A ribbon cutting is set Friday to showcase a high-profile renovation project in downtown Evansville. The Owen Block building was initially saved from the wrecking ball last year by Indiana Landmarks and has since undergone a $1.25 million restoration by Evansville-based Architectural Renovators Inc.
The building now has 15 one-bedroom apartments inside the 1880s-era structure. Over the last year-and-a-half, the city has also kicked in some $100,000 in support to initially stabilize the blighted property and repair infrastructure like curbs and sidewalks.
Indiana Landmarks Chief Executive Officer Marsh Davis says "Indiana Landmarks’ mission is saving special places, and the Owen Block certainly fits that description. And who says Victorian is out of style? People of all ages and walks of life love this building. Contributors made donations, several in large amounts, so that Indiana Landmarks could rescue the Owen Block for the Riverside neighborhood and the city. So many forces converged to make the save possible – the city, Indiana Landmarks board and especially our local board members Christine Keck, Kristen Tucker, Gene Warren, and Randy Shepard (a local in absentia), generous donors, neighbors, and Jesika Ellis and the army who participated in the Blockheads social media campaign."
The row house is located at the end of the city’s Riverside Historic District.
The Owen Block building before renovations: