennifer Sommer-Richey

  • Pumpford

    I like what you’re trying to do with this site.

    I noted one thing about the black & white photo of the old school, taken some time not long after it burned – was never known as Bloomington High School South. Perhaps you are too young to remember, or are not originally from the area. I have added some history for you below:

    Bloomington historically was home to a single high school, called Bloomington High School (BHS). Originally BHS was a prep school for Indiana University, but later turned into a graded school. It was housed, for many years, in a three-story brick building at what is now known as Seminary Square Park, and was considered Bloomington’s central high school in 1864. BHS got more students over time and slowly evolved. The Gothic year book began in 1909 and The Optimist newspaper in 1911. Both were started by BHS and are still published today.

    The other high school in the area was University High School which started in the 1920s; it was a closely located county high school outside the city.

    In 1965, a new high school building was built for BHS on South Walnut Street. When BHS vacated Seminary Square, the old building was turned into a middle school called Central Junior High School. On April 6, 1967, one of the middle school students burned down the building, completely destroying it, and the present park was created on the site.

    In 1972, University High School and Unionville High School (then, the two closest county high schools outside the city of Bloomington) were closed along with Smithville High School. “South” was added to BHS to create “Bloomington High School South,” (BHSS) complete with mascot and school colors (purple and white), similar to that of the former BHS.

    Later, in the fall of that same year, as a result of the 1968 school consolidation plan which formed the Monroe County Community School Corporation, Bloomington High School North (BHSN) was built with students from the closed University and Unionville High Schools along with some transfer students from BHSS.

    The zonal boundary that determines which Bloomington high school a student will attend forms a jagged line that criss-crosses the city. The map is such that one student who actually lives north of another, may in fact attend “South”, while the other attends “North”. This geographic divide was contentious given the MCCSC school board decided to send the most prominent socioeconomic neighborhood (Hyde Park) to North to reduce in economic/academic inequity. The map can be obtained from the Monroe County Community School Corporation. The two schools have remained contentious rivals in most sporting events since the creation of BHSN in 1972.

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