Fort Wayne is a city in northeastern Indiana, United States and the county seat of Allen County. As of July 1, 2008, the city had an estimated population of 251,247, making it the 71st largest city in the United States. Fort Wayne is Indiana's second largest city after Indianapolis. In 2006, the combined population of the Fort Wayne Metropolitan Statistical Area was 570,779, making it the third largest metropolitan area in the state.
The city sits within a radius of 17 percent of the total United States population, within a day's drive of half of the nation's population, and nearly equidistant from the economical centers of Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, and Indianapolis, greatly influencing Fort Wayne's local economy, primarily based on manufacturing, insurance, and healthcare. The metro area is also a contributor to the nation's agricultural sector. The city has been presented with the All-America City Award in 1982-1983 and 1998.
United States Army general and American Revolutionary War statesman General "Mad" Anthony Wayne is the namesake of Fort Wayne. The United States Army built Fort Wayne last in a series of forts near the community of Kekionga, the largest of the Miami villages, which was located where the St. Joseph River and St. Marys River converge to form the Maumee River.
The Miami nation first established a settlement at the Maumee, St. Joseph, and St. Marys Rivers in the mid-17th century called Kekionga. The village was the traditional capital of the Miami nation and related Algonquian tribes. Historians believe that around 1676, French priests and missionaries visited the Miami on their way back from a mission at Lake Michigan. In 1680, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle sent a letter to the Governor-General of Canada stating he had also stopped there. In the 1680s, French traders established a post at the location because it was the crucial portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. The Maumee River is approximately ten miles (16 kilometers) away from the Little River branch of the Wabash River, which flows, in turn, into the Ohio River.
In 1696, Comte de Frontenac appointed Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes as commander of the French outpost in Miami country. The French built the first fort on the site, Fort Miamis, in 1697 as part of a group of forts built between Quebec, Canada, and St. Louis. In 1721, a few years after Bissot's death, Fort Miamis was replaced by Fort St. Philippe des Miamis. Increasing tension between France and the United Kingdom developed over the territory. In 1760, after defeat by British forces in the French and Indian War, the area was ceded to the British Empire. The fort was again renamed, this time to Fort Miami. In 1763, various Native American nations rebelled against British rule and retook the fort as part of Pontiac's Rebellion. The Miami regained control of Kekionga, a rule that lasted for more than thirty years.
In 1790, President George Washington ordered the United States Army to secure Indiana. Three battles were fought in Kekionga against Little Turtle and the Miami Confederacy. Miami warriors annihilated the United States Army in the first two battles. Anthony Wayne led a third expedition, destroying the village while its warriors were away. When the tribe returned to their destroyed village, Little Turtle decided to negotiate peace. After General Wayne refused it, the tribe was advanced to Fallen Timbers where they were defeated on August 20, 1794. On October 22, 1794, the United States army captured the Wabash-Erie portage from the Miami Confederacy and built a new fort at the three rivers, Fort Wayne, in honor of General Wayne.
Fort Wayne prospered under the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal, earning Fort Wayne's nickname, The Summit City, due to the city's placing at the zenith of the locks on the canal. Fort Wayne lost national prominence in the demise of the Wabash and Erie Canal as the railroad system quickly took its place. On February 22, 1840, the Town of Fort Wayne incorporated as the City of Fort Wayne. Population growth occurred most in the 19th century with the arrival of German, Polish, and Irish immigrants, bringing large numbers of Roman Catholics and Lutherans.
In recent history, the focus of citizens has been the concern of bolstering business and beautification in the core of Fort Wayne. Within the last decade, the city has improved in this venture, with the renovations and expansions of the Main Library Branch and Grand Wayne Convention Center. In 2006, it was announced that plans for a new $125 million development, containing a new baseball stadium, parking garage, condominiums, shops, and Courtyard by Marriott Hotel were to be built in downtown Fort Wayne between 2008 and 2010. This project has come to be known as the Harrison Square project.
