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Bloomington Plan Commission Approves Renaming Jordan Ave. To Eagleson Ave.

The street sign at Jordan Avenue and 7th Street.

(Joey Mendolia, WFIU/WTIU News)

The Bloomington Plan Commission approved renaming Jordan Avenue Tuesday, citing the name’s racist history. tied to Indiana University’s seventh president – David Starr Jordan. 

Jordan was a proponent of the eugenics movement and a professor at IU from 1875 to 1885. He was also the seventh president of Indiana University.

Read: Bloomington Forms Task Force To Rename Jordan Avenue

The renaming will apply to the city owned section of the street, which runs from Davis to 17th Street and will go into effect February 2022.

The Bloomington Plan Commission said an IU archivist could not determine the origin of landmarks with the name ‘Jordan’ on campus, but found Jordan Avenue was named for IU’s seventh president.

Read: Indiana University Removes Jordan Name Over Eugenics Support

The street will be renamed Eagleson Avenue, in honor of a Black family that spans multiple generations of Bloomington’s history – the first of whom the Plan Commission listed is Halson Vashon Eagleson. The commission said Halson was an enslaved person who came to Bloomington in the 1880s and became a barber. He had five children who attended Indiana University.

The Plan Commission said they chose ‘Eagleson’ from more than 500 name suggestions after the city established a taskforce in April to consider new names for the road.

The Plan Commission said the following criteria were considered when choosing a new name for the road:

“People who were longtime residents of Monroe County, people who have not already received significant city and university honors, persons who have been dead for the last five years, and the Task Force placed an emphasis on names from Bloomington’s Black community…” 

 The university-owned section of the road, running from 17th Street to Fee Lane, will be named Fuller Lane or “Mattie Fuller Lane” according to a release from the city. 

The renaming comes after the IU Board of Trustees removed the name ‘Jordan’ from a river and multiple other structures on campus last fall.

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