Saturday, June 6, 2009

Normal Historic Homes

At the Friends of the Bloomington Library sale, I purchased a calendar prepared by the McLean County Bicentennial Arts Festival Committee in 1976. Each page features a picture of an area location with historical significance. Among the homes pictured, there are four from Normal: the Simon B. Malone Home (built 1865), the Taylor-Dillon Home (built 1870), the Jesse Fell Home (built 1855), and the Orson Leroy Manchester Home (built 1916). I admit that I’m only familiar with the names Fell and Dillon, so I am not sure of the significance of the other two homes. But it is clear that a home gets elevated to the status of having historical significance due to the status of the person who lived there and/or the importance of the architectural style.

Is there any possibility that a home built recently in one of the many area subdivisions would ever be considered historically significant? If so, it would undoubtedly be based on the resident, not on the architectural style. It seems kind of funny to think of future residents of Normal placing great significance on a putty-colored, vinyl-sided, single-story ranch house built in the 1990s. The person who lived there would need to have been really important for that to happen!

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