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Dean Musser Jr. | The Journal Gazette
People crowd the sidewalk at last week’s dedication.

Architect draws on worldwide influences


It’s no coincidence that a piece of Italy resides in Fort Wayne Newspapers’ new press building.

Dario DiMare, founder and majority owner of the Massachusetts-based firm that designed the building, draws on influences from the world over.

From Italy’s hill towns come the inspiration for extra detail and architectural manipulation on the building’s west end that help it make the transition from the downtown business district to the residential area next door. But DiMare, an Ohio native, also pays tribute to Fort Wayne’s own heritage: the building’s large arched window overlooking Main Street harkens to the Summit City’s old train station.

The breadth of influence befits a man who years ago – finished with a semester’s studies in Italy – headed east for a different kind of education. Living on about $8 a day, DiMare spent the better part of six months working his way around the world.

Along the way, he drank in the unique architectural elements from each region, influences that are with him to this day.

But he was most profoundly affected by the abject poverty of people in Egypt and India and areas between. As a 20-something, he vowed never to complain about lesser things he had to do without.

Nearly three decades later, DiMare says he’s never broken that promise. He’s also had plenty to cheer about.

DiMare’s firm, Dario Designs, has done work for Dow Jones, designing the facility and infrastructure that allowed the news organization to take its print publications from black and white to color in the 1990s. His company is working with the New York Times on a press project designed to drastically reduce space and operational costs. His company also designed a 350,000-square-foot facility with three presses for Newspaper Agency Corp. in Salt Lake City that was completed a couple of years ago.

Though the company does other projects, newspapers are what DiMare, 49, knows best. Recruited by The Austin Co. in Cleveland after college, his first two jobs were for the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., and Newsday in Melville, N.Y.

With every project, he has built his knowledge base. Now, DiMare says, his company does far more press building design projects than any other organization. It all started with a foot in the door.

“It was our way in,” he explains. “We got to be the best at something.”