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A Look Back on the History of 420 Main

After standing tall for over 50 years, the 420 Main building in downtown Evansville, Indiana, is being brought down. Here's a look back on the iconic building's history.

Posted: Nov 21, 2021 6:00 AM

The year was 1970, and the economic success of the country was beginning to take shape in the midwest.

Big companies began eyeing the skies above metropolitan areas, and the Tri-State was no different.

The era of skyscrapers and large-scale office space designs was beginning as retail and shopping habits changed.

Although towering skyscrapers never emerged in the River City, plans for what would become the centerpiece of the Evansville skyline were already underway.

Local historian Stan Schmitt explained the limitations that were in place ahead of the development of the 18-story building in downtown Evansville, which would become the tallest building between Indianapolis, St. Louis, Louisville, and Nashville.

"Up until right before they announced they were going to build this building, the limit downtown was 10 stories," Schmitt says. "The bank building that this replaced was 10 stories. Southern Security and Hulman were both 10 stories. That was all you could build in downtown Evansville."

With a new limit of 300 feet approved, plans for the demolition of the previous property were underway.

The property housed dozens of businesses and offices for over 40 years, but the trend took a pivot when its biggest tenant moved its headquarters down the street in 2004.

"That was the beginning of the end because you had several floors that the bank occupied all the time," Schmitt said.

Over the years, several developers would arrive with visions and renderings of what the aging building could become, but those plans never took hold.

With the exit of the 420 main building, something new will soon emerge in its place, supporting a new chapter of commerce and progress in the River City for decades to come.

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Wow!!!! It's cold!!!! After a trace of snow in Evansville and some highe amounts to the south, we're waking up to temperatures in the mid to upper teens across the Tri-State. Thankfully, road crews did a fantastic job treating the roads to keep conditions from getting slick. However, the northerly winds gusting as high as 15 to 20 mph has dropped wind chill values into the single digits and even below zero in our western communities. There won't be much of an improvement in temperatures this afternoon. With the strong northerly wind flow and dry skies our highs will only reach the mid to upper 20s. Winds will stay quite breezy keeping the wind chill factor in place through the day.
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