Century Club – Fendrich house

Fendrich house at 827 SE 1st St
Fendrich house at 827 SE 1st St

When John H. Fendrich, the proprietor of the Fendrich Cigar, planned to build a new downtown home, he commissioned famed Chicago architect, W. L. Klewer to design the new residence. It was designed in the Prairie Style among the mansions on First St.

Frendrich home under construction
Frendrich home under construction

The home was completed in 1917.  It was built with red brick and limestone and covered in a green tile roof.  The round-arch door draws focus from across College St. Two lions guard the front porch and a covered porch with an exterior fireplace is at the left.  A large 3-car garage is set back from the house, in a matching style.  It also includes a 1/2 story for the chauffeur.

Even after Mr. Fendrich died in 1953, the home has remained a single-family residence.  The historic home was opened up for the 2013 Riverside Neighborhood Tour. The following pictures were taken during that tour.

Kitchen from 2013 Riverside Tour
Kitchen from 2013 Riverside Tour
Fireplace from 2013 Riverside Tour
Fireplace from 2013 Riverside Tour
Front door from 2013 Riverside Tour
Front door from 2013 Riverside Tour
Outdoor porch from 2013 Riverside Tour
Outdoor porch from 2013 Riverside Tour

Century Club: Howell General Baptist

Howell General Baptist is one of the oldest congregations in the Evansville area.  It was founded in 1823 as Liberty General Baptist by Benoni Stinson, who established the General Baptist branch with this being the mother church.

In 1891–when Howell was still a separate town–the Liberty General Baptist congregation built a church at the northeast corner of Rose and Signal Streets, what is now Delmar Ave and Emerson St.  (The streets of Howell would eventually be renamed from their railroad specific names around the turn of the century).  It was situated across from the original Howell Public School that later became known as Daniel Wertz.

Original church building
Original church building

In 1916 the church solicited the help of famed architect Clifford Shopbell to build a new church building.  The brick Neoclassical structure was erected on the same site as the old structure.

Architect sketch
Architect sketch Clifford Shopbell & Co
Shortly after completion
The new church shortly after completion

A sizable addition was built in 1955 just left (north) of the church.  This too would eventually be enlarged to include a second story.  The church would eventually buy the old Daniel Wertz school, which moved out to South Red Bank Rd in 1986.  The vacated school was purchased the following year and for a while was used for storage until it was razed around 1990.

Church today
Howell G. B. Church today
Stonework above the main entrance


Howell General Baptist website – https://howellgeneralbaptist.com/history

Century Club: Christian Science Temple

First Church of Christ
First Church of Christ, Scientist

Tucked on Mulberry St between 2nd and 3rd Sts, the Christian Science Temple is 100 years old.  The Church of Christ, Scientist was founded in Boston in the late 1800s.  Not to be confused with Scientology, this denomination is most well-known for its publication Christian Science Monitor.  The church was established in Evansville in 1915, and built this edifice in the Neoclassical style.  It was designed by famous local architects Shopbell & Co and truly has that Greek temple look.  The church was built of stone with a green tile roof and reads “THE ETERNAL GOD IS THY REFUGE” under the pediment.

Architect's sketch of the new First Church of Christ, Scientist
Architect’s sketch of the new First Church of Christ, Scientist


Shortly after completion
Photo taken shortly after completion

Bethany Apostolic moved here from their old location in 1930.  The church has remained stewards of the building and still operate here 85 years later.

Bethany Apostolic today
Bethany Apostolic today
Both sides of the cornerstone which is partially covered by the ramp


Century Club: Washington Ave Presbyterian


Architect sketch of the proposed church
Architect sketch of the proposed church

The idea of Washington Ave Presbyterian was conceived in late 2012 when the Presbyterian church wish to expand eastward.  The new church was planned to serve the growing suburbs buoyed by the streetcar.  The cornerstone was laid June 29, 1913, and construction progressed rapidly on what was dubbed “one of the finest churches in the city.”

Construction of Washington Ave Presbyterian June 1913

The church was dedicated May 17, 1914 making it the 7th Presbyterian church in Evansville.  The interior boasted a green color scheme with ivory colored ceiling set off with pink and brown decorations.  Its seating capacity was around 400.

Washington Avenue Presbyterian shortly after it was completed
Washington Avenue Presbyterian shortly after it was completed

An addition was built in 1954 to the right (west).  Some of the adjoining houses including the old parish house were cleared for parking.

1950s addition
1950s addition

Washington Ave Presbyterian merged with Eastminster Presbyterian on August 19, 1999. The old church was converted into the Washington Avenue Center, an outreach mission where more than a dozen ministries took place.

