A History of Progress in Evansville
Memorial CDC’s humble beginnings started in 1994. We’ve come a long way since then, and we’re excited about building on multiple decades worth of progress in Evansville.
The History of Memorial CDC
Memorial Community Development Corporation is founded.
Memorial Baptist Church experienced dramatic growth in membership. Under the visionary leadership of Rev. Dr. Adrian M. Brooks Sr., the church decided to organize the Memorial Community Development Corporation to meet the needs of the poverty stricken center city.
Hoover Fellowship Hall expands and Memorial CDC acquires vinegar factory and dilapidated housing parcels.
The church membership quickly grows out of the Hoover Hall expansion and plans for building a new church. Memorial CDC acquires commercial assets in the neighborhood.
A Subway Restaurant is built in the neighborhood and later acquired by Memorial CDC.
The Ellsperman family built and opened Subway in the neighborhood near Memorial Baptist Church. Two years later, Memorial CDC acquires the business and franchise as a component of its Youth Employment Program. Deacon Nathan Young managed the Subway from 1998-2002. The business franchise was later sold. However, Memorial CDC retained ownership of the property.
Memorial Pointe I opens.
Memorial CDC opens Memorial Point I, a senior housing development. In response to a survey revealing high demand for senior housing for city residents, Memorial CDC’s first housing development opened in a location behind the church.
Memorial Baptist Church and Memorial CDC expand into new building and experience a dynamic year of progress.
On February 15, 1998, the historical march to the new church occurred. During this year, Memorial CDC tackled several developments surrounding the church.
Memorial Childcare Ministry begins.
In memory of Tamia Butler-Hall and Gladys C. Watkins, Mikeley Butler-Hall and Kenneth and Kevin Kirkwood provided seed funding to renovate the Hoover Fellowship Hall and convert it to a registered childcare ministry.
Memorial Place I opens.
Memorial CDC’s first multi-family housing complex is built using a variety of public, private and government funds. The complex contains 16 three- and four-bedroom apartment homes.
Memorial Pointe Healthcare opens.
The original Memorial Baptist Church building is renovated and converted to a clinic where affordable healthcare services are offered to the community. The clinic specifically addresses the needs of African Americans through education and care.
Memorial Pointe II opens.
Memorial CDC opens an additional 10 units of senior housing behind Memorial Baptist Church.
New youth basketball league begins.
Memorial CDC launches the Memorial Basketball League to provide children of all ages the opportunity to build character through the sport of basketball.
Memorial Place II opens.
Memorial CDC completes the second phase of Memorial Place Apartment Homes, bringing eight additional units of affordable housing to the community.
Memorial Townhouse I opens.
Memorial CDC opens eight units along the Walnut Street corridor where additional blight was eliminated and replaced with quality, affordable housing.
New Youth Employment Program begins.
In partnership with the City of Evansville, Memorial CDC created the Front Door Pride Program, employing youth and young adults during the summer for 8-10 weeks. In 2010, the program becomes year-round.
Memorial Townhouse II opens.
Memorial CDC adds 34 affordable units to two center city neighborhoods.
The Urban Garden Market program begins.
Memorial CDC launches the Urban Garden Market program. This initiative employs local youth and brings fresh and affordable fruit and vegetables to the neighborhood.
50 Homes Initiative begins.
Memorial CDC embarks on our Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy, which is a multi-year, multi-phase initiative providing home ownership opportunities for underserved populations.
Tutoring and mentoring programs begin.
Five African American churches partner to bring supplemental education services to youth. Memorial CDC SWAG (Students Working to Achieve Greatness) empowers young people with homework assistance, tutoring, mentoring and a hot meal.
Emergency Home Repair program begins.
In partnership with the City of Evansville, ERP provides income-eligible homeowners with needed repairs allowing them to remain in their homes.
Summer Fit Camp begins.
Summer Fit Camp launches to address the growing need to increase physical activity in school-age youth and fight childhood obesity. The camp’s mission is to help youth establish healthy lifelong habits.
Memorial CDC completes our first multi-family apartment complex renovation.
Memorial Commons was Phase I of the first apartment complex renovation and included eight affordable energy efficient one- and two-bedroom apartment units.
NCUA grants preliminary approval to Memorial CDC to charter a credit union.
Community assessments demonstrate a need for affordable financial services and access to capital. Although approved to charter the credit union, Memorial was not successful in its efforts. Discussions with various financial institutions led to the organization’s support in a regional CDFI Friendly America initiative that started in 2022.
Memorial CDC acquires Memorial Shopping Plaza and Downtown Market
Memorial CDC saves a local grocery store from closing and brings additional businesses to the community. The store closed in 2017.
Memorial CDC completes second renovation of multi-family apartment complex.
Memorial Commons Riverside was Phase II of the Memorial Commons renovation and included 10 affordable energy efficient one-bedroom apartment units.
Memorial CDC builds four homes in the center city.
As part of the 50 Homes Initiative, Memorial CDC builds four homes in the center city and two are pre-sold to income-eligible home buyers.
Evansville Area Black Chamber of Commerce is founded.
The Evansville Area Black Chamber of Commerce is founded to support and empower Black business owners and leaders.
Memorial CDC kicks off General Contractors Training.
The General Contractors Training offered low-cost residential and commercial training. The course also included business and professional development training.
Memorial Place I is renovated.
After 20 years in service, Memorial Place I is renovated. This complex has provided affordable housing for hundreds of families, and this renovation ensures the units remain affordable for families in the future.
Memorial CDC renovates and sells the Culver Home.
Memorial CDC renovates a blighted property and adds high-end amenities and energy efficient technologies. The home sells to an eligible home buyer after one month of being on the market.
Memorial Lofts add more affordable housing to Evansville.
Memorial CDC finishes the Memorial Lofts, an affordable housing complex located at Bayard Park and Lincoln Avenue with 50 multi-family apartments.