Historic Evansville

The definitive site for all things historic in Evansville

Old Central Library

Old Central Library
Old Central Library

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22 SE 5th St
Evansville, IN

Quick Timeline

1932 Library opens in May
2004 Building vacated when new Central Library opens Sept
2006 Children's Museum of Evansville opens September 29


North corner of 5th St and Locust St
District: Downtown
Latitude: 37.971599253953
Longitude: -87.56931245327
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Style: Art Deco
Architect: Walker & Weeks (Cleveland), Boyle,H. E. Associates



In 1930, guided by Ethel McCollough, the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library agreed to raze Evan's Hall at the corner of Fifth and Locust Streets in return for the use of the land. The land was leased to the Library for 99 years for $1.00.

In May 1932, following two years of construction, Central Library opened on that corner. The new library was unique in many ways. Located in the business district, with a main entrance level with the sidewalk and making use of display windows, the building was recognized for these innovations. However, the inner core of stack shelving, thought innovative at the time, later made access to the collection difficult.

In September 2004, Central Library moves to its new location on M L King Jr Blvd, and the building becomes vacant.

The Children's Museum of Evansville (CMOE) moves into the building, opening September 29, 2006

See also Other Downtown district

Research notes

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