City makes funds available to help save historic downtown buildi - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

City makes funds available to help save historic downtown building

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

The Evansville Board of Public Works has passed a resolution that will allow the city to help save the Owen Block.

The Department of Metropolitan Development can now use $100,000 that is left over from the 2006 Front Door Pride bond to assist with the project.

Kelley Coures, the Director of the Department of Metropolitan Development says this a step in the right direction but Indiana Landmarks still needs donations for their portion of the fundraising.

He says Indiana Landmarks estimates it will cost $440,000 to buy the building and stabilize it structurally.

This is before handing it over for final renovation from a developer.

"Cities have to make decisions, either you are going to preserve your historic structures or you aren't, and saving historic structures means that your history is important to you, your public buildings are important to you, your city story is important to you," said Coures.

Many residents in the area say they want to see the building stay.

"I mean it definitely is a part of Evansville, the downtown area where folks use to live in row houses and whatnot and I would really hate to see it, if it does come down, come down," said Jim Sears, who grew up in Evansville.

A public hearing on the future of the Owen Block will be held on January 22nd by the building commission.

Indiana Landmarks says 3 major donors have stepped up to pitch in $120,000.

The Owen Block is at risk of being demolished because the building is unsafe.

It was built in 1882 as four separate town homes.

Related stories:

Plan in the works to save historic Evansville building

Local group fighting to save historic Owen Block building

Code enforcement to consider raze order for Owen Block

Historic building in downtown Evansville declared a safety hazard

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