EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - There is one historic building left in Evansville’s Haynie’s Corner that is still sitting empty. Now, a new push for its potential to come alive with fresh creativity.
The Riverside Historic District is no stranger to new life in old buildings. The Dapper Pig was once known as the Bromm Mansion; Sauced used to be the Charles Kellogg Home.
Walton’s was formerly Walton’s Auto Dealership.
“One by one these historic buildings are all showing an adaptive reuse for something that’s appropriate for the 21st century, but still retaining that exterior facade that’s so important,” says Department of Metropolitan Development Executive Development Kelley Coures.
The Shackelford Mansion, most recently known as the No-Ruz Grotto, could be next. This week graduate students from Indiana colleges studied the Shackelford and came up with several ways it could be transformed, giving the owner ideas for how to attract developers to the Haynie’s Corner Arts District.
“Our first option would be to transform the building into a boutique bed and breakfast with an event center and restaurant,” says University of Evansville Graduate Student Emily Billhartz.
Or perhaps an after school care facility.
“We decided this would be a great aid to the amount of families that live in the area," says Ball State Graduate Student Emma Ocken. "It would provide children with a place to learn and to develop their education as well as their interests.”
“Creating an artist hub and or gallery and including small business retail within this space,” says Billhartz.
Coures says our future is in good hands with young people who care about historic preservation. He notes the benefit of the hundreds in town for the Historic Places Conference.
“We have a whole new audience of people statewide who now see what’s going on in Evansville, and it may drive some investment dollars here,” says Coures.
Coures tells us hosting this conference was worthwhile. He thinks it is only a matter of time until the Shackelford Mansion comes back to life.