Street Life: Lombard Avenue Pt. 7

As development continued on Evansville’s East Side, a survey was conducted to determine if East Siders would support a church; most of the city’s churches were within the city’s core. The First Community Church, 3407 Bellemeade Ave., was established in 1940 to “embrace all doctrines and creeds.” Designed by a St. Louis architectural firm, the church on the corner of Lincoln and Lombard avenues was erected in 1950 for $100,000. The church is a French Normal style and was built with St. Meinrad, Ind., sandstone. Today, it is the home to the Church of God of Prophecy.

Back across Bellemeade Avenue are the three remaining homes in the architectural inventory of Lombard I’ll present in this blog.

The home at 663, built in 1925 for the Walter Karsch family, is similar to another the home on the street, 823. Karsch was Secretary of American Trust & Savings Bank, located at 6th and Main streets. The home is defined by its massive front chimney and has been significantly expanded through the years.

Next door at 659 is another John R. Mitchell spec home. Mitchell was living in this Dutch Colonial at the time of his death in 1944. This home, too, has a twin — on Parkside Drive in Akin Park.

My family lives at 601, at the corner of Lincoln and Lombard. Our home, a Colonial Revival, according to Marchand’s notes, was built in 1938 by Roy Ryan of Ryan Construction Co. as his personal residence. In 1943, the Ryans moved to McCutchanville and Bernard Schnacke, brother of E. F. Schnacke, who lived across the street in the French Provincial home, purchased the home. It, too, has been renovated and expanded, and extensive landscaping now largely shields it from Lincoln Avenue — much busier today — where John R. Mitchell first began to plan his beautiful meadow.

Sources for this series of posts include the archives of former Evansville Preservation Officer Joan Marchand that are located at Willard Library, as well as current preservation officer Dennis Au. Michael Schopmeyer also provided research materials. Nick Hebebrand assisted in research.

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