The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 1:00 am

Hop River renovation garners ARCH award


Hop River Brewing Company on Monday night was the setting for the 2018 ARCHies awards ceremony – and it was also the winner of one of the annual awards given for outstanding preservation or reuse of Fort Wayne's historic buildings.

The newly renovated former DeSoto and Plymouth dealership, and later a warehouse, at 1515 N. Harrison St. in the North River neighborhood was cited for outstanding adaptive reuse by ARCH, Fort Wayne's nonprofit historic architecture preservation group.

Fort Wayne resident Ben Jackson, 44, brewery co-owner with Paris McFarthing, 33, of Fort Wayne, said the building was built in two sections by the Rousseau and Poinsette families in the 1930s through the 1940s.

Most of the work done during the past two years has been on the inside, including a lot of work on infrastructure, such as electrical wiring and plumbing, Jackson said. “We basically have an entire city block,” he said, adding the space amounts to about 10,000 square feet.

It's divided into a manufacturing area and an open tap room/restaurant, with long tables in the style of a German biergarten and windows that allow patrons to see into the production area, he said.

“We like to think it's a nice, inviting tap room,” he said, adding it's exciting to get awards. The craft brewery last month was awarded commercial facade grant from the city, he said.

“Our big focus is we're trying to be part of the North River community. We're close to downtown and we want to provide the craft beer culture to downtown to (residents), and expand the options to people who happen to be downtown,” he said. 

“It's been really great that people are taking notice of the things that are happening.”

Other awards went to 1020 W. Wayne St. for outstanding single-family residence, 1016 W. Washington St. for outstanding multifamily residence, 1024 W. Wayne St. for outstanding new construction and Swinney Park's Col. David Foster statue for outstanding institutional/government project.

Commendations were awarded to 918 Garden St. for single-family residence, 129 W. Creighton Ave. for multifamily residence and 1308 Rockhill St. for new construction.

ARCH also named 10 structures or places the nonprofit's leaders consider endangered, facing threats that could result in the resources being lost.

They include:

1. Foster Park's Pavilion No. 3 and footbridges. The pavilion is a Park Rustic structure dating to the Great Depression and the footbridges in Foster and Lawton parks are costly to maintain. The Mechanic Street Bridge has been neglected and closed for many years.

2. General Electric campus. Despite its new owners' interest and plans to redevelop the west and east campuses on both sides of Broadway, ARCH is including them because full project funding is not yet assembled.

3. Paul Kinder House, West Washington Boulevard. This Craftsman-style home is threatened by downtown development.

4. Odd Fellows Lodge. After standing vacant for many years, the A.M. Strauss-designed Odd Fellows Lodge, on East Jefferson Boulevard downtown, was purchased in July 2015 by Northeast Indiana Public Radio. “However, preliminary design plans for the rehabilitation of this building are unsympathetic to Strauss's original Art Moderne-style design,” ARCH officials said in a statement, adding they hope for a compromise.

5. Roadside architecture, including Dawson's Root Beer Stand at South Anthony and  Rudisill boulevards and the wind-damaged Humpty Dumpty stand on Fairfield Avenue. ARCH recommends them be relocated and reused.

6. The former Fort Wayne Bible College's Shultz, Bethany and Hausser halls. They remain threatened by vacancy and uncertainty over future use after redevelopment proposals in 2015 were abandoned.

7. C.F. Bleke Farmhouse, Lima Road. A reminder of Allen County's agricultural beginnings, this circa 1875 farmhouse is representative of area farmhouses of the era. They are rapidly disappearing, and the property holding this one was sold in 2016 for potential development.

8. Canal House. Surrounded by a parking lot and vacant bus depot, the vacant Canal House on Superior Street, with its unique masonry, is threatened by new development and cannot be moved.

9. 3325 Wells Street. A one of a kind 20th-century  American Foursquare with Queen Anne-style influences and constructed with solid stone, this house is owned by the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and used for storage, but the structure is neglected and deteriorating, according to ARCH officials.

10. Rialto Theater—Opened in 1924, the Rialto Theater on South Calhoun Street has sat vacant since a previous developer abandoned plans for the building in 2010.

11. Earl Knight Filling Station, 2624 Sherman Boulevard. This 1926-vintage filling station in a Tudor Revival style, now a bait and tackle shop, is threatened with demolition from city plans to redesign the Five Points intersection where the building sits along the historic Lincoln Highway's original route through Fort Wayne.  

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