The Journal Gazette
Monday, November 22, 2021 1:00 am

Five questions for Cory Miller

President, partner: Elevatus Architecture Lead architect, Electric Works

1 The new Bradley Hotel is among your recent projects. What were the goals in terms of its prominent downtown location?

The location was a conscious business decision and functional direction of Provenance Hotels. They envisioned the hotel as “Fort Wayne's living room” – so it needed to be in the heart of it all: The Landing, Promenade Park, downtown business and entertainment. There were other locations that we reviewed with them, but the location chosen checked all the boxes. Upon the location selection, the aesthetic design approach for the building was a collaborative design effort with Ms. Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and her vision for the community.


2 The distinctive Boys and Girls Club on Fairfield Avenue is also your work. How does the intended use of a building shape its design?

The goal of the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne was pretty simple – make it fun, inviting and a place where both children and teenagers will want to be. The use of materials, color and massing was the result of an extraordinary design visioning exercise that included multiple members of our team at Elevatus (interesting fact: the final concept design was originated by one of our interns), The Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne staff and leadership, and our Design-Build partner, Michael Kinder & Sons.


3 As lead architect, what's your hope for the Electric Works project?

Success. The vision for the campus was painted with broad colorful strokes by the developers, and our team of architects and engineers have been fortunate to be a part of it. It's such a large undertaking from a design perspective – so much so that we have over 15 design firms engaged in all aspects of the project – that we hope the collaboration we have experienced spills over into the way the campus becomes an integral part of Fort Wayne's future.


4 What should residents know about Electric Works and what it holds for the community?

The development is unique to Fort Wayne, as it houses all the exciting aspects of a community in one development. The innovation district combines community attributes into a dense single development – education, health care, retail, residential, office, food/drink, entertainment, entrepreneurial startups and venture capital access. All of these functions finding their respective “homes” in the unique buildings that were constructed between 1907 and the 1940s. The tenant mix and resulting design for each unique use will result in a campus that is active 18+ hours a day, inviting to the community and will become a hub for creativity for years to come. I can't wait for the plans for the east campus to be released and that phase to start.


5 You grew up in Decatur. Was it a conscious decision to stay and raise a family in northeast Indiana?

Yes, it was, on two fronts. Family played a significant role – both my wife and I had a lot of family in northeast Indiana. Being close to three or four generations of family was important.

Professionally, I had great work experiences in Fort Wayne during my college years and my architectural internship. The architectural, design and creative community in Fort Wayne had a lot of unsung talent – which we are all seeing now, 20+ years later, with a new food scene, live-work-play developments, murals and cultural destinations – and I very much wanted to be a part of it.

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