When the former Old National Bank Tower was imploded on Nov. 21, 2021, a cheer went up from the crew of contractors watching from the 400 block of Vine Street in Downtown Evansville. They weren’t celebrating the icon’s demise; rather, they were showing gratitude for a dangerous job done well.
Quietly overseeing this monumental task were employees of Barton Malow, a 98-year-old firm based in Michigan. As a Construction Manager for major health care, higher education, and sports and entertainment projects across the U.S., the company spotted growth potential in the Tri-State and moved into the market in early 2016. It has set up shop at 117 S.E. Fourth St. since 2018.
In less than a decade, the company has made large footprints around Evansville. A frequent collaborator with Deaconess Health System, Barton Malow oversaw the construction of the Deaconess Orthopedic and Neuroscience Hospital and Downtown clinic, as well as renovations at Deaconess Midtown Hospital and The Women’s Hospital. Barton Malow also served as general contractor for the construction of the Digestive Care Center on Epworth Road and the demolition of the Old National Bank Tower and adjacent Sycamore Building.
The Fifth and Main project has experienced tumult in the year since the iconic building’s implosion. Domo Development Company pulled out after the project stalled this spring. Barton Malow’s role ended when Carmel, Indiana-based firm CRG Residential took over as developer in July. Despite that chapter closing for Barton Malow, the tower’s implosion remains a significant project.
“Everyone — from the city engineer’s office, utilities, and sewer, to police, fire, and emergency personnel — had some relationship with that building,” Senior Project Manager Joe Scheberle says. “When you take down a building, you’re taking away a memory, so we make painstaking efforts to get everything right.”
Although the company’s local presence still feels a bit new, Barton Malow’s 30 regional employees overwhelmingly hail from the Tri-State.
“It’s not some big company coming in from out of town. We’re local. Our kids are born and raised here, go to school here, we go to church here. We are a part of the Tri-State community,” Scheberle says.
Aiding local connections is Barton Malow’s company-wide emphasis on engaging with communities. Through an annual volunteer week, employees nation-wide donate their working hours to local agencies. In Evansville, Barton Malow completes a honey-do list of improvements for the Boys & Girls Club.
“They are the best people to work with. They’re so helpful, so kind. You know you’re going to get quality out of them, and that’s peace of mind,” says Amy Hahn, director of programs at the Boys & Girls Club of Evansville.
“Evansville shares Barton Malow’s values, and the biggest is integrity,” Scheberle says. “Our team loves a good challenge. We love dissecting a problem and figuring it out and making something great out of it.”