EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – The Hulman Building in Evansville has once again been named one of the most endangered buildings in Indiana.
“There’s a lot of history associated with this project. It was built in 1929, so it’s been an important part of Evansville’s skyline for nearly a hundred years,” says
The ten story, Art Deco style Hulman Building has has been a bank, an auto complex, and the headquarters of a power company — throughout its near-century long existence.
Today, just the first floor of the building is in use by two remaining businesses — a barber and a men’s clothing store. According to the organization Indiana landmarks, something needs to be done soon in order to preserve it for generations to come.
“The condition of the building is overall good, but it is deteriorating…because of the declining use of the building and the maintenance, there is increasing water infiltration through the roof and windows which affects several of the floors,” says Taylor Burden, Director of Indiana Landmarks Southwest.
Stacy Stevens, a broker with Landmark Realty & Development, says a plan gained steam last year to turn the building into a hotel with developers from the Alaska Group – but the deal wasn’t able to close.
“This time last year, they made an offer on it, did their due diligence, and came to the conclusion that construction was going to be too expensive, and construction was going to be too expensive,” says Stevens.
The Hulman Building was then sold to an out of state buyer at online auction, who chose not to renovate it and again listed it for sale.
Since then, Stevens says talks have rekindled, and she remains optimistic that a deal can still be made soon between the group and the current owner to make the hotel dream a reality after a recent phone call with Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, city officials, and members of the Alaska Group.
“We made a lot of progress on what needs to happen, and hopefully we can get there in the next thirty days…It would still take a long time, to make sure they can get these historic tax credits and other things that they are shooting for. But I think…who knows? In two years we could have a beautiful hotel here,” says Stevens.
Hotel or not – Burden hopes that the building will be purchased and restored to its former glory.
“When you’re in there you can see why a bank or a utility company, or especially a hotel would make a great fit for this building,” adds Burden.