Not long after, the church became God’s Way Church which still operates here today.  It should be noted that during renovations the church was required to replace some of the beautiful stain glass windows on the front with clear glass per fire code.

Grand entrance
Grand entrance to the church
God's Way Church today
God’s Way Church today (note the center front window with the stain glass removed)

Century Club: Germania Maennerchor

Germania Maennerchor, a singing club dedicated to German heritage, was established in 1900 and relocated in 1910 to its current location on Fulton Avenue when the bought an old mansion just north of town.  The new clubhouse was completed and dedicated 100 years ago, so it’s your duty as a history enthusiast to attend Volksfest this weekend and drink some beer.

Germania Maennerchor shortly after completion 1914
Germania Maennerchor shortly after completion 1914

The growing Germania organization boomed to over 400 members necessitating a larger clubhouse, so once the mortgage on the old Lahr residence was paid off, plans were drawn by famed local architect Frank J. Schlotter during the summer of 1913.  Members enjoyed using the back of the property for entertaining (come this weekend and you can see why for yourself), so it was desired to build in front of the old home.  A two-story structure of pressed dark red brick with Kentucky limestome for trim was designed that fronted Fulton Avenue where the road narrows.  On the first floor was a reception room, billiards room, check room, ladies’ parlor and a probe zimmer (German for “tasting room”).  The upper floor had an open design and had a large hall with a stage at the northern end.  The hall, which hosted several performances, boasted a rigging loft and equipment as nice as any theater and also had dressing rooms.  The design also had a driveway where the street entrance is now that allowed members to get back to the old house.  The stage above served as a porte cochere or a covering for those dropping off members at the club’s side entrance.

Ground was broken early September 1913 and the cornerstone was laid October 19th.  A time capsule was placed inside the cornerstone, and members of other societes as well as any Germans were invited to a public ceremony of song.  The building ran a cost of $18,000 and was dedicated over a three day period May 27-29, 1914.  Crowds had to be turned away for some of the festivities, which included Mayor Benjamin Bosse speaking.

A significant remodel occurred in 1939 at which time the murals were painted. The first floor was altered and the entrance was moved to where the driveway stood. (It was originally under the third bank of windows, below the “ERC” in Maennerchor).

In 1947, the old home was torn down and a new boiler house was built in the rear.  Later, a 2nd story was added above the boiler room including a kitchen.

Advertisement for 1939 Volksfest
Advertisement for 1939 Volksfest

Volksfest, which has been an annual tradition since it began in 1934 (save a few years after World War II), runs this weekend.  See their Facebook page for more information

100 Years Old: Lanhuck’s Bar

1914 appears in the parapet in an Arts and Crafts font
“1914” appears in the parapet in an Arts and Crafts font

Lanhuck’s Bar, torn down Thursday, didn’t get the chance to celebrate its 100th birthday, but we’ll spotlight it in our Century Club nonetheless.

The building at the corner of Columbia and Governor was built by the F W Cook Brewing Co. Breweries would often own or build saloons to sell none other than their own beer. The 2-story brick building was designed by Frank J Schlotter and had a cafe and kitchen on the 1st floor and several bedrooms and a bath on the 2nd floor. George Geier operated the saloon and lived upstairs.

The Home Realty Company (the real estate arm of Cook’s Brewery) began construction in the summer of 1914. The brickwork was done by September and the building was completed in December 13, 1914. (Note the Arts and Crafts numbering in the parapet)

Article from Jul 5 1914 announcing the new building
Article from Jul 5, 1914 announcing the new building

George Geier operated his saloon here for several years until it was closed because of Prohibition.

Around 1935 L L Conia opened a restaurant in the old building

1936 ad for Conia's Restaurant
1936 ad for Conia’s Restaurant
Aerial view 1947 with Gaier Saloon in green
Aerial view 1947 with Gaier Saloon in green.  Delaware School can be seen in the upper left, and the old fire station of Hose House 10 is at lower right.

Over the years it served a variety of concerns including Lee’s Tavern, Hen House Tavern, Reinie’s Tavern, Colonial Bar, and Russ’s Tavern.  Around 1967 it became Peg’s for Singers and Swingers. Lanhuck’s opened in 1983 and had occupied the old building until its demise this week.

Lanhuck's shortly after opening 1983
Lanhuck’s shortly after opening 1983

A car crash Monday damaged the front which finally collapsed Wednesday. An emergency raze order was issued putting the building out of its misery just short of its 100th birthday.  It’s always sad to see a historic building go, especially when it’s well used.  R. I. P. Lanhuck’s!