Street Life: Lombard Avenue Pt. 3

“A Daring Neighborhood: An Early 20th-Century Developer took a Chance with a Subdivision Called Bellemeade.”

A story published in the Evansville Courier & Press on May 3, 1994, by Anne Schleper about Historic Preservation Week activities ran with this headline. A Lombard Avenue tour was to be led by the city’s historic preservation officer, Joan Marchand.

“The Lombard Avenue development was daring at the time because it was so far from the city limits,” said Mrs. Marchand in the newspaper story.

”It was an unusual suburban residential development because it was out in the ‘boonies.’ It didn’t develop fast because of that, and also because World War I intervened,” she said.

The developer, John R. Mitchell, named the north-south street within the subdivision Lombard Avenue because he liked the sound of the name, Mrs. Marchand said.While Mitchell lived in the farmhouse on Lincoln Avenue, the first homes he built on Lombard were between Bellemeade and Washington avenues. Marchand’s notes indicate this bungalow, 722, was likely the first house in Bellemeade, built in August 1915 for Julius and Tillie Myer. He was a manager at the Home Federal Savings & Loan Association, established in 1914.

Next door to the earliest house on Lombard is one of the newest renovations. Last year, this home was a movie set — several scenes in Michael and Eric Rosenbaum’s movie, “Old Days,” were filmed in this attractive Tudor.

I don’t know much about the home at 772, but I love its two sets of porch steps.

The beautifully manicured home at 808 Lombard was built in 1930 and is one of the larger homes on the street. It also is set further back from the street.

Next week, we’ll continue on down to Washington Avenue, then back up to Bellemeade on the west side of the street.

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