Fort Wayne - United StatesFort Wayne is a city in the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Allen County, United States. Located in northeastern Indiana, the city is 18 miles (29 km) west of the Ohio border and 50 miles (80 km) south of the Michigan border. With an estimated population of 264,488 in 2016, it is the second-most populous city in Indiana after Indianapolis, and the 76th-most populous city in the United States. It is the principal city of the Fort Wayne metropolitan area, consisting of Allen, Wells, and Whitley counties, a combined population of 419,453 as of 2011. In addition to the three core counties, the combined statistical area (CSA) includes Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, and Steuben counties, with an estimated population of 615,077.
Fort Wayne was built in 1794 by the United States Army under the direction of American Revolutionary War general Anthony Wayne, the last in a series of forts built near the Miami village of Kekionga. Named in Wayne's honor, the European-American settlement developed at the confluence of the St. Joseph, St. Marys, and Maumee rivers as a trading post for pioneers. The village was platted in 1823 and underwent tremendous growth after completion of the Wabash and Erie Canal and advent of the railroad. Once a booming manufacturing town located in what became known as the Rust Belt, Fort Wayne's economy in the 21st century is based upon distribution, transportation and logistics, healthcare, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and financial services. The city is a center for the defense industry which employs thousands.
Fort Wayne was an All-America City Award recipient in 1982, 1998, and 2009. The city also received an Outstanding Achievement City Livability Award by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1999.
In 1790, after the United States achieved independence, President George Washington ordered the United States Army to secure Indiana Territory. Three battles were fought at Kekionga against Little Turtle and the Miami Confederacy. Miami warriors defeated U.S. forces in the first two battles. General Anthony Wayne led a third expedition resulting in the destruction of Kekionga and the start of peace negotiations between Little Turtle and the U.S. After General Wayne refused to negotiate, tribal forces advanced to Fallen Timbers, where they were defeated on August 20, 1794. On October 22, 1794, U.S. forces captured the Wabash–Erie portage from the Miami Confederacy and built Fort Wayne, named in honor of the general.
The 1990s marked a turnaround for the city, as local leaders focused on crime reduction, economic diversification, and downtown redevelopment. By 1999, Fort Wayne's crime rate decreased to levels not seen since 1974, and the city's economy recovered, with the unemployment rate hovering at 2.4 percent in 1998. Clearing blighted buildings downtown resulted in new public greenspaces, including Headwaters Park, which has become the premier community gathering space and centerpiece in the city's $50 million flood control project. Fort Wayne celebrated its bicentennial in 1994.
The city continued to concentrate on downtown redevelopment and investment in the 2000s. The decade saw the beginnings of its transformation, with renovations and expansions of the Allen County Public Library, Grand Wayne Convention Center, and Fort Wayne Museum of Art. In 2007, the $130 million Harrison Square development was launched, creating Parkview Field. Suburban growth continued, with the opening of Fort Wayne's first lifestyle center, Jefferson Pointe, and the half-billion dollar Parkview Regional Medical Center in 2012.
Modern and Postmodern architecture can be found in buildings constructed during the second half of the 20th century in Fort Wayne. The John D. Haynes House (1952) was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, while the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary (1953) was designed by Eero Saarinen. Postmodern architect Michael Graves' first commissions were built in the city, including Hanselmann House (1967) and Snyderman House (1972, now demolished). Louis Kahn's design for the Arts United Center (1973) was inspired by a violin and its case. Other notable buildings include Indiana Michigan Power Center (1982), the tallest building in the city and tallest building in Indiana outside of Indianapolis, at 442 feet (135 m).
Manufacturing is deeply rooted in Fort Wayne's economic history, dating to the earliest days of the city's growth as an important trade stop along the Wabash and Erie Canal. Railroads, introduced shortly after the canal's arrival, eased travel from Fort Wayne to other booming industrial centers along the Great Lakes, such as Chicago, Detroit, Toledo, and Cleveland. Throughout the early and mid-20th century, manufacturing dominated the city's economic landscape. From 1900 to 1930, Fort Wayne's industrial output expanded by 747 percent, with total production valued at $95 million in 1929, up from $11 million in 1899. The total workforce also increased from 18,000 in 1900 to nearly 50,000 in 1930.
Companies that had a significant presence in the city include Dana Holding Corporation, Falstaff Brewing Corporation, Fruehauf Corporation, General Electric, International Harvester, Magnavox, Old Crown Brewing Corporation, and Tokheim, among several others, producing goods such as refrigerators, washing machines, automatic phonographs, meat packing products, televisions, garbage disposals, automotive parts and motors, trailers, gasoline pumps, trucks, beer, tents and awnings. Magnet wire production became an especially vital component to the city's economy. In 1960, Fort Wayne was at the center of the United States magnet wire industry, home to New Haven Wire and Cable Company, Phelps Dodge, Rea Magnet Wire, Superior Essex, and an operation at General Electric, producing nearly 90 percent of North America's magnet wire.
Fort4Fitness is a certified half marathon, 4-mile (6.4 km) run/walk, and health fair. Over 9,000 participated in the 2011 half marathon. In 2012, Fort4Fitness debuted a spring cycle, Bike-the-Fort, which included three bicycling tours with over 1,000 participants. HolidayFest begins with the Night of Lights on Thanksgiving eve, with the lighting of the PNC Santa and Reindeer, Wells Fargo Holiday Display, and Indiana Michigan Power Christmas Wreath, ending with a fireworks finale at Parkview Field.
The largest annual events in the city are the Johnny Appleseed Festival and the Three Rivers Festival. The Johnny Appleseed Festival draws 300,000 visitors. The festival is held at Johnny Appleseed Park, where American folklore legend John Chapman is believed to be buried. Apple-themed cuisine, crafts, and historical demonstrations recalling 19th century American pioneering are among some of the festival's events. Three Rivers Festival, a celebration of Fort Wayne, spans nine days each July, attracting 400,000 visitors. Three Rivers features over 200 events, including a parade, midway, hot dog eating contest, bed race, raft race, arts fair, and fireworks spectacular. Other annual events include the Allen County Fair, BAALS Music Festival, National Soccer Festival, and the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.
Fort Wayne is home to Indiana's fifth largest public university, Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), enrolling 13,459 students. IPFW is home to the Fort Wayne Center for Medical Education, a branch of the Indiana University School of Medicine. At the end of the 2017–18 school year, IPFW will split into two separate institutions. Indiana University will take over IPFW's academic programs in health sciences under the identity of Indiana University Fort Wayne. All other academic programs will be exclusive to the Purdue University system as Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana also contains two campuses in the city. Three private universities are located in the city, including Concordia Theological Seminary, Indiana Institute of Technology, and the University of Saint Francis. Private universities with regional branches in Fort Wayne include Crossroads Bible College, Grace College and Theological Seminary, Huntington University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Manchester University College of Pharmacy, and Trine University. For-profit institutions include Harrison College and International Business College.