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County Historian looks back at the history behind the 420 Main building ahead of implosion

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Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:27 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - We’re counting down the days until the implosion of the 420 Main building in downtown Evansville.

The tallest building ever constructed in the city will officially be gone on Sunday.

It’s easy to walk past it on a regular day.

“I mean it was the symbol of the growth of the city of Evansville for the time,” Stan Schmitt, the Vanderburgh County Historian said.

Maybe even not understand the significance that the 420 Main Building has held for so many in the city.

“The bank was the main person in it but if was offices, attorneys, title companies. I mean there were other businesses that used that,” Schmitt said.

For a lot of those people, they may know it as the original Old National Bank Tower with 149,000 square feet of office space inside it was home to many, many people for decades.

“There’s just the whole gambit of different businesses that were in there. All the elevators were marble brass around. For the time there everything was carpeted and that was something different. The building itself was made to be this special place. Fancy, what you weren’t used to necessarily,” Schmitt said.

Historians note that the groundbreaking for the tower actually took place in December of 1967, that’s about 54 years ago now.

But not old enough for some of those still around to remember it.

“I graduated the last class at the Old Central High School, so that’s 1971. So, you could see the building every where downtown like that. It was one of those when we went to lunch after school, it was still being worked on,” Schmitt said.

The tallest building ever constructed in Evansville has about four more days to tower over the city.

“It’s going to be empty like that. Anywhere you look there, where it dominated the skyline., there’s going to be nothing there anymore,” Schmitt said.

A piece of the city’s skyline that some say, will never quite be replaceable.

City leaders are urging the community to stay away from the area when the implosion does happen.

You can tune into our live coverage on Sunday morning.

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