When Adam Gimbel first sought a peddler’s license from officials in 19th-Century Vincennes, he had no way of knowing that his knack for selling would ultimately lead to a nationwide marketplace and a string of department stores that would impact the retail industry for much of the 20th Century.
A remnant of what used to be Gimbel’s in Vincennes – a three-story structure known in our modern era as the Old Gimbel Corner – was destroyed by fire in December, leaving a gaping hole in historic downtown Vincennes. The flames took every bit of that old building and others next to it, leaving a hazardous shell of old bricks that were removed, for citizen safety, just hours after the blaze was snuffed out. The cause of the fire is undetermined.
What will become of the corner at Second and main streets?
[read more in our online issue on page 34]