VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) - Residents can't help but stand on the corner of 2nd and Main St and just stare, remembering what their city looked like just days ago.
However, last night's fire now leaves a hole in the heart of downtown.
"If you give people directions, it's always go up to the Gimbel Corner and turn," Vincennes Fire Chief Michael Lankford said.
Originally built in the 1840s, the old Gimbel Store was part of Gimbel Brothers Department Store, the largest department store corporation in the world at one time.
The building itself is a staple in the minds of many from the area.
"As a child, I came and they had a soda shop in the basement. It was a really neat business," Chief Lankford said.
"We live about three blocks from here, grown up here all of our life and you know, it's just been a landmark for all I can remember," resident Brian Grove said.
"It's an old building, they all are, but it's a shame to lose something like this, especially downtown," resident Ed Gray said.
Now, the community looks toward the future of the surrounding businesses.
"No one hurt and that's the main thing. Now, we're interested in getting the people back in businesses," Chief Lankford said.
"The other businesses on Main Street hopefully they won't lose anything this period of time here in the last week of Christmas," Gray said.
"Hopefully take this and turn it into something positive as much as we can turn it into or maybe some green space or a parking lot, something that will benefit the rest of Vincennes downtown merchants," Grove said.
A gaping hole leaves the community to look back at old times but forced to plan ahead for the future.
Fire officials say several of the buildings on that block are a complete loss including the Gimbel building. Demolition and clean up began early Sunday morning.
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