View all images of Viele Residence (400 SE Riverside)
|1855-6||House is built|
Charles Viele1855-56/c1873 originally italianate built to resemble an "alladin-like palace" remodeled 1876 to reflect the french second empire style by adding a mansard roof and elaborate cresting notice entry with charles viele's intitials carved in the lintel hugo & ringer/vrydagh & clark http://local.evpl.org/views/viewimage.asp?ID=806934 Charles Viele arrived in Evansville in 1836 when he was eighteen years old. He entered into a partnership with Asa Bement and Bement and Viele Wholesale Grocers became one of the largest and most successful businesses of that kind on the Ohio River. Steamboats and packet boats carried their grocery products for miles up and down the river. Built in 1855, the Viele home was originally a Georgian-styled two storied structure with a balanced facade. the front doorway was of double size and the lintel over the doorway was decorated with the owner's initials. The central hall ran the length of the house, there was a large drawing room on the right and a library, music room, and solarium on the left. The dining room and sitting room were behind the rooms in front. There were four bedrooms located on the second floor. After several trips to Europe the Vieles remodeled the home in 1873 in the current French Empire style, adding a thrid-floor ballroom which could accommodate sixty guests. The floor was constructed of alternating runs of chestnut and walnut. Dormers with an arched window treatment and elaborate frames of preformed metal, and a mansard roof of polychrome slate in French chateau style added to the renovation. Many fine paintings and objets d'art were imported from Europe and adorned the house and garden. English footmen dressed in red and black livery created quite a scene when the Vieles went for a drive in their carriage on Sunday afternoons. As of this writing, the home is occupied and continues to be restored by Dr. Charles P. Hudson. Since native chestnut trees have been succumbed to blight, ash replaces damaged chestnut floor runs in the ballroom.