Publisher’s Page

In 20 years of masquerading as a magazine publisher, one constant has been me remembering that our readers love nostalgia. Well, so do I, along with my wife (a real publisher) and our staff. Believe me, it is not hard in a smaller community to be able to quickly ascertain what people like and what they don’t. People are not shy about offering their opinions up nor would we want them to be.

So it was really fun to collaborate with a wide-ranging group of like-minded individuals and companies on our feature “The Sleeping Giant” beginning on page 26. I don’t think it would be wrong to say some of Evansville’s business secrets are more closely guarded than others. So when a small group of local media were ushered into a room at the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce offices and introduced to the principals from Domo Development Company of Carmel, Indiana, I found a secret well kept. There for the first time I heard about the initial plans for the renovation and development of the former Old National Bank Building at 420 Main St., our city’s tallest building at 18 stories.

Like many other residents in our community, I have had a fairly lengthy history with the building. My first real professional job (in 1987) found me ensconced on the 11th floor with a beautiful view of the river. Also on the same floor was the executive team from Old National Bancorp, who I remember as having very beautiful offices that I was invited into, but only when I got their mail by mistake.

What I think so many people remember was the private dining spot, “The Petroleum Club,” located on the 17th and 18th floors.

Filled with tremendous tapestries, antiques, and art, there really was nothing like it anywhere around town. Since we lived Downtown, we joined a lively crew of people from all over who would take the elevator up to have a beverage and enjoy the snacks put forth at happy hour. As the skies would darken out the windows our Evansville was transformed into a city of lights stretching as far as the eye could see. But all good things generally come to an end and after years of also serving as a board member, I was saddened to watch the demise of the club up close as dining clubs fell out of favor across the U.S.

Will the once lively and bustling building, now known as the 5th and Main, make a comeback? With dining, apartments, and retail planned by an experienced development team, I, for one, am betting on it.

Speaking of Old National, on page 51 in our Business Life section, there is a team of ONB executives who have endured the “pie in the face” for charity. Does that have to be over? There might be a couple who I would take a toss at … they know who they are. That’s truly taking several for the team.

As always, I look forward to hearing from most of you.


Todd A. Tucker

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