A crowd of at least 500 spilled into the streets at the corner of Third and Sycamore streets in Evansville. Nearly everyone was eating ice cream with their eyes cast toward the sky.
Marsh Davis, executive director of Indiana Landmarks, led the crowd in the countdown. Stewart Sebree, Indiana Landmarks field officer, was on his cell phone relaying the count to his wife Janelyn, who would hit the breakers.
Three — The horizontal band of lights above the door come on!
Two — The vertical sign displaying the word Greyhound lights!
One — The Greyhound dog topping the sign lights for the first time in years!
Run, Dog, Run! — The neon Greyhound runs!
For the past year, Indiana Landmarks has been restoring the outside of the two-toned blue building at 102 N.W. Third St., eliminating water leaks, renovating the windows, and returning the original colors to the porcelain-enameled steel panels. The restoration was designed by RATIO Architects, Indianapolis. Evansville’s Architectural Renovators is the general contractor. Greyhound vacated the terminal in 2006 when the company moved its buses to the METS terminal.
While the exterior of the building now gleams, the inside is finished as a “white box.” Indiana Landmarks’ local board members are seeking an area or regional restaurant developer to open a restaurant and bar; the future tenant will build out the inside to accommodate plans. To date, restaurant interest has been strong; board member Gene Warren has given more than a dozen tours of the property to prospective tenants.
The next time you’re Downtown in the evening, don’t miss a chance to see the Greyhound. The neon lights are set with an astronomical timer; during the week, passersby will see the entryway and canopy lights on; the neon-lit dog runs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
Go, dog, go!