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|1914||Gerke building is built|
Looking up when walking along a commercial strip can sometimes be rewarding to the senses. As the name states, this is the Gerke Building. Construciton progess on it goes throughout the summer of 1914 was noted almost weekly on the building page of the sunday evansville journal-news. The striking design of the second story facade was the handiwork of Evansville's versatile architect, F manson Gilbert, who always managed to imbue his architectural designs with eye-appealing quality. For the Gerke Building, Gilbert adorned the facade with a classically-inspired frontispiece with Corinthian pilasters and a cornice underscored by modillions. The entire cost of the 40-by-110 foot, two-story building was placed at $25,000. Theodore Gerke, for whom the building was constructed, was in the drugstore business, starting out in 1902 with John Lorenz, who was studying medicine at the time. In 1904, Gerke opened his on pharmacy on West Franklin Street, later forming an association with Lawrence Upton. The two druggists stayed in partnership even after the move to the new 1914 building. In about 1921, however, Gerke went into the paint business and Upton continued the drugstore operation in the adjacent corner building under his own name.