The City of Bloomington has committed itself to the continued revitalization of its central business district (see Exhibit A). This commitment manifests itself in implementation of the Downtown Bloomington Vision and Strategic Plan, the intent of which is to define specific strategies and initiatives that would promote and sustain the recent investment and revitalization activity that has already turned the downtown around. A vital component to the success of this redevelopment effort is the involvement of private property owners. The City hopes to encourage private investment in commercial buildings of the area through a program which offers financial incentives to businesses to improve the appearance, safety, structural integrity and quality of their storefronts and buildings as a whole.
This grant program is named after Harriet Fuller Rust, in recognition of her many contributions to the community. Many Bloomington area organizations have benefited from Mrs. Rust’s time and energy over the years. She served with many community service organizations including 37 years on the United Way of McLean County board of directors, as a board member and president of Victory Hall Home for Boys, the Advisory Council to the Bloomington Board of Education, Illinois Shakespeare Society Vice President, Illinois Wesleyan University President’s Club, president, and the McLean County Historical Society board of directors.
Mrs. Rust’s can-do spirit was seen in the aftermath of a fire that damaged the McLean County Historical Society in 1972 and participated in raising $320,000 to get the museum back on its feet. As board president, she accomplished the library material restoration program, expanded the museum’s size, and acquired a 30-year lease on the Old Courthouse building to house the museum.
Mrs. Rust is the recipient of many awards, including: the city of Bloomington’s "Preservationist of the Year Award" (1995) and "Illinois Museum Trustee of the Year" (1998).
City of Bloomington
Planning and Code Enforcement Department
P.O. Box 3157
Bloomington, IL 61702-3157