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Bloomingpedia:This week's featured article/2007 Week 26

From Bloomingpedia

The John Waldron Arts Center, at 122 S. Walnut Street serves as the home and epicenter of the Bloomington Area Arts Council. The Center was initially constructed in 1992. The center provides space for musical and dramatic performances, gallery exhibitions and classes.

The Beaux Arts style building at the corner of Fourth and Walnut Streets was erected in 1915. It was originally used as the Bloomington City Hall until 1965 when the Bloomington Police Department moved in. The BPD moved out of the building in 1985, leaving it virtually vacant for five years. One tenant, the Bloomington Fire Department, used the south side of the 2nd floor as dormitory space for firefighters in the adjacent fire station.

After several failed attempts at the creation of an area arts center, the Bloomington Area Arts Council was finally able to raise the money necessary to renovate the old City Hall Building in 1990. The fundraising effort received a tremendous boost through the initially anonymous donation of $375,000 to the project by Cecile Waldron. In gratitude for the donation, the BAAC named the building after John Waldron, a prominent city politician in the 1800s and great-grandfather to Cecile Waldron's husband, Charles. The City of Bloomington handed over the deed to the property to the BAAC in a ceremony on July 31, 1990 at the Fountain Square atrium. The BAAC compaign coordinator was Evelyn Powers.

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