There is no shortage of history in Fort Wayne. You can see it especially reflected in the historic buildings downtown. Here are a few not to be missed:
- Allen County Courthouse: This courthouse is a jewel in the community. Inside, the friezes and cornices around the building are filled with the sculptured images and proverbs of the history of Allen County, American government, industry, virtue and the law. The interior is a case study in color, decorative details and finishes, especially scagliola. More than 15,000-square feet of scagliola, or faux marble made from plaster, adorns columns, walls, pilasters and moldings. Internationally recognized decorative plaster expert David Hayles lauds the Allen County Courthouse scagliola as "the most important example of the craft to be found anywhere in the world." Visitors are encouraged to tour this National Historic Landmark with a trained docent or as a self-guided tour.
- Lincoln Tower: They don't make 'em like they used to. The Lincoln Tower is a prime example of this. The main shaft is made of Indiana limestone, with terra cotta and stone crowning the upper portion of the building. By day or by night the building is beautiful and majestic. This building has been an iconic part of the skyline since its erection. Once a bank, today it is used for office space.
- Old Fort: The current fort is a replica of the originals built by Major John Whistler from 1815-1816, the last forts at the junction of the St. Mary's, St. Joseph and Maumee Rivers. The forts were built to defend soldiers from the Native Americans. You won't want to miss the tours and reenactments. Be sure to check the schedule to see what's happening. Insider's Note: Even if there is not an event, you can still walk around the grounds.
- History Center: The History Center, located in the former Fort Wayne Old City Hall Building, has served as headquarters for the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society since 1980. The sandstone building was built in 1893 in the Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. The History Center has three rooms available to rent for special events including weddings, wedding receptions, business dinners, fund-raisers, class reunions, retirement and anniversary parties and cocktail receptions.
- Embassy Theatre: This Spanish Eclectic style movie palace and hotel was designed by A.M. Strauss with consultation by nationally known theater architect John Eberson. Original interior details of the theater include walls of French marble in the outer lobby, black and white Italian marble in the inner lobby, a marble grand staircase and motifs in Spanish, Moorish, Indian and Oriental designs. Restoration work completed in the 1990s recreated the original carpet, lace curtains and light fixtures. The lobby of the hotel, closed since the 1960s, was also returned to its original grandeur. Most of the hotel space was also used to make way for an improved stage system. Also housed at the Embassy is a Grande Page Organ.
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to historical sites. Stop by the Visitors Center, located at 927 S Harrison St, and request a Heritage Trail Map. There are many treasures waiting to be discovered!