“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bloomington in McLean County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Rounds Block

Built 1857


—Listed on the National Register of Historic Places 1983 —

The Rounds Block Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
1. The Rounds Block Marker
The Rounds Block was built in 1857 by brickmaker S.D. Rounds. Rudolph Richter who was employed by Rounds, is believed to be the architect for the building. Richter was a trained architect who had immigrated to America from Prussia.

The Rounds Block is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Illinois designed by a professional architect. Richter used the Italianate style, which developed great popularity in the years before the Civil War. Other Richter designed buildings include The Old Bloomington Market House (1868) at 109 W. Monroe St. and the Benjamin Schermerhorn Building (1857) at 208 N. Center St.
The section of the Rounds Block on the right is the most original. It features cast iron columns and Joliet limestone lintels and ledges. The brick on the building was undoubtedly supplied from Round's brick yards. The face brick is pressed and the brick on the back and side is hand molded.

The Rounds Block has been the site of commercial activity in Bloomington since its construction. Economic growth fueled by the arrival of the railroad in 1853 spurred new retail and craft businesses. The first floor of these buildings housed saloons, grocers, druggists and restaurants. The upper floors were used for light craft production and as sleeping rooms for clerks and craft workers. The buildings were restored in 1995 by Wollrab

The Rounds Block image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
2. The Rounds Block
Bros. Properties.
Erected 1996 by McLean County Historical Society.
Location. 40° 28.725′ N, 88° 59.635′ W. Marker is in Bloomington, Illinois, in McLean County. Marker is on West Front Street. Touch for map. Between Center & Main Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Bloomington IL 61701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The National Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Miller-Davis Buildings (within shouting distance of this marker); Miller-Davis Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Asahel Gridley's Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); The Phoenix Block (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Major's Hall (about 300 feet away); The Lost Speech (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named The Lost Speech (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bloomington.
Categories. Industry & Commerce
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 16, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 363 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 16, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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