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.
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.
We came across the Lambert Johnson home in a Find-It-Friday listing new residences around 1930. After identifying Lambert Johnson’s house as 2300 Lincoln Ave, this house has only intrigued us more.
Lambert D Johnson Sr was the son of E Mead Johnson, who founded Mead Johnson and located the company here in the 1910s. In 1928 Lambert bought the old Bernardin residence and land which was next to his father’s house. Johnson relocated the home nearby to Boeke Ave and soon built a large English Tudor mansion. The house designed by Chester Walcot (Chicago) was paneled throughout much of the interior and donned imported fixtures. It was built by J Bippus and Sons for a price tag of $200,000 and was completed in 1929.
The Johnsons lived here for several years, and though it was surely a social hub for Evansville’s elite the home largely remains a mystery. The only interior picture we found was when the daughter got married in 1941.
After Lambert’s parents passed away, the Johnsons moved into his father’s home in late 1940s to downsize (that home isn’t exactly small, so you can imagine the enormity of the Lambert residence). The mansion was deemed too big to maintain and sat vacant and for sale. With no prospective buyers, it was razed in January 1955, and the area was turned into Johnson Place subdivision 1956 not long after Lambert’s death. One can only imagine the amount of craftsmanship and history that was demolished into a pile of rubble.
New residences in Johnson Place were limited to a smaller size so that the houses built wouldn’t fall into the same trap as Lambert’s did. Here is a view now of where the mansion once stood; the fenced community hiding a strange past.
Here is the old Bockstege home located on West Maryland St. The name appears on the pediment of the wrap around porch. From atop the West Mayland hill, the house made of buff brick commands a view of the city.
Here is the same house today, now as Maple Manor Apartments. The porch has been enclosed, no doubt to make for more rental units. Much of the original detail of the building remains including the tile roof. One has to wonder what the inside now looks like?
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.
When doing my research I came across this postcard and thought surely it was incorrectly labelled. I knew of big houses on 1st St and even some on First Ave, but where were these grandiose houses along Fulton Ave? Upon further searching, I identified these homes as those of three members of the Cook family, proprietors of the F W Cook Brewing Co.
602 N Fulton Ave – The first and largest of the three mansions built back in 1877 by F W Cook (father). He was president and general manager of the F W Cook Brewing Co. It was torn down in the winter of 1984-5 and is now the site of Inweld Corp
620 N Fulton Ave – Charles Cook, president of the Home Realty Co, built this brick Queen Anne in 1898. It was torn down in 1998 after standing for a century and is now a side lot for the Henry Cook house
610 N Fulton Ave – Henry Cook (son) was the vice president of F W Cook Brewing Co and secretary and treasurer of the F W Cook Investment Co. This colonial revival house was built by Harris & Shopbell in 1899. It is now the only home left standing, however the building is in serious disrepair. It is on the Preservation Alliance of Evansville’s Top 10 Endangered List, and a recent, though incomplete, paint job hints of some hope for the home.
The Cooks were a wealthy family, and these residences illustrate some of the grandeur that used to line Fulton Avenue. Check out the slideshow along with the article that shows several photos of the homes through the years. As a side note, in the postcard above you can see the tower of the Fulton Ave School in the distant left
Originally posted 1/8/2010 Update: the Owls relocated and the old home was razed May 2012
As an homage to the First Avenue area, we’re highlighting 407 N First Ave. The house was built in the late 19th century as a residence for Ed Boetticher of Boetticher Kellogg & Co.
In 1924, the Owls moved from next to the jail and the house at the northeast corner of First and Michigan became their lodge. Several additions and the removal of the tower really take away from the grandeur of the home but the lintels around the window hint of what once was.
As a side note, his partner Charles Kellogg lived in another mansion that lost its tower at 1113 Parrett St, now being reused as part of Kirby’s catering.