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Life after 420 Main: Evansville residents react to implosion

Published: Nov. 21, 2021 at 8:37 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Matt Geer grew up in Evansville, and he works in Evansville.

All that time until Sunday, 420 Main dominated the skies.

“That’s kind of part of Evansville,” he said.

For over a decade, David Matthews worked in it.

“We had a great view of the river,” Matthews said. “It was a perfect place to be.”

On Sunday morning, both men watched from afar as it was imploded.

[Watch: 420 Main building implosion]

Ten explosions signaled the end of an era.

“It was there and it went down,” said Geer, describing the scene. “You heard these pops and booms, and it just dropped.”

“The emotion was sadness,” Matthews said. “It was a landmark for many years here.”

[Man who worked in the Petroleum Club for nearly three decades reflects ahead of implosion]

In the afternoon, on different sides of the block, they looked upon the rubble.

Geer said he couldn’t escape a feeling that as the building shrank, so too did the city.

“It’s kind of sad seeing something, that tall building, leave Evansville,“ he said. “There won’t be another building like that.”

It’s the nature of time. Buildings grow old, and the people who grew up in their shadow look on as they outlive their usefulness.

“I guess that’s progress,” said Matthews. “I hate to see it, but it was getting to be an old building, showing its age.”

But with the destruction, both men on different sides of the block are hopeful for what can rise up in 420 Main’s place.

“I guess you got to go for improvements,” said Geer. “I’m hoping they get a nice park out of it.”

“It’s supposed to be developed I guess into apartments and some retail,” said Matthews. “Apartments make a lot of sense. We’ll see if retail can come back into the downtown.”

For now, crews will pick up the pieces, while the people of Evansville watch the lot for signs of progress.

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