One Normal Plaza


One Normal Plaza History

One Normal Plaza originally started as the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s home and school in 1865 to house and care for orphans of the Civil War. It later housed orphaned children whose father served in any war. The campus included cottages for young children, a dormitory-like building for older youths, a recreation center and administration buildings. The property was abandoned by the state and, in 1983, the property was sold to a corporation known as One Normal Plaza, Inc. for $1.753 million for all 68 acres and buildings. Open space surrounding the buildings was leased to the Town of Normal for recreation activities such as football, volleyball and soccer. In 1992, Normal bought 22 acres of the land for a public park after One Normal Plaza, Inc. filed for bankruptcy. The Town also acquired the old food service building which was turned into an indoor recreation facility, now called the Community Activity Center.

Located at: 601 E. Lincoln St.


  • Restrooms- Portable 
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Picnic Tables
  • Grills
  • Drinking Fountain
  • Playgrounds for ages 2-12
  • Parent-Child Swing 
  • Climbing Elements at Playground 
  • Ballfield
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • In-Line Hockey Rink  
  • Community Garden 
Food Forest
Soccer Fields