Evansville HISTORIC PRESERVATION Month
Evansville’s Department of Metropolitan Development, Preservation Alliance of Evansville, and the Reitz Home Museum present a full slate of lectures, tours, activities, and events.
Preservation Keynote Address and
Display of Original William Wesley Peters Architectural Drawings
William Wesley Peters: The Evansville Years
William B. Scott, Jr., Hon. AIA
Thursday, June 11, 7:00p.m. University of Evansville; Schroeder School of Business Room 170/Smythe Lecture Hall
This year’s Amy W. MacDonell-Randall T. Shepard Historic Preservation Lecture features respected architectural historian William B. Scott’s presentation on William Wesley Peters’ years as an architect in Evansville—1934-1936.
Scott’s presentation introduces hundreds of pages of Peters’ groundbreaking work that sat unappreciated in the Frank Lloyd Wright archives—drawings for the Peters-Margedant House, the Jerome Salm house, the John Price House, Interstate Finance spec house, and renderings for renovating the Evansville PRESS. The drawings reveal Evansville’s Peters to be a pioneer of Modern Architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian concept.
While in Evansville Peters married Frank Lloyd Wright’s daughter. In 1936 he rejoined Wright and became Wright’s primary assistant—becoming the engineer behind Wright’s Guggenheim Museum, Falling Waters, Johnson Wax, and more. Peters briefly put Evansville at the cutting edge of Modern Architecture and honed his skills as the leader of Wright’s Taliesin Fellows.
On public display for the first time this evening will be key pieces of Peters’ Evansville work.
Mr. Scott is a founder and editor of the JOA & D: Journal of Organic Architecture and Design a professional publication devoted to the history, development, and current influence of Wright’s Organic Architecture concepts. He is the Secretary of the Taliesin Fellows.
North End of North Main Street
Thursday, May 14, 5:30p.m.-8:30p.m. Walking tour starts from Bosse Field parking lot. This new tour covers Garvin Park and Evansville’s old industrial and commercial center. Evansville’s industrial history in the 20th century had its roots here. Guides: Joseph Engler and Jennifer Mason
Landmark Look: Peters-Margedant House
Saturday, May 16, 10:00a.m.-Noon. 1506 E. Indiana St. The Peters-Margedant House is key to the development of Modern architecture and the Frank Lloyd Wright story. A prototype of Wright’s Usonian style, it was designed by William Wesley Peters, Wright’s unsung protégé. See it in its original setting before it is moved to the University of Evansville and restored. Reservations: petershouselook.eventbrite.com Park: Garvinwood Baptist Church, Inglewood at E. Division St.
Midcentury Modern Architecture: Evansville’s Residential Neighborhoods
Tuesday, May 19, 6:30p.m.-8:00p.m. Tour starts at Hebron School, 4400 Bellemeade Ave. In the 1950s and 60s a new styles of architecture took root. The Hebron Meadows plats here has some cutting-edge local architect’s interpretations of Modern, contractor’s copies, and early variations on the Ranch style. Guide: S. Alan Higgins
Washington Terrace-S. Alvord Blvd. Tour
Thursday, May 21, 6:30p.m.-8:00p.m. Walking tour of this early 20th century development begins at 761 Alvord Boulevard. When platted in 1909, Washington Terrace was on Evansville’s far-east side. This beautiful boulevard features quaint Bungalows, Colonial Revivals, and English Cottages. Guide: Dennis M. Au
Saving Evansville: Owen Block, McCurdy Hotel, and Greyhound Bus Station
Saturday, May, 30, 2:00p.m.-4:00p.m. Starts at Owen Block building, Chestnut at S.E. Second Streets. With Indiana Landmark’s help, these downtown architectural gems are being saved. Get an update on efforts to renovate them. Tour also covers other buildings in these sections of the Riverside and Downtown historic districts. Tour Guide: Dennis M. Au
Oak Hill Cemetery
Sunday, May 31, 2:00p.m.-4:00p.m. Tour departs from the veteran’s memorial to the right of the main entrance. Walk features the 19th century section of the cemetery. Nowhere else but in Evansville’s ‘city of the dead’ does history come alive as it does here–tombstone art, biography, history, and folklore. The African-American section, a sadly forgotten history, will be featured. Guides: Jane Davies and Dennis M. Au
South End of North Main Street
Thursday, June 18, 6:30p.m.-8:00p.m. Tour begins at the Zesto at 102 W. Franklin St. Jacobsville, N. Main Street’s neighborhood association has been working to improve and promote their area. Historically this was truly an extension of Main Street. It had unique shops, businesses, and even manufacturing facilities – with some fine residences. Learn the history, see the architecture, and be a part of the revitalization. Guides: Joseph Engler and Jennifer Mason
Special Activities and Presentations
Building the Past: A Survey of Evansville’s Early Architecture
Wednesday, May 13, Noon-1:30p.m. Browning Gallery, Willard Library. Willard Archivist Pat Sides presents historic images of Evansville’s early buildings, many which are now gone. Images are newly scanned and have not be generally seen by the public.
Reitz Home Free Admission Day
Sunday, May 17, 1:00p.m.-3:00p.m. Evansville’s Victorian jewel, the Reitz Home, 224 S.E. 1st St., offers free admission in observance of Preservation Month.
100 Years of Vintage Clothing
Wednesday, May 20, 7:00p.m.-8:30p.m. Reitz Home Carriage House, 224 S.E. First St. Jennifer Greene, USI Archivist, gives a ‘tour’ of one family’s clothing collection that speaks to the fashions and handwork, from 1870 to 1970. Talk features splendid dresses, skirts, and aprons.
Reitz Home Nooks and Crannies Tour
Saturday, May 23, Beginning at 1:00p.m. Reitz Home, 224 S.E. First St. Limited space tour of places not seen on regular tours – the cellar, family safe closet, 3rd floor servant’s quarters. $7.50 admission. Reservations: 812 426-1871. Guide: Matthew Rowe
Re-lighting the Historic Greyhound
Neon Sign and Ice-cream Social
Wednesday, June 10, 8:00p.m.-9:00p.m. Greyhound Station, N.W.3rd and Sycamore Streets. Greyhound Station exterior renovation is drawing to a close. See the neon on the blade sign come back to life! Celebrate this victory, see the dogs on the sign run again! Host: Indiana Landmarks
History of Evansville’s Parks
Tuesday, June 16, 6:00p.m.-7:30p.m. Browning Gallery, Willard Library. Learn about Evansville’s earliest parks. Topics include Mayor Bosse’s transforming of our parks a century ago. Presenter: Pat Sides, Willard Library Archivist
Evansville’s Biggest Booster:
The Life of Mayor Bosse
Tuesday, June 23, 7:00p.m.-8:30p.m. Reitz Home Carriage House, 224 S.E. 1st St. Based on his new book, Mayor Bosse’s great, great nephew, Jeff Bosse, presents the city’s most dynamic and influential mayor. Bosse’s term—1914 to 1922— was an unmatched era of economic and civic expansion. Reception follows.