OUR STORY BEGINS
BLOOMINGTON’S SIGNATURE INN
Bloomington’s signature boutique establishment, the Grant Street Inn, occupies an entire block of Grant Street, between 7th and 8th, showcasing its unmistakable, iconic yellow exterior.
Built for love – William Rogers, former dean of Indiana University School of Law, built The Ziegler House in 1883, as a gift for his bride, Belle. The house is entrenched in Bloomington’s history, as it was later owned by William Graham, builder of the Graham Hotel, and then William N. Showers, owner of Showers Brothers Furniture Factory (considered the largest in the world by the 1920s).
By the 1990s, the Ziegler House served as a 7-apartment student rental house that was once located behind the First Presbyterian Church. Bloomington Restorations, Inc. approached Bill and Gayle Cook, founders of Cook Medical and CFC Properties, when many feared the house might be torn down because the church needed additional space.
The Cook family agreed to save the house, purchased it for $20, and moved it one and a half blocks east to its current location 310 N. Grant Street, Bloomington Indiana. The Ziegler House underwent renovation and was connected to the Gilstrap House where the dining room is now located.
Behind the front door of the Ziegler House, where the registration/ welcome desk is located, the 1880s Victorian springs to life. The original parquet hardwood floor remains, along with two pocket doors that now serve as floor-to-ceiling headboards in room 23 and 26. The original trim, rosettes, stair rail, and wrap around porch remain, as well.
Following Grant Street Inn’s successful opening in 1991 with 14 rooms. In 1995, nearby structures, today known as The Dargan House and The Buttercup Cottage were converted from apartments to additional guest rooms increasing the room count to 24.
In 2012, the Grant Street Inn constructed the first LEED-certified building accounting for an additional 16 rooms, known as The Hoosier House. It appeals to those who desire a more modern and eco-friendlier environment. It’s complete with a Tesla charging station, bicycle storage units, a fitness center, solar panels, a water irrigation system, LED lighting, and much more. The newest structure mirrors the original Ziegler House replicating its similar trim style, fish scale cedar shingles, two large front porches with rocking chairs, and of course, radiates the iconic yellow exterior.
Paul Wagoner, Grant Street Inn’s 18-year Manager, often says,
“We are a true representation of Bloomington deeply rooted in the community.”
Many come for the nostalgic experience… an IU Alumnus looking to reminisce their old stomping ground, IU parents looking to visit their student on campus. Those who enjoy strolling 4th Street’s ethnic restaurant scene or the boutique shops on Kirkwood Avenue. While others claim it’s a ‘home away from home’ that triggers a childhood memory or two.
The Grant Street Inn is a completely unique experience – 5 buildings with 40 different rooms offering 40 different experiences. The rooms range in style from victorian-chic to modern, old-world elegance – no two are alike. Guests enjoy discovering their favorite room and/or building. Even when faced with a number of new and flashy chain developments in the area, the Grant Street Inn remains a highly sought-after destination because it’s a traditional favorite of Bloomington’s past and present time. Once you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.