Free walking tour of Evansville highlights urban renewal

Free walking tour of Evansville highlights urban renewal
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 10:22 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A group led by people from the Vanderburgh Historic Society and the Evansville Museum led a free walking tour Wednesday evening.

The group managed to just fit the tour into National Preservation Month, which is fitting, as they focused on buildings that have changed due to urban redevelopment.

The tour was a chance for folks to learn more about how the city used to look and what that could mean for future projects.

Tom Lonnberg, the curator of the Evansville Museum, and Terry Hughes, the president of the Vanderburgh Historic Society, led the tour. the focus was on urban renewal.

“The government will for the better good of the community in their view will take buildings condemn them and use them for another purpose,” said Lonnberg.

He said when you get to studying urban development, you learn that historic hotels or ornate chapels can one day become a parking lot.

The tour led all across downtown Evansville and highlighted buildings that had replaced historic sites. They included a packet with images of how the city used to look.

“We hope that they learn that we have a lot of rich history in our city,” said Lonnberg. “Things that are really interesting to learn about and to appreciate all the efforts that have gone on to making Evansville what it is today.”

Behind every change lies a choice, and Lonnberg said when you learn more about those choices, you learn more about how to act in the future.

“If we made mistakes in the past, maybe we can learn from them and not do those again, or just appreciate what people have done in the past just to lead us to where we are today,” he said.

The Vanderburgh Historical Society says they plan to do more of these in the future, so stay tuned for their next one if you want an expert guide through your community.