Graham Plaza Hotel (Graham Plaza)
The building was built in 1895 and used as a hotel called the Gentry Hotel. It went through another name change and was later called the Bowles Hotel. The building was then erected in 1929 and called the Graham Plaza Hotel. The building was then restored and converted into an office building in 1979 by CFC Inc and just called Graham Plaza. CFC Inc did this to revitalize downtown Bloomington and later on in 2006 the Hilton Garden Inn was built and offered enclosed connections to the Graham Plaza.
Backstory and Context
The Graham Plaza Hotel housed the 1943 Cincinnati Reds for six weeks starting March 15, 1943 for spring training before the season. With the busy schedule, the Cincinnati Reds were staying at the Graham Plaza Hotel for 3 weeks until leaving on April 10, 1943 to play their exhibition schedule. The Cincinnati Reds came back to Bloomington for their second go around of spring training. They arrived March 14, 1944. In June of 1944 Kermit Wahl, third baseman for the Cincinnati Reds from 1942 to 1944, signed his new contract with the team in the Graham Plaza Hotel. The commute to the 10th Street Stadium, now The Arboretum, took them roughly 20 minutes walking or 5 minutes by team bus. Jim Murphy credits Bill and Gayle Cook for the pioneering efforts to revitalize and preserve the historic downtown area of Bloomington.
Decker, John C. DiPrimio, Pete. Unknown, Untold, and Unbelievable Stories of IU Sports. Wells House Books. Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University Press, 2018.
Graham Plaza, Bloomingpedia. September 22nd 2019. Accessed March 9th 2020. http://www.bloomingpedia.org/wiki/Graham_Plaza.
Seltzer, Rick. There’s a special place in chairman’s mind for downtown Graham Plaza, November 1st 2013. Accessed March 9th 2020. https://www.hoosiertimes.com/herald_times_online/news/business/there-s-a-special-place-in-chairman-s-mind-for/article_73a0eb07-2bcc-5fab-8ac5-3c5af4436b7f.html.