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Abstract

Evansville, Indiana, USA, grew up along a curve of the Ohio River. Ready access to natural resources including wood, coal, limestone, sandstone, shale, sand, gravel, and clay facilitated its growth. Development of lines of commerce; notably, the road network, steamboat traffic on the Ohio River, the Wabash and Erie Canal, and eventually railroads, expanded access to an ever wider array of materials, including a variety of building stones from North America and Europe. The history of source-area expansion is documented in the time-oriented array of buildings in Evansville and the materials preserved in them. We will illustrate that the availability of an ever-widening source of stone, building techniques, and architectural styles, from massive stones of ornate Victorian structures to the spare, thin cladding of modern buildings, can be used to elucidate the cultural attributes of this unique city. Stops include a number of downtown sites, including historic Victorian structures and more modern buildings with thin stone cladding, some of it bowing. We will also visit Reitz School, which is located above an old coal mine, and Oak Hill Cemetery, a classic garden-style cemetery located on a hilly outlier of loess.

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