Bloomington, Minnesota

Bloomington, Minnesota

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Bloomington, Minnesota
settlement_type = City

imagesize =
image_caption = City Hall in 2006


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = location in Hennepin County, Minnesota

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Minnesota
subdivision_name2 = Hennepin
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Gene Winstead
established_title = Founded
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date = 1843
established_date2 = 1858
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 99.4
area_total_sq_mi = 38.4
area_land_sq_mi = 35.5
area_land_km2 = 91.9
area_water_sq_mi = 2.9
area_water_km2 = 7.5
area_water_percent = 7.53
population_as_of = 2006
population_footnotes = cite web|url=
publisher=U.S. Census Bureau|title=Official Population Estimates in Minnesota|date=2006
] cite web |title=Table 2: Population Estimates for the 100 Most Populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas Based on July 1, 2006 Population Estimates: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 |publisher=U.S. Census Bureau |url= | format = PDF | date = 2007-04-05 |accessdate=2007-04-16]
population_total = 80869
population_urban =
population_metro = 3175041
population_density_km2 = 917.8
population_density_sq_mi = 2400.5
timezone = Central
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = Central
utc_offset_DST = -5
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 55420, 55425, 55431, 55437, 55438
area_code = 952
latd = 44 |latm = 50 |lats = 1 |latNS = N
longd = 93 |longm = 18 |longs = 36 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 252
elevation_ft = 827
website = []
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 27-06616GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0640278GR|3
footnotes =
Bloomington is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota in Hennepin County, and the third core city of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA. Located on the north bank of the Minnesota River above its confluence with the Mississippi River, Bloomington lies at the heart of the southern metro area, 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Minneapolis. The city's population was 85,172 in the 2000 Census and was estimated at 80,869 in 2006.

Established as a post-World War II housing boom suburb connected to the urban street grid of Minneapolis and serviced by two major highways, Interstate 35W and Interstate 494, Bloomington is predominantly a bedroom community with both upper-tier households in the western Bush Lake area and traditional middle-class families in its rows of single-family homes in the central to eastern portions. Besides an extensive park system in tradition with the Minneapolis Parks System, the city's south border with the Minnesota River is buffered by the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

Though primarily a work-commuting town, Bloomington has its own competitive economy and is locally headquartered to major companies such as Ceridian, Toro, and Seagate. Formerly home to the Twin Cities major league baseball, football, and hockey teams at the Metropolitan Sports Center, the city is now a hospitality and retail magnet being nationally recognized for having the United States' largest enclosed shopping center, the Mall of America. It is presently the only suburb in the metro to be serviced by a light rail line.

Early settlers named the city after Bloomington, Illinois.


In 1839, with renewed conflict with the Ojibwa nation, Chief Cloud Man relocated his band of the Mdewakanton Dakota from Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis to an area called Oak Grove in southern Bloomington, close to present day Portland Avenue.cite web | url= | title=A History of Minneapolis: Mdewakanton Band of the Dakota Nation | author=JoEllen Haugo and Mary Jo Laakso | publisher=Minneapolis Public Library | date=2001] In 1843, Peter and Louisa Quinn, the first European settlers to live in Bloomington, built a cabin along the Minnesota River in this area. The government had sent them to teach farming methods to the Native Americans. Gideon Pond, a missionary, who had been following and recording the Dakota language from Cloud Man's band relocated later that year, establishing Oak Grove Mission, his log cabin. Pond and his family held church services and instructed schooling and farming to the Dakota in the area. Passage across the Minnesota River in Bloomington came in 1849 when William Chambers and Joseph Dean opened the Bloomington Ferry. The ferry remained operational until 1889, when the Bloomington Ferry Bridge was built.

Following the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux in 1851, the territory west of the Mississippi, including Bloomington, was opened to settlers. A group of pioneers settled Bloomington which included the families of Goodrich, Whalon, and Ames. They named the area Bloomington after the city they were from, Bloomington, Illinois, which means flowering field. During this time, most early jobs were in farming, blacksmithing, and flour milling.cite web | url= | title= Bloomington History Unit adapted from Bloomington on the Minnesota | publisher= Bloomington Public Schools | author= Adapted from Jessica Moe | date=2007] The Oxborough family, who came from Canada, built a trading center on Lyndale Avenue and called it Oxborough-Heath. Today, the Cloverleaf Shopping Center rests on the old trading center site and the nearby Oxboro Clinic is named after them. The Baliff family opened a grocery and general store at what is today Penn Avenue and Old Shakopee Road, and Hector Chadwick, after moving to the settlement, opened a blacksmith shop near the Bloomington Ferry. In 1855, the first public school for all children was opened in Miss Harrison’s house with the first school, Gibson House, built in 1859. On May 11, 1858, the day the state of Minnesota was admitted into the union and officially became a state, 25 residents incorporated the Town of Bloomington. By 1880, the population had grown to 820.cite web | url= | title=Bloomington History | publisher=City of Bloomington | date=2006] In 1892 the first town hall was built at Penn and Old Shakopee Road. By then the closest Dakota to Minneapolis in the late 19th century lived at the residence of Gideon Pond.

