I've always thought that old stuff, especially when it comes to things like furniture and architecture, is just neater and cooler to look at than new stuff. I guess I appreciate it more because I can only imagine the time and effort that went into creating it. Back in the day, they didn't have the technology to mass-produce everything, so, many pieces were built by hand by some very skilled laborers. One of the neatest old things I've seen recently just happened to be in one of the most unlikely places I can think of.

READ MORE: 75-Year-Old Map Highlights Indiana Landmarks and Attractions in the 1940s

You can probably guess that the neat old thing I'm referring to is the beautiful bar pictured above. What you probably couldn't guess is where I saw it. Would you believe that it's just kind of tucked away in one of the rooms at the CK Newsome Center near downtown Evansville? My first question was, "Why in the world is this huge bar in some random room at the CK Newsome Center?" That was quickly followed up with another question - "How in the world have I never seen this thing here before?" I have been to the CK Newsome Center countless times over the last 25 years, and I had no idea it was home to such a treasure.

CK Newsome Center in Evansville
Google Maps

What's the Story With This Bar?

I had to do some digging, but I was able to track down a little bit of information about the bar's origin. It appears as though the bar was originally a part of the former Acme Hotel, which was located in downtown Evansville. The Acme Hotel was razed in 1956, which would explain why the bar had to be moved - rather move it than lose it. I still haven't found a reason why, or how the bar landed in the CK Newsome Center.

More About the Acme Hotel

Postcard featuring Acme Hotel in Evansville
University of Southern Indiana digital archives

I found the old postcard above in the University of Southern Indiana digital archives. It's a picture of downtown Evansville, looking southeast down NW 2nd St. According to the description, "The red building (although some photographs show it much lighter in color) is the formerly 201-9 Upper 2nd St., 22 NW 2nd St. Acme Hotel. The building was built as a hotel circa 1866 and was renamed Acme in 1893."

READ MORE: Is This 180-Year-Old Bar the Oldest in Indiana?

Historic Acme Hotel in Evansville
Historic Evansville

Here is one of the few actual photos I could find of the Acme Hotel - this one is circa 1898. What little information I could find stated that Acme Hotel "catered to African-Americans before segregation came to an end."

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The Bar These Days

For the record, the bar is no longer used as a bar in the traditional sense. It is not used to serve alcohol. There is no alcohol (no anything, actually) behind the bar. Honestly, I don't know what the bar is used for. Maybe it's just there to serve as a conversation starter - it certainly piqued my curiosity and led to this article. I just hope that shining a light on this historic piece of furniture will allow, or encourage, more people to see it. So, next time you find yourself walking into the CK Newsome Center, just take a right in the lobby, and then down the hallway to your left. Before you reach the gym, you'll pass a room on your right, and that's where you'll find the bar.

See How Downtown Evansville Has Changed Over the Years

I find looking back on the way things used to be fascinating. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I'm living through the current time period. The conveniences of answering any question we have in seconds, or ordering practically anything we want or need and having it delivered to our doorstep is pretty sweet. But, there is something fun about seeing how things around us have evolved. As an Evansville native, and spending quite a bit of my time in downtown Evansville (that's where the station is located), I've always appreciated the older architecture of the buildings around the area. So, I dug into the Willard Library Archives to see how a few of those areas look now compared to then. Some have changed a little, others quite a bit, and a few don't even exist any more. Take a look.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

See Inside the Iconic Old Courthouse in Downtown Evansville

The Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse now houses multiple businesses and is the setting for weddings.


Gallery Credit: Liberty

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