Downtown historic walking tour fort wayne indiana

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Downtown Historic Walking Tour Fort Wayne, Indiana

Start at the Visitors Center at 927 South Harrison Street and cross Harri- Walk north two blocks on Harrison before turning right on West Columbia

son Street going west along Washington Boulevard. If you look to your left, Street--there's a large green sign hanging that reads "Columbia Street

you will see the Grand Wayne Convention Center. The Fort Wayne Fire Fight- West" where you need to turn. Look for Stoners Funstore, a Fort Wayne fix-

ers Museum (1) will be on your right. The Museum is in Engine House #3 and ture since 1949, on your left as you walk up Harrison Street. You've now

was built in 1893. The firehouse's size doubled in 1907 as the city's business reached The Landing (4), comprised of Harrison, Columbia, and Calhoun

district grew. At that time, this was the city's largest firehouse. In 1972, the Streets. The Landing is Fort Wayne's first historic district and is on the National firehouse was retired and a new one was constructed on Main Street. The mu- Register of Historic Places. It's one of the last clusters of 19th and early 20th cen-

seum shows artifacts from Fort Wayne Fire Fighters throughout history, includ- tury commercial buildings in the area and got its name from its location at the

ing changes in tools used to fight fire as well as the development of a paid fire- end of a canal docking area. After the use of the canal declined, The Landing

fighting staff.

was home to the city's first interurban electric railway station. Look for the

white historical marker in front of 111 West Columbia Street for more informa-

Leave the museum and continue west on Washington Boulevard. As you tion about this district.

are walking, look to your left to get a glimpse of the entrance to Parkview Field,

home of the TinCaps. The large building ahead on the right is the main branch Continue on Columbia Street and then turn right to go south on Calhoun

of the Allen County Public Library (2). The library is home to one of the top Street. Walk one block south and the Allen County Courthouse (5) will be

genealogy research libraries in the country. This branch of the library was re- ahead on the left. The entrance faces east. The Courthouse cost $817,000 when

cently built for $65 million.

it was built from limestone from Bedford, Indiana, in 1902. Restored before its

one hundredth birthday, visitors can take a pre-scheduled self-guided or docent-

Continue west on Washington Boulevard, and then turn right onto Ewing led tour.

Street. You'll see Trinity English Lutheran Church's large building on your

left. Walk north two blocks on Ewing. As you pass the intersection of Wayne and Ewing Streets, look left to see the Chamber of Commerce Building, which opened in 1926. You'll pass First Presbyterian Church on your right, as well, before coming to the intersection of Ewing and Berry Streets. Turn left unto Berry Street to see the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center (3).

To see the Lincoln Tower (6), or pop into the Lincoln Tower Soda Fountain, turn left on Berry St. after you pass the courthouse. The Lincoln Tower will be on your right. At the time the Lincoln Tower was completed in November 1930, it was the tallest building in Indiana. This Art Deco building was made in the same style of the Empire State Building, which was completed in 1931. The

Now owned by the University of Saint Francis, the Mizpah Shrine Temple was Lincoln Tower Soda Fountain has been open since the 1930s. Stepping into the

built in 1924 with a goal to provide a community center for speakers and theatri- Soda Fountain is like walking back in time to the 1960s, with flavored cokes,

cal events in Fort Wayne. When the facility opened in 1925, the first public

spritzy sodas, and bar stools. Stop in for a refreshing mid-walk soda or snack.

event was a Chicago Grand Opera Company performance. Over time, there were various owners and financial difficulties, but the venue continued to host movies, performances, events, and even an indoor golf course.

Continue south on Calhoun Street until you reach Jefferson Boulevard. From there, turn right and walk past the Botanical Conservatory until you reach the Embassy Theatre (7). This building opened in 1928 as the Emboyd Theatre and was used

Next, turn around and go east on Berry Street for two blocks and then turn left on Harrison Street. As you are walking down Berry, check out Cindy's Diner ? a historic diner serving the whole world "15 at a time " ? located at the corner of Berry Street and Maiden Lane.

as a movie palace and vaudeville house. Complete with a pipe organ and 250-room hotel, the Emboyd had the biggest acts of its time. The name changed to the Embassy Theatre in 1952. As times changed in the 1960s and 1970s, the Indiana Hotel adjacent to the theater closed, and in 1972, the Embassy was slated to be demolished. Fortunately, community members were able to save the Embassy with two days to spare.

Downtown Historic Walking Tour Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Theatre offers tours and other events for a small fee; check their website for Freimann Square also hosts festivals and community arts events.

dates and availability. In front of the theater, look on the ground for plaques

with information about the theatre and its history.

To get to the Old Fort, walk north on Clinton Street (continuing the direc-

tion you were headed). After you cross Superior Street, look for a small

Now turn around and head east on Jefferson Boulevard. On your way,

triangular plaque for the Headwaters Park and Clinton Parade, and make a

you'll pass the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to your right on South right turn toward the fountain and splash pad. When you reach the fork in

Clinton Street. The church's architecture was last renovated in 1980. Next turn the trail, take the widest and middle trail. On the right, take the bridge

left on Clinton Street to head north. Cross Washington Boulevard and look over the Saint Mary's River. Take the bridge across, and you'll see the Old

for the Cathedral Museum (8) on your right. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Fort (11) ahead on your left. In 1794, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne led the

Bend sponsors the museum, which is a great place for visitors to explore the efforts to rebuild the fort, which for years had been a fur trading post. Today,

growth of the Catholic Church in the Fort Wayne area by looking at Church arti- what visitors will see is a copy of the 1816 design by Major John Whistler,

facts and the history of its changing cathedral downtown.

which served as the final active fort before it was permanently decommissioned

in 1819. If you're lucky, you can see an historical reenactment, but generally the

From the Cathedral Museum, turn right on Wayne Street to walk east one Fort is not staffed.

block and then turn left Barr Street. You'll pass the Barr Street Market, the

oldest public space in Fort Wayne. The History Center (9) is at the intersection Cross back over the bridge and take a left through the park. Return to

of Barr and Berry Streets and is home to the collections of the Allen County- Clinton Street, and walk south until you reach Berry Street. Take a left on

Fort Wayne Historical Society. Visitors can see exhibitions about historic life in Berry Street and head west for two blocks; then turn right onto Harrison

Fort Wayne as well as innovations from Allen County. The building itself is the Street. Walk two more blocks south and you have arrived back at the Visi-

1893 City Hall building which John F. Wing and Marshall S. Mahurin designed. tors Center.

From the History Center, you can choose to return to the Visitors Center or continue on to the Old Fort, an additional mile of walking. To head back to Full walking tour is 3.4 miles or about an hour, while the tour without a visit to the Visitors Center, go west (left) on Berry Street for three blocks. On your the Old Fort is 2.3 miles and approximately 45 minutes.

way, you'll see the front of the courthouse and pass the Lincoln Tower again.

When you come to the intersection of Harrison and Berry Streets, take a

# Correspond with numbered locations

left on Harrison. Walk two more blocks south, and you have arrived back at the

Visitors Center.

Denote points of interest

If you'd like to continue on, turn left on Berry Street to walk one block east, and then turn right onto Clinton Street. Walk one block north until you reach Freimann Square (10) on your right at the intersection of Main and Clinton Streets. Frank Freimann, the former president of Magnavox Company, donated money to the city, which was used in 1971 to develop the park. In the center of the park, check out the statue of General Anthony Wayne, for whom Fort Wayne is named.

Downtown Historic Walking Tour Fort Wayne, Indiana

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