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Gabe's Tower

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Gabe's Tower
Gabe's Motor Inn
Owensboro Business College
Tower Motor Inn


Structure in General

high-rise building
demolished [destroyed]
curtain wall
exposed structure
light gray brown




  • At the time of its completion, this was the tallest building in Kentucky west of Louisville.
  • It featured both a 12th-floor restaurant and a rooftop swimming pool with a retractable roof.
  • The 12th-floor restaurant, the Palatine Room, is credited as Kentucky's first high-rise restaurant. It was also referred to as Gabe's Atop the Tower.
  • The original facade was painted in pastel colors of beige, coral, and green.
  • After the removal of many interior walls, this operated as the Owensboro Junior College of Business from 1979-1983.
  • In 1983, the building underwent a $100,000 conversion back into a hotel, and operated as a Best Western through autumn of 1988.
  • In the late 1980s, a failed proposal would have converted this into senior living residences.
  • In 1991 it reopened once more as a hotel called Tower Motor Inn. It operated as a hotel for the next decade, changing names a couple of times before it finally closed in 2001.
  • After sitting vacant for the next 12 years, new owners purchased the hotel in the spring of 2013 with plans to restore it as a hotel. The renovation work was never completed and left the tower in ruins by the end of 2015.
  • Threatened with condemnation, the tower changed hands a few more times before the city purchased it in September 2019. The city intends to demolish the tower and redevelop the site.
  • A demolition contract was awarded in February 2020. Actual demolition began in June after an environmental abatement phase stripped the building to its core.

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More Information


1926 Triplett Street
501 East 20th Street
1926 Triplett Street

Technical Data

175.00 ft
175.00 ft
125.00 ft
80.00 ft
80.00 ft
Dec 1962
Nov 1963
Jun 2020

Involved Companies

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • Aircraft warning lights installed
  • Swimming pool is available
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