News release from Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation:
Time Capsule to be opened at Thieme Drive Overlook Rededication
Fort Wayne will kick off a year long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first city plan, the George Kessler Park and Boulevard System on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm.
Friends of the Parks, the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department and the West Central Neighborhood will rededicate the beautiful Thieme Drive overlook, the first project that was completed as part of this landscape legacy. The Thieme Drive Rededication will be held Monday, October 10, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Thieme Drive overlook is located at the corner of Main and Thieme Drive.
The event includes the opening of a time capsule placed in the overlook at the time it was built.
Advocates in the West Central Neighborhood have worked with the City to have the lovely overlook cleared of vegetation so that it is now visible from the Main Street Bridge.
A private reception will follow the dedication.
Theodore F. Thieme: pharmacist, entrepreneur businessÂman, world traveler, author, connoisseur of art, and, most notably for this 100-year celebration, a proponent of the City Beautiful philosophy and river beautification. One of Fort Wayne’s early entrepreneurs, Theodore Thieme left a lasting legacy to Fort Wayne not only with his grand and, at one time, world-famous Wayne Knitting Mills but also with his much smaller and more intimate Thieme Drive Overlook.
Theodore’s daily walks from his home at the corner of RockÂhill and West Berry to his Wayne Knitting Mills located on Growth Avenue led him past an unsightly garbage dump left in full sight of those traversing Main Street. His love of aesÂthetics and his desire to beautify Fort Wayne’s rivers spurred him to action. He hired George Kessler, a nationally known landscape architect, to draft plans to rid the St. Marys River bank of the eyesore. Kessler’s plans – the first Kessler project in Fort Wayne – called for a small park with an overlook complemented by steps to the river’s edge and terraces at the foot of the Overlook’s retaining wall.
With City approval and Theodore Thieme’s financial backing, the Overlook was completed with its dedication in the fall of 1911. A specially-designed bronze plaque dedicated to the efÂforts of Mr. Thieme still adorns the balustrade railing curving outward at the park. One hundred years later, the legacy of Theodore F. Thieme, as well as the beautiful landscaping of George Kessler, still lives on in this peaceful and picturesque Overlook.
The stunning beaux arts Thieme Drive Overlook was the first completed project of the Kessler Park and Boulevard System. It was made possible by the generosity of Theodore Thieme, founder of the Wayne Knitting Mills. Thieme was a lover of culture, art and architecture, and we will have the opportunity to open a time capsule that was placed in the overlook when it was built 100 years ago.
Anyone wanting to contribute to Friends of the Parks projects and events can send donations (checks only please) to Friends of the Parks, PO Box 10152, Fort Wayne IN 46850-0152.