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Bloomington City Council Approves Historic Downtown District

The Bloomington City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday night that designates the courthouse square and dozens of surrounding properties as a historic district.

The council voted unanimously to approve the district, which includes 57 properties.

City council members spoke in support of the measure, though some asked why this preservation move wasn’t made sooner.

“Why did it take us this long to decide this was worth doing? Is there a single answer to that, or is it complicated," asked District Six council-member Stephen Volan.

Housing and Neighborhood Development Director Lisa Abbott says it’s been on the agenda for years, but she says her department wanted it to be a collaborative effort.

“Because not everybody was convinced. Ten years ago, I think this would have been a very different hearing then what you’re going to have here tonight," said Abbott.

The historic preservation commission must still adopt design guidelines for the district-- something Historic Preservation Program Manager Bethany Emenhiser says she hopes will be completed early next year.

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