Architecture in Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne, Indiana’s second-largest city, is one with unique and varied architecture for all interests.

We are home to historical treasures including a replica of our original Historic Fort Wayne and the Allen County Courthouse, recognized as a National Historic Landmark for its original murals and sculptures, scagliola faux marbling, unique tile floor designs and abundant stained glass.

In Fort Wayne, you can find private homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Michael Graves, Eero Saarinen and Louis Kahn.

And two of our greatest jewels are on display this summer:

A secluded seminary campus designed by Eero Saarinen, and

the only Louis Kahn designed theatre in the world!

This is the Summer to Visit!

Globally renowned architect Louis I. Kahn (1901-1974) envisioned the design for a visionary arts campus where Fort Wayne’s Museum of Art and Arts United Center now sit. The Arts United Center, Kahn’s only theatre and the only building that was ever realized from his designs for the campus, dramatically exemplifies his numerous pioneering methods.

This summer, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art is presenting two exhibits to highlight Louis Kahn and his work in our community:

On the Pursuit of Perfection: The Legacy Architecture of Louis I. Kahn in Our City

April 29-October 15

Becoming Present: Louis I. Kahn and the Arts United Center

July 22-October 15

The first, long-running, exhibit will share 29 of his original blueprints for this Arts Campus, along with a bibliography of his work.

The second exhibit, which runs alongside the first, will share a chronological and biographical look at the Arts United Center, from its inception in 1959 until today (including original models).

This is an unparalleled chance to see the work of one of the 20th century’s greatest architects, and enjoy this rare access to his projects and archives.

Learn more about On The Pursuit of Perfection and Becoming Present.

Tour the Facilities

Arts United Center

Completed in 1973, this 660 seat venue is the only theatre ever designed by Louis Kahn, and the last of his buildings to be completed in his lifetime.

It is the only Kahn building in the Midwest and one of eight proposed buildings on a campus that he conceived. Currently, the Arts United Center is home to the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and Youtheatre and houses performances by the Fort Wayne Ballet, Philharmonic and others.

Tours can be scheduled at (260) 424-0646 and mmorgan@artsunited.org.

Concordia Theological Seminary Campus

The Concordia Theological Seminary Campus in Fort Wayne is located on 191 seculded acres and crafted by the world renowned architect Eero Saarinen.

23.5 degrees: It’s the tilt of the earth on its axis, but it’s also the pitch of every roof at the Seminary (Even the Chapel follows this rule, though the angles are inverted to emphasize the vertical.)

5′ 4″: That’s the building block of campus.  Every building is designed around 5 foot, 4 inch modules, giving a natural flow and symmetry to the diverse pieces of campus.

East-West: That’s the direction of every single roofline on campus. Saarinen said, “By running all the roofs in one direction, the total order which one desires seemed to come about.”

Tours can be scheduled at (260) 452-2204 or communityservices@ctsfw.edu.

Architecture Map

 

Historic Tours

For more details, visit ARCH Heritage Trail Tours featuring architectural landmarks and more.

Other Fort Wayne Architecture of Note

Museum of Art

The architect of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Walter Netsch, was careful to "pay respect to Louis Kahn's performing arts center in a gentle, yet useful, forceful way." Curved skylights and the geometric configuration of the museum is his answer along with the clear unity of the museum's three functions: exhibition, education, and administration. FWMoA was Netsch's third major art museum project, as he also designed the east wing of the Art Institute Chicago and the art museum at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Groundbreaking of the original building began on April 4, 1982 and was dedicated just over two years later on April 15, 1984. The museum stayed much the same until a major renovation of the building in 2010, which added over 10,000 square feet of gallery space and storage.

Allen County Courthouse

A National Historic Landmark, this Beaux-Arts style building, designed by Brentwood S. Tolan, is the jewel of the community, with gleaming marble, stained glass, and expansive murals, just to get started. Whimiscal pediments, fantastic friezes, and intricate tiles make this a can't-miss architectural destination. The courthouse is located at Main and Clinton Streets and overlooks the beautiful Courthouse Green park. During business hours, smartphones and cameras are not allowed inside the courthouse or on tours. Learn More.

The History Center

Located at the corner of Berry and Barr Streets, the former city hall, the History Center now houses the History Center, chronicling the storied history of Fort Wayne and Allen County. The building is in the Richardsonian style and was once referred to as the "Hapsbug Horror." Today it presides over the cityscape with wisdom collected from the nineteenth century and beyond. Learn More.

Bass Mansion

Located near Leesburg and Bass Roads, on the campus of the University of Saint Francis, the 24,000 square-foot home belonged to John Henry Bass, a wealthy industrialist. It started out as a library for the university in 1983. The university preserved the history of the building while modernizing the three floors. Visitors are able to tour all three floors with many rooms and offices to view. A special holiday flair takes over during Christmas at the Castle, where room after room is decorated.

Lincoln Tower

Indiana's first skyscraper stands at 312 feet. For decades after its completion at the start of the Great Depression, the building was the tallest building in Indiana. Designed by Alvin M. Strauss, the art deco recalls New York City's Empire State Building in miniature. The inside features murals and bronze sculptures of the life of Abraham Lincoln. Learn More.

Allen County Public Library

Completely remodeled and expanded in 2007, the Main Branch of the Allen County Public Library attracts visitors from far and wide. From the plaza on Webster Street, you will enter a large, wide central atrium with abundant natural light. Stroll down the Great Hall toward the Krull Gallery at the Ewing Street entrance. The library celebrates readers of all ages, with fun, interactive spaces and whimsical design accents in children's services. Featuring the largest public genealogy collection in the United States, patrons can trace their heritage with thousands of volumes on open stacks. In the lower level, a modern auditorium hosts informative lectures and entertainment. Outside on the plaza, you can enjoy the public art from Sculptures with Purpose. The recently installed clock tower will keep you on schedule. Learn more.

Parkview Field 

Built in 2009, Parkview Field is the award-winning home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps Minor League Baseball team. Having won awards and received national recognition for both design aesthetic and fan experience, Parkview Field is considered the model Minor League Baseball ballpark.

The aesthetic and architecture of the ballpark was intended to complement existing downtown architecture and design while still creating a look and feel unique to the ballpark. Just a block away from the North Gate entrance is the Fort Wayne Fire Fighters Museum (Station #3). The station’s unique brick façade, arching entrances, and incorporation of tan accents was the inspiration for Parkview Field’s exterior look and feel. Ballpark gates emulate the arched entrances and the dark red brick and tan piping are visible around the entire exterior of the ballpark. The mix of retro and modern aesthetic fits right into a rich, vibrant, and growing downtown Fort Wayne.

Parkview Field is located at the corner of Ewing and Breckenridge Streets, and is open daily as a public park. On game days, the park will close 3 hours before start time. 

Headwaters Park

What started as a flood control plan is now center stage for downtown events and activities. The architectural plan was developed by Eric R. Kuhne and Associates and implemented by Grinsfelder Associates. More than 600,000 people visit the park each year. Ice skating in the winter and annual summer events like the Three Rivers Festival, Middle Waves make this beautiful park a must see.

Slideshow

See a slideshow of these buildings.

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art Allen County Courthouse The History Center Brookside - The Bass Mansion Lobby of Lincoln Tower Allen County Public Library Parkview Field Morning in Headwaters Park
          

 

Scavenger Hunt

Fort Wayne Historical Scavenger Hunt

Find the architectural designs that so richly contribute to the defining character of our city. Collect all the answers and bring into the Visitors Center for a thank you gift.

Download the Scavenger Hunt Map

Review your answers

 

Request a Free Visitor Guide!