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Historic Fort Wayne buildings in danger of demolition, neglect

Buildings like the Humpty Dumpty Stand and the Rialto Theater were once booming with visitors, while structures like the canal house tell a story of an early Fort Wayne.

Posted: May. 24, 2018 5:20 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Across Allen County we've seen constant development including the Riverfront and a proposal for a downtown arena. But a group in Fort Wayne, Arch, is working to save some buildings caught in the middle of it all. 

David Sain, a resident, grew up in Fort Wayne. The historic buildings and culture are part of why he loves the city. 

"We should try to preserve buildings instead of knocking them down... that's a part of our history and should definitely stay that way," he said. 

Buildings like the Humpty Dumpty Stand and the Rialto Theater were once booming with visitors, while structures like the canal house tell a story of an early Fort Wayne. That's why Karen Richards is working with Arch to preserve some of these endangered buildings. Richards and the rest of the group hope to see more projects like Electric Works planned to restore the city's former glory. 

"All of these buildings that we have on our endangered list are either threatened by demolition or deterioration, or commercial or residential development," she said. 

Richards believes the only way to save these buildings is to gain community support. 

"The hope is that as we list these and tell people about them, and tell people about what their historical significance is, we're going to be able to advocate for them or maybe change someone's mind,or get someone interested in restoring them," she said. 

Richards said demolishing the structures will take away what makes Fort Wayne so special, and may even affect tourism. 

"People come to a location that has unique things to view and participate in, and one of those is clearly history," Richards said. 

For more information on Arch, click here. 

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