EVANSVILLE, Indiana — Indiana Landmarks has a vision for the restored exterior of the former Greyhound station in Downtown Evansville, but the use of the building has yet to be determined.
The search for what Indiana Landmarks Director Marsh Davis called the "highest and best use" for the historic bus terminal will extend into 2014.
"As you can imagine, it's an unusual building, an enamel, metal-paneled building," Davis told the Evansville Courier & Press (http://bit.ly/1gBjEcW ). "It's going to take some different approaches, because it's an unusual restoration. ... Our goal is to make the building look as close to its original appearance as possible. It's not a unique material, but it's unconventional, something we don't deal with on a regular basis. And we want to get it right."
Indiana Landmarks — a nonprofit committed to "fighting to defend architecturally unique, historically significant, and communally cherished properties" — took ownership of the former bus terminal at Northwest Third and Sycamore streets in March. The transfer came after city government paid to remove asbestos and lead-based paint.
The terminal was built in 1938. Greyhound moved out in 2007.
One possible use of the building will be as a southwestern Indiana field office for Indiana Landmarks, which currently does not exist. Southwestern Indiana field office director Stewart Sebree works out of his home.
Indiana Landmarks officials have previously said the office could be on a mezzanine level in the old bus station, with some other use occupying the remainder of the building.
Davis, however, said this week that all possibilities are still being explored, and it's not a given that a local Indiana Landmarks office will be part of the plan.
"It's not essential that we're in there. "If there's a better use for the economy in downtown Evansville, we'll take a back seat to that.
"We want the building to be used in a way that's best for downtown Evansville. We want it to be an active part of the economy and something that will draw people downtown. We don't know exactly what that is yet."
The board of Indiana Landmarks will "ultimately make the decision" about potential use of the building, Davis said, adding that fundraising opportunities from local, state and national outlets is being explored.
Asked if there might be movement on the project in 2014, Davis said, "I sure hope so."
Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com