1900s to 1930s

The population surpassed a thousand after 1900 and Bloomington began to transform from a small village to a city. With the rising population came conflict among citizens over certain social issues. Among the major issues during this period were the parents unwillingness to dissolve the individual schools for a larger, consolidated school, and the fear of mounting taxes. By 1900 there were already six rural schools spread throughout the territory with over 200 students enrolled in grades first through eighth. By 1917, the school consolidation issue had been settled. That year voters approved the consolidation of the schools and a year later secondary education and school bus transportation began throughout the city. Telephone service and automobiles appeared.

1940s to 1950s

During the twenty years from 1940 to 1960, the city's population increased to nine times that of the population at the turn of the century. During the 1940s the city's development vision was low-cost, low-density housing, each with their own well and septic system. This was in part due to the post World War II boom and subsequent birth of the baby boomer generation. In 1947 the first fire station was constructed and equipped at a cost of $24,000 and the Bloomington Volunteer Fire Department was established with 25 members.

The 1950s saw a considerable expansion to the city and its infrastructure, with the city shifting away from its small town atmosphere and feel. In 1950, because of the increasing population, the first elementary school, Cedarcrest, was built. It was evident that one consolidated school could no longer serve the growing population, and ten new schools would be built in this decade as the school system expanded to meet the needs of the citizens. In 1952 the first large business, Toro Manufacturing Company, moved to Bloomington. The significance of this can be seen in Bloomington today, which is home to hundreds of businesses of all types.

In 1953, Bloomington changed from a township to village form of government. This more professional approach to government was accompanied by open council meetings, land use plans and published budgets. The effects of this new form of government began immediately, first with the formation of the city police department (at a cost of $2 per taxpayer) and secondly with the first park land acquisition. Both Bush Lake Beach and Moir Park were established at a cost of one dollar to each residence. Today, about 1/2 of the city's land area is devoted to city and regional parks playgrounds, and open space. In 1956 the first city land use plan was initiated with the construction of Interstate 35W and Metropolitan Stadium.

In 1958, the city changed from a village government to a council-manager form. One of the first council adopted policies was the encouragement of commercial and industrial development, low-cost housing, and shopping centers. Due to the rapid population increase during this time, police and fire departments changed to a 24-hour dispatching system, and the fire department (now made up of 46 members) converted a garage into the second fire station.

1960s to 1970s

The 1960s saw accelerated school and business growth throughout the city. On November 8, 1960, Bloomington officially became a city as voters approved the city's organizing document, the City Charter. The city charter provides for a Council-Manager form of government in which the city council exercises the legislative power of the city and determines all city policies (see City of Bloomington Government). In 1967, a second and third official fire station were approved and built to more effectively combat fires in the increasing population. In 1968, Normandale Junior College opened with an initial enrollment of 1,358 students. It would not be until 1974 that the college would change to its present name, Normandale Community College, to reflect expanded courses of study.

From 1961 to 1982, the city of Bloomington was home to all the major sports teams of Minnesota. In 1961, after the completion of Metropolitan Stadium in 1956, both the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings began regular season play. Although Metropolitan Stadium was originally built for the American Association Minneapolis Millers, a minor league baseball team, Metropolitan stadium was renovated and expanded for Major League Baseball and Football. The first Twins game was held on April 21 (Washington 5, Twins 3) and the first Vikings game was held on September 17 (Vikings 37, Chicago Bears 13). In 1967, with the expansion of the National Hockey League, the Metropolitan Sports Center was built near the site of the Metropolitan Stadium and the Minnesota North Stars began play later that year.

A number of new city buildings were constructed in the 1970s. In 1970 Jefferson High School, Bloomington Ice Garden rink one and a fourth fire station were built. In 1971, school enrollment peaked with 26,000 students, and the fire department had grown to a force of 105 men. It was not until 1974, after a six hour city council meeting, were women allowed to join the Bloomington Fire Department (the city's first female firefighter, Ann Majerus, would not join the department until 1984). In 1975 a second rink was added to the Bloomington Ice Garden and fifth fire station, and subsequent sixth in 1979, were also built.

