I wander. I roam. I get lost–even on foot. This time, I followed the B-Line Trail, the amazing twelve-foot wide, 3.1 mile paved trail that’s lit with LED light fixtures from dusk to dawn. It led me to a slew of shops that I know you will love–including Bloomington Antique Mall right in downtown Bloomington.
If you aren’t sure about antique shopping, Bloomington Antique Mall would be a great introduction! Wide aisles, climate control, and 24,000 square feet of browsing will help you feel right at home.
Inside the Bloomington Antique Mall
I was antique shopping before it was a “thing.” Beginning when I was in middle school, my mom and I loved to hit small town and small city antique shops. She was always on the lookout for neat books, vintage cake plates, and random home decor.
At the time, I had collected vintage Winnie the Pooh items (until a military move resulted in the loss (theft) of ALL of it)), teacups, children’s books, and whatever else caught my eye. They are things that I still own and use today. I even gifted great antique items for Christmas one year.
Although I no longer do collections, I do still love to browse an antique shop. I, too, love vintage home decor. I prefer not to own the same things as the next guy. I like my house to reflect the places I have been or to be something that I know someone else must have loved many years before. Vintage things can be counted on to last!
I can look around my home and see items I have picked up at different shops over the years: the piece of art from Holly’s in Chesterton, the print from a now-closed shop in Kirklin, a table from a street fair in Cambridge City, my cute little table from Fortville, the chalkboard frame from Bloomington Antique Mall, my other chalkboard frame from Greensburg…and on and on.
Yet, I am often wary when entering a big city antique shop. I know those prices don’t always match up to what I expect to pay in a small town. But at Bloomington Antique Mall, I was blown away by how reasonably items were priced–and how fetchingly everything was arranged.
If you have been in and out of many antique shops, I know you will be thrilled with the selection at this Bloomington antique shop.
If you, like me, find it all too easy to discover that your hands are full and you aren’t even halfway through the building yet, you will love to know that they even have shopping carts. Yes, that should show you right there that these are great aisles. Grandma can trek through and not fear of falling. Better yet, it is ADA compliant. It was built for everyone to enjoy without the complications.
Renovating the Tom Taylor Foods Building
I found an old document that listed several faults of the Tom Taylor Building from back in the early 1980s. It appears that the building had a few issues back then.
According to the document, “The area described above has become undesirable for normal development and occupancy due to the deterioration of improvements, age, obsolescence, and substandard building conditions.” So, it had its status switched to an Economic Revitalization Area for a period of twelve months, beginning in July of 1985.
In that time, the stated building improvements had to begin or the terms of the contract, like Economic Revitilization designation, would be voided. That would have been pretty big since property taxes are reduced on the improvements for a period of ten years.
Unfortunately, the antique shop had closed somewhere around 2009. It was such a loss for the community. But, in 2011, new owners grabbed it, and opened its doors just two weeks after their purchase. That’s great organization right there.
You can see that that sort of organization carries over into the rest of Bloomington Antique Mall, too. The new owners, Gregory and Denise Pence of Columbus, also own Exit 76 Antique Mall in Edinburgh. You know the one. So, you also know a bit of what to expect: clean and tidy all the way.
Restored by CFC Inc., you would never know it to be a former distribution center for foodstuffs. The airy open floor plan is fabulous. Remember, it’s 24,000 square feet of antiques–with more than 100 vendors who stock pretty much everything.
Visit the Bloomington Antique Mall
You know I don’t typically post hours on Little Indiana because so many businesses have hours that change with the seasons, because they close for Fair Week, or don’t even possess standard hours (yes, that’s a real thing). Yet, in the case of this Bloomington, Indiana antique shop, those things don’t appear to apply. They are open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM, except on major holidays.
You need to set aside time for this one. Don’t try to rush through it like I did. I missed so much. You know I want to go back and really dig in. I say it will take you a couple of hours to really look, especially if you are looking for specific things. There are more than 120 booths and more than fifty glass cases to look through.
To see snapshots of featured items and special big sale events (they call them customer appreciate sales), look to the Bloomington Antique Mall (BAM) Facebook Page.
Add Bloomington Antique Mall in Bloomington to your Indiana travel itinerary. I know you will enjoy every minute (and hour) that you spend here. While you are at it, take along your bike, and ride the B-Line trail afterward.
Have you visited Bloomington Antique Mall? I’d love to know about your experiences, and your favorite finds, in the comments section below. If you have a helpful bit of advice to share regarding this antique mall, please do!
Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.
Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.
Bloomington Antique Mall
311 W 7th Street
Bloomington, IN 47404
Monday – Sunday: 10 AM – 6 PM, except on major holidays.
As always, please call ahead to verify hours before making a special trip.
Targeted. Relevant. Affordable! Little Indiana advertising.