The National Weather Service reports the highest recorded temperature in the city at on July 14, 1936, and June 29, 1988, and the lowest recorded temperature at on January 12, 1918. The wettest month on record was July 1986, with of precipitation recorded. The greatest 24-hour rainfall was on August 1, 1926. The average annual precipitation ranges from at the airport to at the Fort Wayne Water Pollution Control Plant. During the winter season, snowfall accumulation averages per year. Lake effect snow is not rare to the region, but usually appears in the form of light snow flurries. The snowiest month on record was in January 1982 (the 1981-1982 winter season was also the snowiest season on record, with reported). The greatest 24-hour snowfall was on March 10, 1964.
|Rec High °F||69||73||86||90||99||106||103||102||100||91||79||71|
|Norm High °F||31||35.4||47.4||59.8||71.6||80.6||84.3||81.8||75.4||63||48.5||35.8|
|Norm Low °F||16.1||19.2||28.8||38.2||49.1||58.8||62.5||60.4||52.8||41.8||32.7||22.3|
|Rec Low °F||-24||-19||-10||7||27||36||38||38||29||19||-1||-18|
|Source 1: US Travel Weather|
|Source 2: The Weather Channel|
|Top Ten Worst Floods Based on Crests of the Three Rivers|
|1908||March||(no records on cost of flood)||22.5’|
|1930||January||(no records on cost of flood)||22.2’|
|Source: City of Fort Wayne|
The worst flood since 1913 struck Fort Wayne in March 1982, prompting the detoured stop of then-President Ronald Reagan to Fort Wayne to survey the damage, thrusting the city into the national spotlight. In the days following the flood, 9,000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes, over 2,000 residences and businesses were damaged by floodwaters, and thousands of volunteers worked to stabilize dikes at vulnerable spots along the three rivers. One such instance was a brigade of sandbaggers who were credited with saving 1,860 properties in the Lakeside neighborhood as the clay dikes along the Maumee River began to show signs of seepage, earning Fort Wayne the distinction of being The City That Saved Itself.
Since the 1982 flood, miles of levees and dikes were built or enhanced, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers widened the Maumee River, and Headwaters Park was established near the confluence of the rivers in downtown Fort Wayne, all implemented to alleviate future flooding. In commemoration of the 1982 flood's 25th anniversary, former Mayor Graham Richard proclaimed March 19-23, 2007 as Flood Awareness Week in Fort Wayne, also highlighting the flood mitigation efforts the city has made in the last quarter century.
|Top Five Tallest Buildings|
|Rank||Name||Street Address||Height feet/meters||Floors||Year|
|1||One Summit Square||101 East Washington Boulevard||442/135||27||1982|
|2||National City Center||110 West Berry Street||339/103||26||1970|
|3||Lincoln Bank Tower||116 East Berry Street||312/95||22||1930|
|4||Anthony Wayne Bank Building||203 East Berry Street||167/51||14||1964|
|5||1st Source Center||200 East Main Street||149/46||10||1989|
| Fort Wayne |
Population by year
The first census, performed in 1744 on the order by the governor of Louisiana, revealed a population of approximately forty Frenchmen and one thousand Miami.
As of the census of 2000, there were 205,727 people, 83,333 households, and 50,666 families residing in the city. There are 90,915 housing units at an average density of 1,151.5/sq mi (444.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 75.45% White, 17.38% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 1.56% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.91% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. 5.78% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 83,333 households out of which 31.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% are married couples living together, 14.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% are non-families. 32.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.41 and the average family size is 3.08.
In the city the population is spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years of age. For every 100 females there are 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $36,518, and the median income for a family is $45,040. Males have a median income of $34,704 versus $25,062 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,517. 12.5% of the population and 9.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.5% of those under the age of 18 and 7.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Fort Wayne is cited as having the highest Burmese refugee population in the United States, with between 3,000-3,500.
The Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church was constituted in Saint Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, then known as Saint Pauls Evangelisch-Lutheranische Gemeinde, once founded in 1837 as Fort Wayne's first Lutheran church. Fort Wayne is the principle city of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend which covers northeastern and north central Indiana. The principle cathedral of the diocese is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located in downtown Fort Wayne.
