Evansville’s Cathedral: Assumption Catholic Church

Assumption (1944)

Originally published 4/29/2010

Assumption Catholic Church was the first Catholic parish in Evansville, but its fate was unbefitting of such a glorious building.  Originally founded in 1836, the original church used to be located at 2nd and Sycamore Sts, but its success and growth warranted a grander building.  In April 1871 a lot was purchased at Seventh St and Vine St, just catercorner from Old Central school.  Work on the beautiful new Assumption church began July 7, 1872, when the cornerstone was laid and completed later that year at a cost of $75,000.

school was erected in 1881 next to the church on 7th St.  Continued growth demanded a larger school which was built in 1928 replacing the old one.  The church prospered for years and when the Catholic church created the Diocese of Evansville in 1944, Assumption became the cathedral, or head church, for the area.

When Evansville planned to built a new Civic Center, Assumption found itself located within the proposed area.  To boot, the downtown area had been experiencing mass exodus as residents flocked to the suburbs.  With Holy Trinity and St Mary’s nearby, the downtown area could not support three Catholic churches.  These factors combined made the decision to close the parish easier than it should have been.  The church had to get approval from the Vatican to shut its doors, and the last mass was held January 17, 1965.

After showering the downtown area with its beauty for nearly a century, the church was razed in May 1965. The Winfield K Denton federal building, which houses the downtown post office, is now located on this site.  Anyone who remembers this beautiful church can attest that it was one of the saddest losses in Evansville’s history.

  • Assumption church as seen from the 1888 Bird's Eye View map
  • An early photo of the church before the tower was redone (circa 1904)
  • An old postcard of Assumption Catholic Church
  • The old Assumption School in the early 1900s
  • An austere building, Assumption Catholic Church was one of the gems of downtown
  • The old school was replaced with this new, larger one in 1928
  • Death row: The church and school (right) await demolition for the new Civic Center. The Cook Brewery was also facing the axe.
  • Assumption Church is demolished in 1965 to make way for the new Civic Center
  • The death blow was delivered as the wrecking ball toppled the tower. The Old Central tower watches in the background, though it found a similar fate a few years later.

Assumption Catholic Church at Historic Evansville.com

Then and Now: Stockfleth residence (273 Washington Ave)

Originally written 12/21/2009

Residence of Henry Stockfleth ca. 1904
Residence of Henry Stockfleth ca. 1904
Same house in disrepair in 2007
Same house in disrepair in 2007

Here is one of the grand old homes on Washington Ave then and now.  This is the residence of Henry Stockfleth, a real estate agent, built around the turn of the century.  Built by the architect firm of Harris & Shopbell, this photo appeared in a booklet showcasing their designs.

Fast forward 100 years

The house is still there but in poor condition.  There have been rumors of the turret being sliced off with a chainsaw.  Recently the porch has been completely removed and the prospect for saving this house is undetermined.

UPDATE:  This house was razed in April 2010

273 Washington Ave on HistoricEvansville.com
http://www.historicevansville.com/ site.php?id=washington273