Fulton Ave fading

Fulton Ave, 109 N (1946)
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
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.

Street view
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
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 1911
Levi Devpartment Store 1911
Evansville Journal-News May 1, 1915
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.

All bricked up
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
107-11 N Fulton on its death bed
Mesker plaque on the front of the building
Mesker plaque on the front of the building
View along alley
View along alley
Rear view covered in ivy
Rear view covered in ivy
Welcome no one.  Street level entrance has been made unwelcoming
Welcome no one–the street level entrance has been made unwelcoming

TOMORROW: 101-3 N Fulton Avenue which was razed last week

West Side Pumping Station / West Side Pool

Many years ago, the Evansville Water Works established a pumping station on the West Side to serve the growing part of town. It was located at the northeast corner of Pennsylvania St and Ninth Ave. A brick pumphouse was built on the corner, and a 250,000 gallon reservoir was located just to the left (north). It opened in 1892 and helped supplement the old Water Works building off Riverside Dr.

Sketch of the West End Pumping Station c1904
Sketch of the West End Pumping Station c1904
Map of the West End Pumping Station (1895 Sanborn)
Map of the West End Pumping Station (1895 Sanborn Map)

In 1900, when the Waterworks Department built its new plant off Waterworks Rd–where it still is today–the station was no longer needed and sat vacant. It was, however, called back into service for a short time when a cave-in occurred at the new facility in early 1904.

Gentlemen near the West  Side Pumping Station 1908
Gentlemen near the West Side Pumping Station 1908

Around 1909, city officials saw the potential of converting the old station into a pool. Famed local architect F J Schlotter was tasked with designing plans to renovate it. The reservoir was partially filled in (so it wasn’t so deep) and changing rooms were built around the perimeter. The West Side Pool opened in the summer of 1909 as the city’s first municipal bathing house.

Map of the new West Side Pool (bath houses have been added and the reservoir converted to a pool)
Map of the new West Side Pool.  Bath houses have been added and the reservoir converted to a pool (1910 Sanborn Map)
West Side City Pool 1919
West Side City Pool with the pumphouse in the background 1919

The pool remained opened into the early 1920s, but was abandoned after it was deemed unsafe.  It was later razed.  Around 1955 the West Side Expressway was built on Pennsylvania St, and today there is no trace of the old pool.

Where the pump station /old pool used to be
Where the pump station /old pool used to be (Google Maps)