As viewed from the
mezzanine level, the firm's lobby features original marble
Conveniently located in the downtown Terre
Haute business district, Cox, Zwerner, Gambill &
Sullivan is proud to make their home in one of the city's
most historical buildings.
Built in 1893, the building at 511 Wabash
Avenue was designed by H. Jenny of Chicago for the First
National Bank of Terre Haute. The original architecture is
typical of banks at that time, a neo-classical Corinthian
Greek temple design in carved limestone.
In 1928, the structure was
significantly remodeled by the well-known firm of Weary and
Alford of Chicago. This was done following a bank merger,
probably to update the building in keeping with newer
architectural styles, which called for opening up facades
and making interiors lighter. That renovation replaced the
original double-hung windows and the entrance portico of the
front facade with a cast-iron glazed central bay. Another
pair of fluted Corinthian pilasters were added to flank the
new central facade treatment. Most of the existing plaster
work and ornate oak paneling was added. Also removed during
the years were the brass tellers' cages, a big clock and
chandeliers that hung at either end of the main room.
Until 1988, the building was
used as a bank branch, then stood vacant until 1992, when it
was acquired by the firm. Renovations were completed in
April of 1993, within eight months of purchasing the
building. By taking advantage of federal tax credits for
preservation, the firm began an adaptive reuse project that
spanned eight months and cost approximately $500,000, a
price well below the cost of constructing a new office
The Terre Haute firm of C.H.
Garmong & Son, Inc. did the design work and contracting
and Rowland Associates of Indianapolis completed some of the
To open the main room to its
30' cast plaster ceiling and central skylight, features
installed during the 1928 remodel, workers removed a
suspended ceiling and duct work. The pilaster capitals,
cornice friezes and ceiling trim, when cleaned, revealed
that what was thought to be gold paint on the plaster work
was silver leafing with a gold tinting. The colorful cornice
friezes were cleaned, and a damaged frieze section recast.
The checkerboard marble floors were cleaned.
The building now holds
eighteen offices and conference rooms, as well as a central
conference area that overlooks the atrium. In order to keep
the ceiling and skylight open, a mezzanine level was
designed with two levels of offices along the open atrium.
The second level offices feature clear ceiling panels to
allow natural light and a view of the decorative plaster
detailing along the ceiling.