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Monday, May 20, 2024

Street Life: Lombard Avenue Pt. 4

Lombard Avenue has long attracted the attention of preservationists and historians. According to the records of Joan Marchand, historic preservation officer from 1978 to 1996, Lombard Avenue between Washington Avenue and Lincoln Avenue was identified in 1993 as a possible historic district. No plans were pursued. Today, Evansville has two neighborhoods listed on the National Register of Historic Places: The Riverside Historic District and the Washington Avenue Historic District.

Continuing the tour of this tree-canopied street, the English Tudor Half Timbered home at 822 was built in 1925 for the Christian Becker family. Becker owned Becker Brothers Wagon at the turn of the century. Marchand noted that daughter Esther still was living in the home at age 92 in 1990.

The stately Colonial Revival at 862 occupying two lots was built in 1938 for Robert and Elaine Pott. Pott was an engineer and inventor best known for developing the impact wrench that was patented by Ingersoll Rand. He also is the namesake of the University of Southern Indiana’s Pott College of Science and Engineering. The Robert and Elaine Pott Foundation also has significantly endowed the University of Evansville.

While I do not know the history of the charming Arts and Crafts style bungalow at 872, I admire its lovely gardens.

The English Revival at 908 was built by the developer Mitchell as a spec home in 1929. It did not immediately sell. In 1936 it was rented, and then purchased, by the Phil E. and Elizabeth Drachman, owners of Drachman Chevrolet, the precursor of Kenny Kent Chevrolet. Drachman served as president of Evansville’s Redevelopment Commission in the 1950s and was an amateur artist and azalea grower — those efforts can be seen each spring in the home’s pretty bushes. Well-liked and widely admired, Drachman died in 1991 at the age of 89.

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