Evansville, Ind. (WEHT) — It has graced Evansville’s downtown since the Great Depression. But now, the Hulman Building is on a troubling list. Indiana’s Landmarks unveiled its annual Top 10 Most Endangered List of Hoosier Landmarks, and the Hulman Building made the list.
Since its construction in 1929, the 10-story commercial building on Fourth Street has dominated Evansville’s downtown skyline. It was once home to Sigeco, which later became Vectren, and now CenterPoint Energy. Over the years, it housed a bank on the ground floor.
But over time, there has been wear and tear, with heavy rain leaving water damage and a leaky roof.
“You know what happens when a building just sits, it just goes into decline,” says Candace Chapman, who is on the Indiana Landmarks Board.
Chapman helped the building get on the list.
“When Indiana landmarks heard it was having those problems- they were like this building is to important for our state and our city- they said it’s a no brainer. It needs to be on the list,” she says.
By being on the list, Chapman says the building has a better chance of getting funding to restore its natural façade.
“It is a benefit because it does provide the landmark advocacy and bringing attention to a building that is this important can help with identifying a new buyer, or for bringing attention and more funds to the project,” she says.
It has had several owners over the years, including the family of Mary Hulman- George.
“The family behind the Indy 500, so you know, real deep historical connection throughout the state. It was first it was owned by the Hulman Family, then by some local investors, over a period of years,” said Joshua Armstrong, the President of the Economic Improvement District.
Armstrong says he was happy to hear that the building was on the list.
“It’s an incredible building, we don’t have a lot of Art Deco building in Evansville. We didn’t have a lot growth at the time. So they are pretty rare and that is what makes the building special, its angular shape and vertical nature of the building. It’s a really special building,” he said.
The building is currently empty, except for two tenants, a barber shop and a suit shop.