OWENSBORO, Ky. — The City of Owensboro extended the deadline for a request for proposal (RFP) seeking a buyer to purchase and rehabilitate Gabe’s Tower in Owensboro, one of Kentucky’s most iconic mid-century buildings.
The new deadline is 3 p.m. local time on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019.
The circa 1963 motel is likely the oldest freestanding, cylindrical tower in the country, with unique features such as a rooftop swimming pool with a retractable glass roof.
Postcards of Gabe’s Motor Inn as it appeared originally are shared from Save Gabe’s, a grassroots Facebook page dedicated to the preservation of this local landmark. The opportunity to redevelop this site is a great opportunity for the right buyer. For specs, visit http://bit.ly/30WaWCg then scroll down to find the RFP# 4169. Potential bidders must create an account then log in to fill out the “vendor” application. RFP at http://bit.ly/2nv5hp0.
Inspired by Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Marina City in Chicago, Gabe’s Tower was designed by local architect R. Ben Johnson for restaurateur Gabe Fiorella Sr.
(1900-1977) and constructed of steel-reinforced concrete. Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office has determined that it retains the necessary integrity and significance to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The building is also considered to be locally significant through its contributions to the development of Owensboro, including the prominence of Fiorella himself and its importance as a gathering place for local and national celebrities as well as the local community.
Although the building has significantly deteriorated in recent years, much of the motel’s decorative elements remain. If National Register listing is pursued, the purchaser could benefit from state and federal rehabilitation tax credits that serve as significant economic incentives.
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