The walls of a museum are filled with examples of humans’ imagination and
dedication, their drive to create something to express the inexpressible. But
touching those works of art is almost never allowed.
Architecture is the art we can, and do, interact with. The walls themselves
are the work of art, they form the corridors we move through.
Fort Wayne is constructed of such art. Experiencing the art of the city’s architecture can be as
easy as passing by. When you pause to read the stories each concrete line and layer of brick tells, our city’s past reveals itself.
Fort Wayne Architecture
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge
The Martin Luther King Jr. bridge was rededicated in 2012 when it received commemorative plaques, decorative concrete, and fantastic lighting along the support struts.
You can enter downtown over the St. Marys however you like - by foot, bicycle, or car - thanks to the redesigned pedestrian and bike paths on either side of the road.
On a sunny summer day, it directs your eye both to the skyline and clouds, with its steel beams forming TV-like shapes into the sky. Crossing it will get you where you need to be, but sitting down and taking for a
minute is a good way to enjoy all it has to offer.
A nighttime trip across the bridge will leave its light lingering in your eyes and mind.
Leonard, Hammond, Thoma, and Terrill Law Offices
Once you’re downtown the choices for what to appreciate mount quickly. Two buildings stand out though in my opinion. First, at 800 South Calhoun Street is the Leonard, Hammond, Thoma, and Terrill law offices. You’ll be drawn to the windows immediately, which stand tall like dandelions made of glass and brick. Its fantastically designed facade gives the corner of South Calhoun and West Barry streets a round, almost quick feeling. Don’t just drive by, make sure you walk up to admire the brickwork.
Lebamoff Law Offices
And speaking of brickwork, your visit to downtown needs to include 918 South Calhoun Street - a brief walk from the offices of LHTT. The building will welcome your eyes immediately with its brick arches above windows and door. It’s home to Lebamoff Law Offices, owned by Jordan Lebamoff, whose father Ivan purchased the building in 1979.
“When my dad bought it, it was a [fixer upper],” Lebamoff said. “He had to put a call out for bricklayers in the tri-state area.” That turned out to be a great idea. The exterior has its wonderful arches, a design which goes back to 1866 when it was owned by Charles and Henrika Schmitz. The building has been many things over the years, including a jewelry store, a tailor, and a dentist.
Additional Fort Wayne Architectural Gems
Allen County Courthouse
From the beautiful Beaux Art design Allen County Courthouse with their scagliola interior floors and more murals dotted around the courtrooms. Take a tour of the courthouse, but remember phones and cameras are not permitted.
Arts United Center
Another well known architectural gem is the 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.
Fort Wayne Food Tour
For an experience that combines the flavors of Fort Wayne and our history, book a spot on a Fort Wayne Food Tour (April-October.) Get a taste of four downtown Fort Wayne restaurants, and learn about the history of Fort Wayne and the architecture dotting the downtown skyline!
When you’re done appreciating the marvels of Fort Wayne, stay downtown and walk around. Remember, don’t be afraid to look up. There’s a lot to see.