September is an ideal time to be outdoors in Fort Wayne, and so it's no surprise that the month is packed with activities to keep you busy.

One of my favorites is the West Central Home and Garden Tour and Artfest on September 10 & 11. This event is held in Fort Wayne's West Central neighborhood, in the area bounded by Berry and Jefferson Streets to the north and south, and Ewing and Garden Streets to the east and west. I often drive by these historic homes on my way into and out of downtown, and I've wondered what is inside. The Home and Garden Tour is a wonderful opportunity for you to see!

west central

My introduction to the West Central Home and Garden Tour came several years ago when a friend (who happens to own the Lasalle Inn) asked if I would help her host the inn's inclusion in the tour. My daughter and I took her up on her offer, and we loved meeting so many community members who visited. The next day, we toured other historic houses on the tour -- and I was sold on the event!

The West Central neighborhood began its development in the 1830s and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Most of the original residents were working class people who walked to their nearby places of employment. As the 19th century progressed, the area became home to more upscale residents, and many of the smaller homes were replaced by more opulent ones.

Some houses on the tour have hosts available to answer questions and give commentary; others are simply self-guided tours. Some homes open their gardens as well. Each is a completely unique experience, and each is a treat in its own way.

The 2016 tour features 11 homes. Horse carriage and pedicab rides are free for tour patrons. Since the tour happens on a Saturday and a Sunday, you can view all the homes in a single day, or take your time and visit some on each day.


As if beautiful homes and architecture aren't enough, the neighborhood also hosts an Artsfest on Saturday. You can visit booths manned by many local artists, and local musicians will be performing for your entertainment throughout the day as well.

West Central Home & Garden Tour and Artfest

September 10 and 11, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Advance tickets available for $13 beginning in early-mid August at Jamison Meats, Umbers Do It Best Hardware, Antiques on Broadway, Third World Gift Shoppe, and House of Furniture.

Day of show tickets $15 at Swinney Homestead, St. Joseph Hospital Parking Lot, and Artsfest (corner of Wayne and Union)


September 10, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.