As of May 2006, three national Christian denominations were headquartered in Fort Wayne; the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association, Missionary Church, Inc. and the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches (formerly Evangelical Mennonite Church). While the headquarters of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ is in nearby Huntington, Indiana. Fort Wayne's Jewish population is served by Congregation Achduth Vesholom, the oldest Jewish congregation in Indiana and second oldest Reform congregation west of the Allegheny Mountains, founded in 1848.
|Elected officials of Fort Wayne (2008)|
|City Council Members|
|Tom Smith||First District||Republican|
|Karen Goldner||Second District||Democrat|
|Tom Didier||Third District||Republican|
|Mitch Harper||Fourth District||Republican|
|Tim Pape||Fifth District||Democrat|
|Glynn A. Hines||Sixth District||Democrat|
Fort Wayne has a mayor-council government. As of April 2006, the city was exploring a voluntary government restructuring that included the possible consolidation of its government or parts of its government with Allen County. Discussions with the County have been intermittent for several years.
Fort Wayne's mayor is Democrat Tom Henry, who was sworn into office on January 1, 2008. He succeeded Democrat Graham Richard who had served since 2000. Mayor Richard chose not to run for re-election. Greg Purcell holds the position of Deputy Mayor, respectively. Fort Wayne City Council is a nine-member legislative group that serve four-year terms. Six of the members represent specific districts; three are elected city-wide as at-large council members. The council elected on November 6, 2007 will serve until December 31, 2011. Democrat Sandra Kennedy has been Fort Wayne's city clerk since 1983.
Under the Unigov provision of Indiana Law, City-County consolidation would have been automatic when Fort Wayne's population exceeded 250,000 and became a first class city in Indiana. Fort Wayne nearly met the state requirements for first class city designation in 2006 when the populous portions of Aboite Township were annexed. However, a 2004 legislative change raised the population requirements from 250,000 to 600,000, which ensured Indianapolis' status as the only first class city in Indiana.
Fort Wayne is headquarters for such corporations as Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, Centennial Wireless, DeBrand Chocolatier, Home Reserve, K&K Insurance Group, Medical Protective, North American Van Lines (SIRVA), OmniSource Corporation, Rea Magnet Wire, Scott's Food & Pharmacy, STAR Financial Group, Steel Dynamics, Sweetwater Sound, Triple Crown Services, Vera Bradley, and WaterFurnace International.
Fort Wayne is home of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), with an enrollment of 11,943, it is the fifth-largest public university campus in Indiana. The city also holds the main campus of the Northeast Region of Ivy Tech Community College, the second-largest public community college campus in Indiana. Indiana University maintains the third public higher educational facility in the city with the Fort Wayne Center for Medical Education, a branch of the IU School of Medicine.
Fort Wayne's private colleges and universities include religious-affiliates and secular institutions. Religious-affiliated schools include the University of Saint Francis (Roman Catholic), Concordia Theological Seminary (Lutheran), Taylor University Fort Wayne (Evangelical Christian), and Indiana Wesleyan University (Wesleyan Church). Non-religious colleges and universities include the Indiana Institute of Technology (IIT) as well as regional branches of Trine University, Brown Mackie College, Indiana Business College, and International Business College.
By means of private education, Roman Catholic residents of Fort Wayne and Allen County are served by the schools of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Two of the four high schools in the diocese, Bishop Dwenger High School and Bishop Luers High School, are located in Allen County along with 13 of the 39 grade schools. Lutheran Schools of Indiana operate 14 schools within Allen County, including Concordia Lutheran High School.
The John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center opened in late 2007 to hold community concerts and university events. The auditorium includes 1,600 seats, located next to Williams Theatre and the Visual Arts Building, on the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne campus. Located downtown, Cinema Center features independent, foreign, classic and documentary films.
