Renovations underway for historic post office

Published: Nov. 22, 2011 at 6:02 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2011 at 6:02 PM CST
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Renovations are underway at the historic Old Post Office in Downtown Evansville. The 130-year-old building is owned by the city, but a developer is leasing it, and creating a space for corporate parties, weddings, and other events.

At the Old Post Office, workers are busy taking a room once divided into office spaces and transforming it into a banquet hall for 300 plus.

"This building is too grand to be used as the average office," says Bashar Hamami.

Events start next week, catered by Acropolis and Just Rennies, which is taking two basement spaces for catering and online cookie orders.

"At the time, everybody was moving out of the Old Post Office, it was getting run down. Now we're moving in," says Doug Rennie, Chef and Co-Owner of Just Rennie's.

"It's neat to be a part of bringing back the history and charm of an old building," he continued.

From the crown molding, to the pillars, discovered during the demolition of walls, that history will be evident.

"We want to basically have the room be a museum for the building itself, so we ended up getting these large prints that are going to be covering all these windows," says Hamami.

Some space may return to government office use, if the Social Security Administration moves in.

"If it doesn't, the plan is to convert the upper two floors into a hotel," stated Hamimi.

The total cost of the renovations will be about  $2 million to $3 million.

The city agreed in principle to fix many problems as a loan, but that hasn't come through yet.

Hamimi feels confident that will be a successful project and lots of people will use the facility. He hopes those new faces will appreciate the generations that came before them.

14 News called the Department of Metropolitan Development to find out where the loan stands. Officials there have not responded to questions.

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