1980s to present

in the United States.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 38.4 square miles (99.4 km²), of which, 35.5 square miles (91.9 km²) of it is land and 2.9 square miles (7.5 km²) of it (7.53%) is water.

There are three primary land types in the city. The northeastern part of the city is a sand plain, low hills dominate the western portion of the city, and the far south lies within the valley of the Minnesota River.

About 1/3 of the city is permanently reserved for park purposes, including two large natural areas -- the Minnesota Valley's wetlands (controlled by the City and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service) and the Hyland Lake Park Reserve (controlled by the Three Rivers Park District).

Water bodies within the city include Bush Lake, Long Meadow Lake, Lake Normandale, [ Marsh Lake (Hennepin)] , [ Nine Mile Creek] , [ Penn Lake] and about 100 small lakes and ponds with their wetland habitats.

Bloomington's third high school, Lincoln High School (originally Bloomington High School), was sold to the Control Data Corporation in the mid 1980s. Now controlled by General Dynamics, it is used primarily for defense contracting work, although Bloomington Public Schools is a tenant. The stadium, named Bloomington Stadium, there is still used by both Kennedy High School and Jefferson High School for home football, lacrosse and soccer games.

Private schools

*Nativity of Mary School is located on Lyndale Ave. It is associated with the Nativity of Mary Catholic Church and community.
*Bloomington Lutheran School is located near Bloomington Ferry Road and Old Shakopee Road.
*A K-5 school operated by Minneapolis-based Minnehaha Academy at 102nd and Xerxes.
*Bethany Academy operates a K-12 school just west of France Avenue on 98th Street.
*Concordia Academy-Bloomington (formerly Lutheran High School) located at 82nd and Park.

Higher education

*Normandale Community College is a two-year college, with 8,500 full and part-time students, that has been in Bloomington since 1968. It is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.
*Northwestern Health Sciences University focuses on natural health care and patient research, in the areas of chiropractic, acupuncture, oriental medicine, and massage.
*Bethany College of Missions is a small Christian school focused on missionary preparation.

Arts and media

Comcast provides access to four Bloomington cable television stations for public, education and government (PEG) programming. They include The Bloomington Channel 14 [ link] , a comprehensive source of Bloomington information and programming. The channel features City Council and school board meetings, a weekly news magazine show called "Bloomington Today", "Roll Call", a weekly update on public safety news produced by the Bloomington Police Department, arts events, and sports. Bloomington Educational Cable Television (BEC-TV) [] highlights educational and school-based programs from the Bloomington's public and private schools. Programming on this channel includes educational content, concerts, choir shows, graduations, and sporting events. Two student produced shows are also on BEC-TV. Tomorrow's Voices Today (TVT) is a teen news show that highlights the good things teens are doing around the city and talks about teen related issues. YRU-Up is a late night call-in talk show. Skits for the show are produced by students and the show is live every Friday night (Sat. Morning) at 12:30am on TBC (Channel 14). A third channel, BCAT, (Bloomington Cable Access Television) [] is a public access channel that allows individuals and organizations to learn video production and create television shows. The schedules for these channels can be found on a channel called the B.R.A.I.N. The cable access channels are funded by cable franchise fees collected in the city.

Notable Residents

* Tony Oliva Former Minnesota Twins resides in Bloomington.
* Kent Hrbek Former Minnesota Twins is from Bloomington.
* NHL player Ben Clymer of the Washington Capitals is from Bloomington.
* NHL player Mark Parrish of the Minnesota Wild is from Bloomington.
* NHL player Erik Johnson the 1st overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft is from Bloomington.
* NHL player Tom Gilbert of the Edmonton Oilers is from Bloomington.
* NHL player Peter Mueller of the Phoenix Coyotes is from Bloomington.
* Tom Burnett One of the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 is from Bloomington.
* Lane Kiffin Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders is from Bloomington.
* Former Sports Illustrated columnist Steve Rushin is from Bloomington.
* Former Minnesota Attorney General Warren Spannaus resides in Bloomington.
* University of Kansas power forward, and future NBA prospect, Cole Aldrich is from Bloomington
*Lloyd Lee, Linebackers Coach for Chicago Bears, is from Bloomington, MN.


External links

* [ City of Bloomington Website]
* [ Bloomington Sister City Organization Website]
* [ Nine Mile Creek] Metro Watershed District (MWD)
* [ South Metro Public Safety Training Facility] , of which Bloomington is a founding partner
* [ Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau]

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