F W Cook Brewing Co
a.k.a. City Brewery
a.k.a. Cook & Rice Brewery
11 NW 7th St
, formerly 214 upper 7th
||Cook & Rice City Brewery opens in "cornfield"
||Renamed F W Cook Brewing Co
||Destroyed by fire and rebuilt
||Building loses top dome
||Out of business
||Razed for civic center
seventh and sycamore
The City Brewery was founded in 1853 by Frederick Washington Cook and Jacob Rice in what was then a cornfield beyond
downtown. It split from the "old brewery" and opened its own at 11 NW 7th St. By
1880, the Cook & Rice City Brewery had an ice house, malt house, stable, and office that covered entire block bounded
by 7th (M L King), Sycamore, 8th, and Main.
After Rice's death in 1885, it was renamed F W Cook Brewing Co. Upon F.W.'s death in 1913 (at the age of 81), his
son Henry ran it until his death in 1929. Then Henry's brother, Charles Cook, took over keeping the F W Cook name.
destroyed by fire Dec 3, 1891 new brew house and office completed Mar 1893
Large fire in 1905 destroys much of plant
The plant was closed during Prohibition.
warehouse 804-20 sycamore
After Prohibition ended in 1933, the company renamed itself F W Cook Co. The reorganization was done to include the purchase
of the abandoned downtown Evansville railroad line of the remains of the Evansville & Princeton Traction Company. This
third-mile section of track down 9th St linked the brewery to the Chicago & Eastern Illinois RR yard at 9th & Division Sts.
The new railroad was called the Cook Transit Corporation and had one "box motor" electric locomotive. A 2-person crew would
switch out the brewery twice daily - between 15 and 25 cars, Monday through Friday.
In early 1950 the brewery completed an extensive remodel of the 7th St offices and the rathskellar, which included the removal
of the building's dome. About the same time Anton Hulman, sportsman and financier, bought controlling interest of the brewery.
After the workers went on strike 1955, Hulman ceased operations. The brewery closed its doors for good in September 1957 after
selling beer it had already made. Their Goldblume brand was brewed in other locations until 1972 and revived by the 1988-1997
reincarnation of the Evansville Brewery. The F W Cook corporation was dissolved January 1961.
Property bought by the city in 1963 to make way for the Civic Center Complex. The building was razed in 1965, and the former
Evansville Jail and Courts building now occupy the site.
There was a tavern, The Rathskeller, in the basement of the brewery building
In 1935 & 1936 they sponsored a semi-pro baseball team, Cook's Glodblumes.
The Louisville & Nashville railroad took a case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1912 against Cook because the L&N RR refused
to accept shipments from Evansville to dry counties in Kentucky. Cook had won in the Circuit Court and received an
injunction forcing the L&N to ship kegs and cases of beer.
F.W. Cook was also the president of the Evansville Suburban Newburgh Traction company - an interurban railroad - and
Cook Realty which operated Evansville's largest amusement park.
+ Show research notes
1880 Map - Main/original building between Sycamore and Main
Building along Sycamore
1884 Sanborn - City Brewery Cook & Rice
office 3-story 210-214 u 7th corner of seventh and alley (not corner of sycamore), malt mill rear
ice factory and coolers 2/1-story on sycamore
Ice house s corner of 8th and sycamore 1 1/2 story
cooper shop 2-story sycamore and alley behind 8th
beer bottling & malt storage (cooks?) 2-story main between 7th and 8th
1888 Map - corner building with tower, most 4 story tall
2-story rear building with tower
original building center of block?
1895 Sanborn - Rebuilt/different c1890
building on corner (bottling 1st, storage 2nd, label room 3rd) and alley (office and brew house), passageway between, keg washing rear
ice factory filling tank and keg washing rear
wagon yard replaced older commercial buildings fronting main
bottle shed and keg shed added n corner 8th and sycamore
fermenting cellars s corner 8th and sycamore (same building?) 1-story
building front main (old malt house and kiln), now storage
horse shed hay and feed 2 story buildings fronting 8th
1910 Sanborn - bottling dept s corner of sycamore and seventh (tunnel under street to brewery)
office 1 story stone building right (alley is shifted) "general offices" "the f w cook brewing co established 18xx" and "entrance" in stone
middle 5-story brewhouse "brew house" in parapet "hop storage" over drive + tower
2 story left building contains condensing room "ice machine house" on corner and "the f w cook brewing company" in parapet + 3 story tower, boiler and engine room with "cook" on smokestack
s corner of 8th and sycamroe 2-story beer cellars and bar fixtures
central section wash house and re cooperage
e corner 8th and sycamore 18 ft general storage
carpenter shop and cold storage w corner 8th and sycamore
stables 2-story and wagon house n corner 8th and sycamore
1962 Sanborn - bottling dept (s corner of sycamore and 7th) gone (around 1937, looks like in 1947 photo)
office replaced with 5 story bldg 1950
middle section mostly the same "office" replaced "entrance" when old offices razed c1949
added beer stock cellars (3 1/2/4 1/2 story) and ice tanks fronting 8th c1911 cold storage plant goldblume sign atop this?
RR spur added down 9th (pass warehouse and shipping), crossed sycamore and turned toward brewery
general storage gone (maybe partial of old bldg), machine shop and metal products warehouse e corner 8th and sycamore
dry house feed and packing and keg storage in old beer cellar (s corner 8th and sycamore) built 1915
bottling house w corner 8th and sycamore (behind assumption) 1913 looks like fulton ave bottling
n corner 8th and sycamore garage (maybe partial old building) c1913 castle-looking building "the f w cook brewing co stables" and "the f w cook brewing company" in stonework (rh) "the f w cook brewing co" and "stables" (lh)
cook warehouse 1912 9th and sycamore extend through to vine st, ware house and shipping dept beyond with RR spur
1965 - all razed for civic center