Historic Evansville House Dedicated Thursday

A historic house now has a new home as the piece of local and national history is preserved for future generations. The Peters-Margedant House, which was designed and built by William Wesley Peters -- the primary apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright -- was officially dedicated at its new home on the University of Evansville campus Thursday morning.

The 552-square-foot home was built using the Usonian style of architecture which was championed by Wright as he quickly became one of the influential American architects in modern history. The Usonian style catered to the common man, allowing those who weren't overly wealthy to afford a trendy yet useful living space.

Among those who attended Thursday's dedication ceremony was Brandoch Peters, the son of William Wesley Peters.

"It would have been criminal not to be here," Peters said. "[My father] was going to be a great architect. I'm only too sad to say that he would have lived happily another five years at least but he just worked himself to death."

The home, which was once located at 1506 East Indiana St. before being moved to the UE campus, was built in 1934. However, the Peters-Margedant House pre-dated many of Wright's similar works, leading some historians to believe Peters either utilized or helped influence Wright's radical architectural style.

"My father was a brilliant guy," Peters said. "Sons don't usually call their father a brilliant guy but he was way ahead of me. I can tell you that."

William Wesley Peters had strong ties to the Evansville area as he graduated from Bosse High School and what was then Evansville College, which is now UE.

The University of Evansville along with historic preservation groups spent months trying to raise money in order to have the home moved to campus and then restored. In August 2016, the house was moved from its former location on Indiana Street to near the Koch Center for Engineering and Science on campus. The renovation process took several months.

For years and decades to come, the home will be a learning laboratory and museum, perhaps influencing future architects that pass through UE.

"This was on the 10 most endangered list for over a decade," said Kelley Coures, the executive director of the Department of Metropolitan Development. "What better place than UE to have this learning that prepares students for the wider world."


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