For nearly 50 years, CFC Properties has been a leader in the historic restoration, promotion, and revitalization of several communities, especially Bloomington, Indiana – our hometown.
Review CFC’s milestones by scrolling down the page or jump ahead by selecting an anniversary milestone.
CFC begins as the Cook Financial Corporation as a means for the Cook family to assist its employees with no-interest loans rather than acquiring a bank loan.
Original board members include Bill Cook, Dan Sterner, Miles Kanne, Phil Hathaway, and Steve Ferguson.
Steve Ferguson serves as CFC’s first President.1973
CFC acquires some apartments due to a defaulted loan.
Bill and Gayle Cook purchase the Colonel William Jones House in Bloomington, Indiana, with future plans to renovate.1974
The loan program is deemed no longer necessary, and CFC morphs into a real estate development and management company with a focus on historic preservation. Bill Cook decides not to include his name as part of the new company name, so it remains as only CFC. Officially, the company name is updated to CFC, Inc.1975
CFC significantly expands its residential portfolio to include several houses, condos, and apartments. Some notable properties include Washington Terrace, Fairview, and Jackson Heights Apartments, as well as The Ziegler House, The Dargan House, and The Buttercup Cottage (today, all part of the Grant Street Inn).
Graham Plaza, formerly Graham Hotel, was considered “the glittering hub” for Bloomington’s social activity through the 1950s. Graham Plaza was the first property on the downtown square to be renovated in 1982. Per the City’s agreement, they built the adjoining Morton Street parking garage.1979 - 1982
CFC celebrates its 10th anniversary.
CFC acquires Allen Court, the Illinois Central Railroad Freight Depot, the Johnson Building, and The Gilstrap House (today, part of the Grant Street Inn).
Illinois Central Railroad Freight Depot was built in 1906 as the first railroad in the U.S. by the Federal government to be the hub of a grand plan to connect rail thoroughfares across the country. During CFC’s renovation, many of the original features were preserved.1983
CFC acquires the building at 501 S. Madison/500 S. Madison Street (referred to as the Madison/Morton Building) to provide office space for local businesses.
Brown School is purchased to serve as the headquarters for Cook Group, Inc.’s Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps, then later for the Blast! and Blast II: Shockwave Broadway.
Curry Building was built for a car dealership in 1925. CFC renovated the building in 1984 to serve as office space. Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.1984
Bill and Gayle Cook restore Cedar Farm, the only surviving antebellum plantation-style complex in Indiana. The farm was built in 1837 near the Ohio River on 3,000 acres. CFC restored the property in 1984, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Uptown Plaza was built in 1929 and served as the home for JCPenney, a retail department store. It was an anchor downtown until it moved to College Mall. The building stood empty for four years until CFC renovated it in 1985. The original pressed tin ceiling and leaded glass windows remain.1985
CFC partners to help build the Bloomington Development Learning Center.1986
Bloomington Antique Mall, formerly known as the Bloomington Wholesale Foods Warehouse and Distribution Center, was built in 1920. CFC renovated the building in 1987 and sold it in 2010, where it was converted into an antique mall. Property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
CFC begins helping hang Christmas lights in the downtown square. The tradition helps form the Canopy of Lights Ceremony, an annual holiday event that attracts thousands of locals, including tourists, the day after Thanksgiving through early January. In the 1990s, it was estimated that CFC maintained 24 miles of lights which held over 200,000 light bulbs.1987
Fountain Square encompasses nearly the entire block on the south side of Bloomington’s downtown square. CFC began renovation with 13 buildings in 1985. By 1988 the buildings had been reduced to ten and merged into one. Fountain Square was referred to as “The Anchor Project” because it would ultimately catapult revitalization efforts downtown.
CFC sponsored the first Mini Grand Prix, part of Hoosierfest, Bloomington’s largest festival held in the downtown square. The annual race was a non-profit event held to raise funds for Star of Indiana’s beginning band program that continued until 2001.1988
The Monroe County Convention Center, formerly known as Tom O’Daniel Ford and Graham Motor Sales, was purchased by CFC in 1989 with the promise to hold the property until financing could be acquired by Monroe County. The 1923 dealership was transformed into the Monroe County Convention Center in 1990 and sold to the Monroe County Convention Center Building Corporation in 1991.
The Little Peddler, formerly known as the Stuart House, was built in 1870 and was later converted into a Bed and Breakfast. CFC purchased the home in 1990 and continued to run it as a Bed and Breakfast.
CFC partners with the Huntingburg Senior Citizen Center by offering advice, design work, and project supervision for the 1850 Huntingburg Town Hall transformation.
Madison Park condos were developed to encourage more residents to live in downtown Bloomington. The project was completed over three phases which began in 1990.1990
CFC builds the building at 402 N. Rogers Street, which serves as its Operations Center for maintenance needs. In 1997, CFC’s Operation Center moved into the Beasley Building across the street, and the Cook Family Health Center, equipped with a pharmacy, moved into the 8,000 square feet space.
The 400 S. Morton Street house was built in 1850. CFC purchased the home in 1991 and fully renovated it.
CFC partners with the Bloomington Area Arts Council by lending design and engineering services to help transform the 1915 City Hall building into the new Waldron Arts Center.
The Cook family purchases The Ziegler House for $20 and moved it one and a half blocks east to its current location at 310 N. Grant Street, Bloomington, Indiana. In 1990, The Ziegler House, and The Gilstrap House (formerly purchased in 1983), underwent renovation to become a Bed and Breakfast. The two houses formed the Grant Street Inn, which opened on May 1, 1991, with 14 guest rooms.
CFC rescued and restored the Rose Hill Cemetery fountain in 1991. It now resides in The Waldron, Hill and Buskirk Park.1991
CFC celebrates its 20th anniversary. Following Steve Ferguson’s leadership, Jim Murphy was named CFC’s President.
The 348 S. Morton Street house was built in 1840 with a Gothic Revival architectural style. In the 1890s, the house was occupied by Oscar and Sarah Souders. Oscar was identified as one of Bloomington’s six saloon keepers. CFC acquired and renovated the house in 1993.
CFC built the Bus Garage to ensure the Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps had buses to transport them to venues. Once the Corps no longer traveled, the Star of Indiana Charter Service was formed since the facility was already equipped with bus maintenance tools, storage, and offices.
CFC develops the West Second Street Commercial Park to fulfill the needs for small to medium size businesses in Bloomington, Indiana. The commercial park consists of five buildings totaling over 40,000 square feet.
The Monroe County Courthouse murals were removed from the dome during the 1984 renovation. In 1992, Gayle Cook ironically discovered the murals by accident inside the Brown School (a CFC property purchased in 1984). Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc., a firm specializing in preservation, meticulously restored the paintings. By 1993, the murals were returned to the dome.1993
CFC acquires four apartment complexes: Knightridge Manor, Maxwell Terrace, Summit Pointe, and Basswood Apartments.1994
The Grant Street Inn expands by renovating two nearby properties purchased in 1982, The Dargan House and The Buttercup Cottage. The expansion increased the guest rooms from 14 to 24.
The Wicks Building was built in 1891. In 1915, Colonel Wyatt W. Wicks, a Civil War veteran, purchased the building to become one of Bloomington’s first department stores called the Wicks Bee Hive Department Store. CFC purchased and renovated the building in 1995. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Showers Plaza, a former building from the Showers Brothers Furniture Factory, once the largest furniture maker in the World, was built in 1910 by Charles C. Showers. The complex was one of the first businesses in Bloomington, Indiana, to use electricity. The company closed in 1956. In 1967, a fire destroyed most of the remaining factory. Through a partnership in 1995, CFC, Indiana University, and the City of Bloomington renovated the surviving structure to provide research and office space.1995
The Bicycle Apartments were coined by the concept of providing a bicycle with each apartment for transportation versus other means. The idea emerged in 1995 when CFC responded to the need for low-income housing in downtown Bloomington, Indiana. After much controversy, it was approved and built in 1996. By 2014, the name changed to Madison Downtown to reflect a new rental strategy.
One City Centre, a former Masonic Template, was built in 1925 without windows to protect the privacy of the Masons. In 1985, the Winiger/Stolberg Downtown Redevelopment Group renovated the building and added windows and an atrium. CFC purchased One City Centre in 1996. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.1996
CFC acquires the Beasley Building, a former produce business, and converts it into a warehouse and office space to become its newest Operations Center.
