He couldn’t have known it then, back in 1812. The settlement Hugh McGary Jr. started on the bend of the Ohio River has grown into the third largest city in Indiana. Today, Evansville is what it is because of families who’ve made neighborhoods their own and merchants who’ve strived to give back. In short, we are all here because of a simple belief: We can be better.
City View 2013
Every city claims to have the best burgers. These days, burger lists and rankings rule. (We know, because we see city magazine covers!) Evansville has loved its burgers for decades. After all, we remember burgers from The Tennessean and The Farmer’s Daughter. Choosing our 10 favorite burgers put us in a bit of a pickle, but we mustard the strength to find the best of the best.
River City Revealed
It’s a Tuesday evening in late August. The Grabill Lounge, in the basement of Neu Chapel on the University of Evansville’s campus, is filled with students. Instead of 20-year-olds in sweatshirts studying tomes and making notes, these students have not even graduated from high school, and some are as young as 3. And the notes they’re making aren’t on paper.
In The Know
Have you resolved to be more inspired? Want to sing or dance but don’t think you have a chance? Do you long to pick up a paintbrush or knitting needles but aren’t sure where to start? Evansville has plenty of opportunities to get your creative spark going in 2013.
Last June, Neal Bogan, Evansville native and the Wesselman Nature Society’s Canoe Evansville’s program naturalist, launched Paddle With Your Pooch, a furry-friendly event that allows outdoor enthusiasts to bring their pets on a guided paddle tour of the Bluegrass Fish and Wildlife Area’s Loon Pit lake. Located a half mile off the Boonville-New Harmony Road exit from Interstate 164, these grounds boast 2,500 acres of open skies, more than 25 lakes, lush vegetation, wildlife sights and sounds, and a bevy of opportunities for hunting, fishing, and canoeing.
With more than a year as the executive director for the Department of Metropolitan Development for the City of Evansville-Vanderburgh County, Philip Hooper, 33, is planning big things for our city. Hooper, a Castle High School and Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.), graduate, came to Evansville from a position as a senior project manager in Indianapolis, and he brings a fresh approach to community development and the talent needed to make things happen.
If you’ve been in the Ford Center, then you’ve seen the work of Sarah Schuler, 39, and her team at VPS Architecture in Downtown Evansville. A native of St. Phillips on the West Side of Evansville, Schuler graduated from Ball State University and is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Public Art Commission of Evansville. She and her husband, Chris Lautner, the chief estimator at Traylor Bros., have two children, Alayna and Drew.
Bob Warren, 61, wasn’t born and raised in Evansville. Nevertheless, he’s still focused on promoting it to others. The executive director of the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau has held his position here for 19 months. In all, however, he’s spent 26 years in the tourism industry, working in four destinations in four states. He and his wife, Vickie, have been married for 27 years. They have two children, Shane and Michelle, and three grandchildren.
Home and Style
Down a stretch of gravel road in a quiet, peaceful area of historic New Harmony, Ind., sits Fragrant Farms. This cut flower garden and vineyard specializes in natural growing reminiscent of the founding Harmonists of the early 1800s. In December, the workers’ month of rest, the farm’s 24 acres are relatively empty and still. Yet as spring and summer draw nearer, the farm comes alive, bursting with vibrant color from blooming peonies and bustling with activity from dedicated workers and curious visitors.
Who We Are
Growing up, 28-year-old North High School and Indiana University graduate Josh Tudela played a lot of soccer — enough to earn his 2007 debut in Major League Soccer. Yet outside of the school year, Evansville didn’t offer him competitive opportunities. For those, Tudela, along with any other serious soccer player in the Evansville area, had to accept the inevitability of travel.
What We Like
Often referred to as “the fastest game on two feet,” lacrosse is Evansville’s fastest growing team sport for men and women at the collegiate, high school, and youth levels.
One of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act is for hospitals to transition from a paper medical record to an electronic medical record. That will take a lot of work. But Deaconess Hospital has long been at the forefront of that type of technology. In fact, it is in the top 1.1 percent of more than 5,000 hospitals for its use of electronic technology. What’s more, these changes will help patients.
It’s not your father’s hospital anymore. Gone are the crisp white nursing uniforms and the 1950s-era gender balance of physicians and nursing staff. Hospitals have changed dramatically, and they will continue to do so. For the entire existence of hospital-delivered health care, the mission has been to identify and treat existing conditions. While that approach has served the community well, hospital leaders see a new direction as they forge into the 21st century.
What We See
For those in search of a new avenue to take part in Southern Indiana’s diverse and often underappreciated nature and wildlife scene, the recently completed University of Southern Indiana-Burdette Trail stands second to none. Meandering almost exactly three miles through field and forest, the trail connects USI and Burdette Park, and already it has gotten a lot of use from USI students and Evansville natives.
To say that Evansville looks like it does because of the Ohio River would be an understatement. The gentle horseshoe bend that straddled the original town became its economic heart for transportation, commerce, and drinking water. The image of that bend from the esplanade of Riverside Drive is the same visage our grandparents saw from Dress Plaza, when they watched LSTs, or tank landing ships, roll downstream in the 1940s. Their own grandparents saw the old paddlewheel excursion steamers with their calliopes and colorful characters.
Online, the painting of Marie-Therese Walter is now easy to find. Her eyes are disjointed, and the black outline of her fingers seems to slice the air. The red hat she’s known for tilts to frame the crown of her head, and her arm is draped casually over the top of a chair.
Willard Library is a Victorian gothic icon. Located on First Avenue, its 9,500 linear feet of books suggest what any good library should: adventure, knowledge, and an escape into other worlds. The oldest public library building in Indiana, Willard’s walls breathe more revolutionary history than even many of those storybook heroes.