Brothers in commerce, 107-11 and 101-3 N Fulton, taken in 1946 when Fulton Avenue was bustling
Two old buildings on Fulton Ave near Indiana St are on their way down, and it’s sad news for preservationists. The two buildings were brothers of sort, erected in the 1880s where the Old Brewery once stood. Both were large, multi-story brick buildings and donned Mesker storefronts–large metal facades by the Geo L Mesker & Co. These allowed for quick installation while flaunting highly decorative elements, sort of an instant architecture.
The white building at 107-111 N was built around 1887, and one of the first tenants was F W Mann’s store which specialized in cooking and heating stoves. Mann, the son-in-law of the famous John H Roelker Stove and Plow Works, later expanded into other household decorations like queensware and home furnishings. The building also housed the office and warerooms for the Southern Stove Works whose foundry was nearby.
1890s advertisement for F W Mann’s store
Sanborn 1895 showing the new buildings catercorner from the brewery
F W Mann would later occupy the whole building, and his business helped establish Fulton Ave as a shopping district. Shown below is Fulton Avenue looking north from Pennsylvania St (Lloyd Expressway) around 1900. The old Fulton Avenue Brewery buildings are at left and the tall brick buildings on the 100 N block are in the background right.
Fulton Avenue looking north at Pennsylvania, approximately where the new overpass for the Lloyd Expressway now spans
Mann’s went out of business around 1897, and the building later housed a mattress company and served as storage rooms for other companies. In 1905, A Hohenstein established his furniture company there, which would later be renamed Hohenstein-Harmetz Furniture Co after adding a partner. The furniture factory was destroyed during by a fire in May 15, 1908. The furniture company relocated but the brick structure was rebuilt.
Evansville Journal News 5/16/1908
During renovations, it was remodeled for Simon V Levi’s department store. The store opened in the fall of 1908. Another fire in 1915 gutted the building, but again it was rebuilt and Levi’s Department Store remained at this location until eventually closeing in January 1926.
Levi Devpartment Store 1911
Evansville Journal-News May 1, 1915
Over the next years, the building served a hodgepodge of industries including the Tri-State Asbestos and Magnesia Co, the Tri-State Roofing and Waterproofing Co, and Standard Signs Inc.
1930s ad for Tri-State Asbestos & Magnesia Co
Another ad for the Tir-State Asbestos and Magnesia Co, 1930s
R E Nunley relocated his transfer company from the West Side in 1944. The company would later add a partner and become Nunley-Garnder Inc, agents for the Mayflower Transit Co. By 1950, the awning was gone, the windows were bricked up, and street-level entrance was butchered thus killing the curb appeal of this one-time beauty.
Nunley-Gardner – all bricked up and sad
Nunley-Gardner moved out to Grand Ave around 1980, but the building was used for storage for years. Recent attempts to sell the vacant property have failed, so sadly demolition seems like its fate. Here are a few images of the building as it looks now.
107-11 N Fulton on its death bed
Mesker plaque on the front of the building
View along alley
Rear view covered in ivy
Welcome no one–the street level entrance has been made unwelcoming
TOMORROW: 101-3 N Fulton Avenue which was razed last week