New life at 505 E Washington

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A few weeks ago, a tax abatement received approval by the Fort Wayne City Council for this building.

This building was, among other things, the former BioLife facility for downtown.  If you remember the past for this building, please chime in and share with us the past lives for this buiding.

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The building, when renovations are completed, will appear thus:

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The rendering received much acclaim from the City Council members and I would add my two cents worth as well, that the building will be a welcomed addition to that area of downtown.  The area is seeing a slow return to vitality with the rehab of the Schiefer Building, aka Woodson Motor Sports and which used to house a Taxi Company and transportation company as well, La Hartz which underwent a face lift a couple of years back and a block north, the law offices.  There are a few other projects in the early planning stages as well in the area, which will be explored in a future post.

The email I was sent with the above rendering, also attested to the firm’s (Rothberg, Logan & Warsco, Attorneys at Law, LLP) excitement over the project.  They are currently housed inside the National City Center where they have leased space.  Taking on this project in a vacant building earned them an extra tax abatement which has been rarely used.  I’d say an abatement well deserved!  Congratulations to the firm!

I stopped by the building last Wednesday, June 17th, and work has already begun:

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You might notice some of the brick uncovered looks suspiciously like other brick used on surrounding buildings.  Of course, you can’t see it any more on Woodson with the addition of their metal facade, so I’ll remind you what that building looked like before Woodsons came along:

Not that there’s anything wrong with what Woodson’s has done with the buidling.  It bothered a lot of people that after all the money had been spent to sandblast the brick and really shape the building up, a metal facade was applied destroying the character of the building.

It looks like too much of the old brick has been removed to make keeping what’s left a fit for the new design.  But, the new design will be a fit with the surrounding neighborhood.

Great job and congratulations, Rothberg, Logan & Warsco!  And thanks for sharing the rendering with AFW!


  1. I worked at 505 for several months before the Indiana Employment Security Division (a.k.a. the unemployment office) moved to South Anthony in the mid-1980’s. Mostly what I remember of the building is inside: that was back when people smoked in workplaces, and the cleaning crew apparently didn’t have ladders, so the walls were clean until about 6 1/2 feet up, and smoky yellow above that. Nice.

    None of us were sorry to move to 5821 South Anthony.

    I am thrilled to see folks hard at work making the building better than it has been since I first saw the building in 1985, and thanks to Rothberg Logan for their investment in our downtown.

    • Great minds, Karen! I almost emailed you to see if you’d remind me about what you’d said in the Council meeting about your history in that building. Thank you for the history! Anyway one else remember before the mid 80s?


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