The Journal Gazette
Saturday, January 16, 2021 1:00 am

Furthermore ...

Beacon of renewal unlikely to shine again

With news of the Electric Works financing package closing this past week, one reader's thoughts turned to the prospect of renewed life on the Broadway campus, including the possibility of seeing the iconic General Electric sign shining over downtown Fort Wayne once again.

“I think the GE sign should be fixed and put up over Electric Works,” he wrote. “What are the plans for it? It would seem to be something germane to Fort Wayne and Electric Works.”

The massive sign, which adorned a building on the east campus of the GE site, was removed by the company in 2016 after it became the target of vandals and before the property was sold to RTM Ventures, the Electric Works lead developer. There were reports the sign would be installed on another General Electric facility in Cincinnati. We contacted the company, but it had no response to our inquiry about the sign's whereabouts.

Connie Haas Zuber, executive director of ARCH, said she wasn't aware of any efforts to have the sign returned to Fort Wayne. City Councilman Geoff Paddock, D-5th, who led efforts to preserve the GE campus, said the developers have retained some memorabilia from the plant and there are plans to incorporate them into a display at Electric Works. At one time, the Fort Wayne plant employed 40% of the city's workforce.

“It would have been nice to salvage (the sign),” Paddock said. “It's one of the few iconic images we have had. It's too bad it got away from us.”

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