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Uptown Normal, IL

Date: 2003

Client: Town of Normal

Location: Normal, Illinois

Awards: U.S. EPA Smart Growth Award 2012- Best Civic Space

LEED Certification: LEED-ND Silver (Pilot)

An exemplary model of community planning implementation and urban design, the Town of Normal, Illinois worked with Farr Associates on the visionary Uptown Renewal Plan. In the early 2000s, Uptown, the community’s downtown, had been in a prolonged state of decline, marked by reduced retail choices and deferred building maintenance. The heart of the plan called for a new circular plaza at a confusing 5-way intersection anchored by the existing Amtrak facility.

Now in its implementation phase, the redevelopment has far exceeded initial goals. The Uptown Circle, completed in 2009 by landscape architect Hoerr Schaudt, has become a major civic attraction and urban design success, with the added benefit of on-site stormwater treatment. The undersized Amtrak station received a $22 million TIGER federal grant to construct a new multi-modal high speed rail facility and parking structure. A new hotel/conference facility and a LEED Silver certified children’s museum have since located downtown. This redevelopment activity has spurred over $200 million in new private sector retail and mixed-use developments throughout the area.