Tour brochures now available for City’s newest National Historic Districts

City of Fort Wayne Seal

Press release from the City of Fort Wayne:

Tour brochures now available for City’s newest National Historic Districts
Southwood Park, Indian Village neighborhoods now on National Register of Historic Places

(January 12, 2010) The City of Fort Wayne’s Historic Preservation office has brochures available for Fort Wayne’s two newest National Register Historic Districts: Southwood Park and Indian Village.

The two walking/driving brochures feature houses and buildings within the districts complete with photos and house histories plus the history of each neighborhood and its architectural styles. The brochures are available in the Community Development office on the 8th floor of the City-County Building and at the Fort Wayne-Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The U.S. Department of the Interior added the Southwood Park and Indian Village historic districts to the National Register of Historic Places Dec. 22, 2009.

The Indian Village and Southwood Park Community Associations, in cooperation with the Fairmont Neighborhood Association, requested assistance from the City in listing the neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places.

The City of Fort Wayne used federal grants administered through Indiana’s Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology to assist with the effort to prepare two applications to the National Register of Historic Places. The City used the grants to contract with professionals including ARCH to research the districts and prepare the nominations. The completed applications were reviewed by the Fort Wayne Historic Preservation Commission before they were forwarded to the Indiana Historic Preservation Review Board and finally to the National Park Service.

The Southwood Park Historic District earned the designation because it is a distinctive example of the transition from street car suburb to early automobile suburb. It has an outstanding collection of residential architecture, two church campuses and two small commercial areas. The district is also significant for its association with individuals important in the history and development of Fort Wayne. The district is roughly bounded by Pettit Avenue, Stratford Road, Sherwood Terrace, Hartman Road, Lexington Avenue, Indiana Avenue, West Rudisill Boulevard and Fairfield Avenue.

The Indian Village Historic District was listed for its unique design by Indiana native Lawrence V. Sheridan. It is a subdivision that demonstrates the national policy shift to the support of home ownership for the middle class, the federal government’s establishment of minimum standards for small homes, the emergence of construction techniques such as prefabrication and site fabrication, and the growth of the automobile suburb. The district also contains a variety of architecture from eclectic period revival homes of the 1920s to high-style 1950s ranch homes. The district also reflects the significant work of local builder John R. Worthman. The Indian Village Historic District is roughly bounded by Nuttman Avenue, Bluffton Road, Engle Road, and the Norfolk Southern railroad right-of-way.

The National Register of Historic Places is the federal government’s official list of prehistoric and historic properties worthy of preservation. In Indiana, the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology administers the program with the City of Fort Wayne as a Certified Local Government. Listing in the National Register provides recognition and assists in preserving our nation’s heritage. It does not prevent a private owner from altering, demolishing or disposing of the property as he or she chooses.

This project has been funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.

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