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Historic State Farm Building sold: Fast facts

Historic State Farm Building sold: Fast Facts
By Kent Kanouse

State Farm announced today that if found a buyer for its old headquarters in downtown Bloomington. Here are some key facts you probably didn’t know about this historic building.

Key dates


1929

Building opened as the headquarters of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company


1934

Four stories added to the original building


1940

Eight-story north addition on the site of the former Odd Fellows Hall completed


1945

Five stories added to the north addition


1974

Company headquarters relocated to new building on Veterans Parkway


2018

Last batch of employees relocated; State Farm sign comes down

Fast facts

  1. Known as the State Farm Downtown Building, State Farm Insurance Building or the State Farm Fire Building
  2. Designed by Archie Schaeffer and Phillip Hooton; their Bloomington-based firm, Schaeffer and Hooton, is no longer around
  3. Building costs were $467,000
  4. At 162 feet, it’s the tallest building in downtown Bloomington’s, second in town only to the company’s new headquarters (182 feet)
  5. At one point it housed up to 500 employees
  6. State Farm founder George Mecherle moved into an office on the eighth floor in 1940
  7. State Farm Historian Dan Barringer said in 2009 that Mecherle’s office was left intact since 1951, housing sales receipts dating back to 1936
  8. Mecherle’s office was not open to the public, but State Farm used it to educate new employees on the company’s history
  9. The building is listed as a “contributing property” to the National Register of Historic Places’ listing (pdf) for the Bloomington Central Business District
  10. The steel-framed Art-Deco building features an elaborate terracotta ornamentation pattern from the third to the top floor, and stonework including stone light fixtures, medallions and sconces
By Ron Frazer

The million dollar question

Who bought the building, and for how much? State Farm’s not talking, but the McLean County assessor’s office estimated the value at $9 million.

Photos (CC BY-NC 2.0) via Flickr

Central Illinois Buzz

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