Arts United Center, located adjacent to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, houses the Fort Wayne Civic Theater and Fort Wayne Youtheatre, with seating for 663. The Scottish Rite Center contains a 2,086-seat auditorium and a Valencia Ballroom. Foellinger Outdoor Theatre, in Franke Park near the zoo, offers seasonal acts and movies during warmer months. The Firehouse Theater, in remodeled Enginehouse #10, contains 73 seats and presents original works and classics adapted for stage.
The Historic Embassy Theatre, located across from the Grand Wayne Center, presents shows ranging from concert tours, Broadway musicals, dance, community events and lectures, serving over 200,000 patrons annually. The Embassy is also home to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. The Grand Wayne Center, though used mainly for exhibitions and conventions, also plays host to dance or choir productions, such as the annual FAME Festival (The Foundation for Art and Music in Elementary Education), which showcases local school choirs and dancers.
Fort Wayne includes a handful of museums. The Corvette Classics Museum features more than fifty restored classic Corvettes dating back to 1953. The Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum, located at Engine House #3 in downtown Fort Wayne, exhibits artifacts from the Fort Wayne Fire Department, dating back to 1839, as well as showcasing four early previously-used fire engines. The Jack D. Diehm Wildlife Museum of Natural History showcases stuffed and mounted North American wildlife animals in habitat settings. Science Central is a "hands-on" science center, located in Lawton Park just north of downtown Fort Wayne, offering children hundreds of interactive exhibits.
The African/African-American Historical Museum, which opened near downtown in 2000, contains two floors and ten exhibits relating to slavery in the United States, the Underground Railroad, African-American inventors, and the history of the local African-American community. The Fort Wayne Museum of Art, located in downtown Fort Wayne, contains of exhibition space, along with an auditorium. It was announced in May 2008 that the FWMoA would add more exhibition space and other amentities by spring 2010.
The Greater Fort Wayne Aviation Museum, located inside the Lieutenant Paul Baer Terminal at Fort Wayne International Airport, highlights aviation history in Fort Wayne, as well as memorabilia relating to historical aviation figures such as Fort Wayne's own Art Smith and World War I Ace, Paul Baer. The History Center, located in Fort Wayne's Old City Hall, manages a collection of more than 23,000 artifacts recalling the history of Fort Wayne and Allen County; the center is overseen by the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, which also maintains the Chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville House.
Fort Wayne is the current home of seven minor league sports franchises. These include the Fort Wayne Fever of soccer's Premier Development League, the Fort Wayne Flash of the National Women's Football Association, the Fort Wayne Flyers of the Minor League Football Association, the Fort Wayne Freedom of the Continental Indoor Football League, the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, and the Fort Wayne TinCaps of baseball's Midwest League. There is also a presence of intercollegiate sports in Fort Wayne — IPFW joined the NCAA's Division I Summit League in 2007.
Fort Wayne has also been home to three former professional sports franchises. These include the NBA's Fort Wayne Pistons (now in Detroit), the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and the Fort Wayne Kekiongas of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (an early predecessor to the current MLB).
Fort Wayne has also been home to a few sports firsts; the first major league baseball game was played May 4, 1871, between the Fort Wayne Kekiongas and the Cleveland Forest Citys. It was rained-out in the top of the ninth inning, with the Kekiongas ahead 2-0, though the Kekiongas franchise was sold midway through the first season. Another first, on June 2, 1883, Fort Wayne hosted the Quincy Professionals for one of the first lighted baseball games ever recorded. Fort Wayne has also been credited for being the birthplace of the NBA when Fort Wayne Pistons owner Fred Zollner brokered the merger of the BAA and the NBL in 1949 from his kitchen table.
