Holy Trinity Church history being used to create new downtown Evansville park

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The old Holy Trinity Church, a building that’s stood in downtown Evansville for nearly seven decades, is now nearly seven days into the process of coming down.

A project that’s been in the works in downtown evansville for years is finally beginning to take shape.

The future of the historic corner is planned to be as innovative as it is efficient.

The sounds of hammer to stone and the whir of engines fill the corner of Northwest Third and Court street. As the old comes down, the new sound will be the rush of water.

“Currently we have 300 million gallons of sewage that dumps out in a typical year as overflow out into the Ohio River,” said Mike Labitzke of Evansville Water Sewer Utility.

This site will become a new tool for storm water drainage in the heart of Evansville.

“All that water is going to be diverted to this site where we’re going to put in about a 2.3 million infiltration basin to store and slowly release that storm water,” said project manager Mike Montgomery.

But right now a building that some might see as in the way is being used as raw material for one of the city’s newest creations.

“There are a lot of kids, majority of people especially in high school that don’t think they can pull this kind of thing off. Yet here we are.”

Roert Lopez helped create the vision for what will become a new park four years ago as a junior in high school. His eye is on the future, but he wants his hometown to honor its past.

“Eventually this park will be a part of Evansville’s history and Evansville’s life,” added Lopez.

For that reason the park that will sit on this spot above the stormwater basin will be modeled to include repurposed materials from holy trinity church that currently is coming down from the spot where it’s stood since the 1950’s.

“We’ve taken some steps to salvage and reclaim some of this materials on this church to incorporate back into that project. Specifically you can see the limestone on the building being pulled off to be reused. There’s going to be some granite that’s associated with the building that we’re going to reuse, and the stained glass windows,” said Montgomery.

It’s a project that will redirect 40 millions of gallons of water below, and hopes to be a continue cornerstone of connections above.

During Thursday’s work while removing the cornerstone from the church, something could be seen sticking out from the edge. There’s thought it could be a time capsule.

It’s something the Evansville Diocese is interested in uncovering to see exactly what lies inside.

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(This story was originally published on October 2, 2020)

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