CFC develops the Lincoln Place Condominiums to provide more housing in downtown Bloomington, Indiana.1997
CFC develops the Fulk Building on the site of the old Max Fulk Wholesale building.
The John R. East House was built in 1863. It remained within the East family until 1999 when CFC purchased the home. Following the purchase, the house was converted to serve as office space. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bill and Gayle Cook restore the 1925 Laconia General Store in Laconia, Indiana. CFC provided design and engineering services to assist with the restoration.
CFC purchases the 414 W. 6th Street House built in 1902. Originally the home of Joshua (aka Jessie) Abel and Lorena Belle Howe, owners of the J.A. Howe Candy Company. Once their business closed on the downtown square, they moved it to their residence and sold candy from their home. The house remained in the Howe family until CFC purchased it in 1998 and restored it in 1999. House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.1999
CFC purchases the house at 420 W. 6th Street in 1998 and converted it into four apartments in 2001. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
CFC partners with the Historic Landmarks Foundation Inc. by providing design and engineering services for four historic buildings on Main Street in Stinesville, Indiana.
CFC celebrates its 30th anniversary.
CFC provides in-kind donations for the 1913 Second Baptist Church sanctuary restoration following the construction of a new wing.
Additional in-kind contributions were donated to assist with the following restoration projects: The 1907 French Lick Scenic Railway Depot, now home to the Indiana Railway Museum, a tourist railway, in French Lick, Indiana.
The 1918 Dixie Garage, aka Nash Garage, in West Baden Springs, Indiana.
The 1910 Oxford Hotel, aka West Baden Springs Hotel, in West Baden Springs, Indiana.
Lastly, the Faris building, built circa the 1900s, once operated as the Faris Market from 1916 – 1920, then after switching hands and being renamed, it reopened as the Faris Market from 1925 – 2006. CFC purchased and renovated the building in 2003.2003
The French Lick Springs Hotel was built in 1845. After a fire destroyed part of the hotel in 1897, it was rebuilt and enlarged. The sulfur springs provided what became known as “miracle waters,” which attracted many guests. Cook Group purchased and began renovating the hotel in 2005. The doors reopened, as did the 70-par Donald Ross Course for golfers, in 2006.2006
The existing Beck’s Mill was built in 1864 near Salem, Indiana. Cook Group restored the mill in 2008.
CFC acquires the General Acceptance Corporation (G.A.C.) Building at 1025 Acuff Road in Bloomington, Indiana, and renamed it the Acuff Building. By 2008, the building underwent an expansion doubling its size to accommodate Cook Medical and Star Travel (today known as Cook Travel, a Cook Group Company).
CFC Inc. adds the descriptor ‘Properties’ to its name to help clarify the business – setting the stage to be known as CFC Properties.
The Lewis Building in Canton, Illinois, was built in 1889. It was one of Bill Cook’s favorite places growing up because he could purchase a classic soda or a velvety milkshake. CFC Properties renovated it in 2010.
Bill and Gayle Cook commissioned murals on the south side of the Fulton Square Shopping Center in Canton, Illinois, in 2010. The murals depict scenes of the downtown from the 1900s.2010
CFC purchases The Townhomes located at 624 – 636 W. 17th Street, in Bloomington, Indiana.
In collaboration with Cook Group, CFC Properties contributed to building the Canton Harvester Inn, a 32-room boutique hotel located in downtown Canton, Illinois.
Bill Cook, Co-Founder of Cook Group, passes away.2011
CFC Properties builds the first LED-certified building of its kind at the Grant Street Inn in downtown Bloomington, Indiana. Today, the building is referred to as The Hoosier House, which increased the hotel’s guest rooms from 24 to 40.
The Yoho General Store, located in Solsberry, Indiana, was built in 1934 and was restored by CFC Properties in 2012. Today, the establishment serves American and Southern Indiana dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.2012
CFC celebrates its 40th anniversary.2013
CFC Properties purchases the apartments at 405 – 409 East 7th Street.2015
CFC sells multiple properties to assist Cook Group’s affordable housing initiative.2020 - 2022
CFC celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Ron Walker is named President of CFC Properties.2023