Historic Evansville

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Carpenter House

Carpenter House
Carpenter House

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a.k.a. American Legion

a.k.a. Old WTVW

a.k.a. WNIN

405 Carpenter St.
Evansville, IN

Quick Timeline

1848-9 House is built
1933 Purchased by American Legion
1958 Sold to WTVW-Channel 7
1977 Medco Centers headquarters
1985 Becomes site WNIN-Channel 9


Northern end of Third St where it runs into Carpenter St
District: Downtown
Latitude: 37.974997060839
Longitude: -87.575583457947
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Style: Greek Revival

History Standing at the northern end of Third Street is the Willard Carpenter home. The home was constructed in 1849 and has been described variously as Greek Revival and of pure Georgian design. It has a balanced facade and classic portico over the entrance door. The construction is of stone and brick and has stucco covering the masonry walls that are more than a foot thick. Rough-hewn stone block form the cellar walls and provide the foundation for the massive structure. Two stories with the typical high ceilings of the era are surmounted by a third story which may have been an attic at one time, with lower ceilings and smaller windows. There were two storied porches filling the length of each side of the house behind the front part of the house which is wider than the rear. Neither of these porches remains. The stately rooms and large halls have been restored but one of the great double stairways on either side of the main hall has been replaced by an elevator. The home has very tall doors with wide pillared doorcases capped by molded cornices. The plaster ceiling angles are very deep and ceilings and upper walls are decorated with ornamental relief work. The wainscoting and oversize baseboards are elaborately carved and molded. The central hall led to a cross hall and had a large dining room behind the "T", and a large kitchen behind the dining room. These rooms have been converted to office since the home is used today as the studios and offices of Channel 9 WNIN and FM-88, its radio subsidiary. A large television studio has been added to the rear of the building, yet the original style has been kept intact for the front part of the home. During its original use there was a carriage house and stable in the rear with vegetable and flower gardens and many fruit trees on the west. Willard Carpenter 1848-49 Greek revival, attic windows appear in the frieze board of this stately mansion. Here the wall surfaces, unbroken by pilasters, give a more austere aspect. Originally the residence of Willard Carpenter, founder of Willard Library, on Carpenter St.; home to the American Legion from 1937-1958, when it was sold to WTVW television station funkhouser american legion post medco remodeled sensitively in 1977 for corporate offices Willard Carpenter1848-49Greek revival, attic windows appear in the frieze board of this stately mansion. Here the wall surfaces, unbroken by pilasters, give a more austere aspect. [april 1934] This building was erected in 1848 by Willard Carpenter. In march 1934, it was purchased by the Evansville American Legion from Georgia Capenter, heir of the builder. The home has been occupied continually by members of the Carpenter family until a few years ago when an attendant was employed to live at the place. The building is built with 21" brick walls. Forty years ago the outside shutters were removed and a coat of cement stucco about 3/5" thick was applied to the exterior walls and marked off to imitate large stone. This is the only visible change made in the house since its erection. There is no heating equipment in the homes other than the fireplaces and stoves. Then name of the architect is not known but Gottlieb Bippus did the carpenter work and troll? and Tenford the masonry. Much of the building material was shipped from Lawrenceburg, Indiana. All of the furniture was purchased in New York and shipped here by way of New Orleans. Willard Carpenter was born at Stafford, Orange County, Vermont, in 1803. He made his first trip to Evansville in 1822 and settled here in 1837. His main interest was in the promotion of railroads in Southern Indiana. A noteworthy philanthropy is the Willard Carpenter Library of Evansville, which he endowed. The above information was obtained from books in the Willard Carpenter Library, Evansville, Indiana.


chance of being razed 1970s

See also Residences / Domestic Downtown district

Research notes

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