Recently, Fort Wayne was rated the "Best Place in the Country for Minor League Sports" in a 2007 issue of Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal.
|Professional Sports in Fort Wayne|
|Fort Wayne Fever||Soccer||Premier Development League||2003||Hefner Soccer Complex||0|
|Fort Wayne Flash||Football||National Women's Football Association||2007||Bishop John M. D'Arcy Stadium||0|
|Fort Wayne Flyers||American football||Minor League Football Association||2005||Dave S. Walter Memorial Stadium||0|
|Fort Wayne Freedom||Indoor football||Continental Indoor Football League||2008||Allen County War Memorial Coliseum||0|
|Fort Wayne Komets||Hockey||International Hockey League||1952||Allen County War Memorial Coliseum||5 (IHL), 1 (UHL)|
|Fort Wayne Mad Ants||Basketball||NBA Development League||2007||Allen County War Memorial Coliseum||0|
|Fort Wayne TinCaps||Baseball||Midwest League||1993||Parkview Field||0|
The Fort Wayne radio market is the 105th-largest in the nation. Beginning broadcasting in 1925, Fort Wayne's second radio station, WOWO, is now an independent news/talk radio station, featuring local and network news talkshows. Two National Public Radio stations, WBNI and WBOI, are based in the city. Fort Wayne is served by a handful of UHF television stations as the 106th-largest media market in the nation. Broadcast network affiliates include WANE-TV (CBS), WFFT-TV (FOX), WISE-TV (NBC), WPTA (ABC), and WFWA (PBS). Religious broadcasters include WINM and W07CL. The CW Network and My Network TV also are cable-only for many Fort Wayne market viewers as they are broadcast by digital sub-channels of WPTA-TV and WISE-TV, respectively, and not broadcast on an NTSC channel.
Fort Wayne's first park (and smallest), the 0.2 acre (800 m²) Old Fort Park, was established in 1863. The newest developed park includes Buckner Park, established in 2004. Franke Park is Fort Wayne's most extensive park, at 316.4 acres (1.3 km²), also the home of the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo (ranked as the ninth best zoo in the nation by Child Magazine in 2004). Downtown Fort Wayne is home to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory and the Lawton Skatepark. As of 2007, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation maintained 84 parks and dozens of smaller community parks and playgrounds, covering 2,805 acres (8.9 km²). Allen County Parks include Cook's Landing County Park, Fox Island County Park, Metea County Park, and Payton County Park, all four of which cover nearly 900 acres (3.6 km²). Northeast of Fort Wayne, near Grabill, is Hurshtown Reservoir, the largest body of water in Allen County, at .
Fort Wayne is also making efforts in restoring natural wetlands to the region. In southwest Allen County, the Little River Wetlands Project's Eagle Marsh contains 683 acres (2.8 km²) of protected wetlands, making it the third largest wetland restoration in the state of Indiana. Nearby Arrowhead Marsh is also in the process of restoration. Many species of turtles, herons, and cranes have been reported of making a resurgence in the wetlands.
It was announced November 2007, that the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) had awarded the City of Fort Wayne nearly $1 million to aid in construction that will soon begin on a new extension of the Rivergreenway, called the Pufferbelly Trail, that will eventually link the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo in Franke Park and the northern suburbs of Fort Wayne with the rest of the trail system. The final plan includes joining Pokagon State Park near Angola, Indiana in the north, and Ouabache State Park in the south near Bluffton, Indiana.
In the spring of 2008, ABC affiliate WPTA-TV received $10,000 in seed money from the reality television series Oprah's Big Give which was then received by Aboite New Trails, Fort Wayne Trails, Greenway Consortium, and Northwest Allen Trails, four organizations in Fort Wayne. The donations topped $1 million April 12, 2008 at a community celebration named Oprah's Big Give: Fort Wayne Trails in Headwaters Park with Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy and players in attendance. On April 21, 2008, Fort Wayne was featured on a segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show in recognition for raising the most money of the ninety participating cities in the country. The final total rounded-out to $1.2 million.
Airport Expressway, a four-lane divided highway, provides direct access to Fort Wayne International Airport from Interstate 69.
Fort Wayne's mass transit system is managed by the Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corporation. Citilink provides bus service via twelve routes through the city, some stops being Georgetown, Glenbrook Square, IPFW, New Haven, and Waynedale, along with Citiloop, a trolley service offered downtown in the summer season. In 2007, Citilink served over two million passenger trips.