The West Central Neighborhood Association (WCNA) presented its 29th Annual Home & Garden Tour & West Central ArtsFest September 10 and 11, 2011. The Tour included homes and buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries to highlight historic preservation and to promote neighborhood revitalization. The Tour ran both days from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Tour featured several first-timers. The c. 1908 home at 1308 West Wayne Street presented a mix of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles, and the 1919 American Foursquare home at 1122 College Street showcased many original interior details. Other first-time showings included a charming gable-front home built in 1860 with a completely renovated interior at 807 West Jefferson Boulevard and a c. 1866 Italianate brick home at 1216 Union Street.
The Scottish Rite was built in 1914 and is a fine example of the Spanish Eclectic Style designed by local architect and Shriner Guy Mahurin. Among the Tour’s other stops were homes that display an eclectic mix of history, architectural styles, gardens, and art- and antiques-filled interiors, including the 1907 Colonial Revival Lewellen House, which the neighborhood saved years ago from demolition by moving it to its current location at 904 West Berry Street.
In addition, West Central hosts many beautiful gardens. Two of those gardens, located at 521 West Washington Boulevard and 1012 West Wayne Street, were featured.
The West Central Neighborhood was named “Best Old House Neighborhood” in Indiana for 2010 by This Old House Magazine. For more details on this award, go to http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photo/0,,20343298_20739112,00.html
The ArtsFest was the largest in the Tour’s history. Building on the success of previous years, which included the Downtown Improvement District’s award as “Best Event of 2009,” the festival was moved slightly to encompass more space along Wayne and Union streets between Jackson and Rockhill Streets. ArtsFest presented eight stage performances, including the Fort Wayne Ballet, and approximately 40 artists’ booths displaying a wide variety of fine arts and crafts.
The Mad Anthony Brewing Co. and other vendors offered food, drink, and fun to enhance the Tour and ArtsFest experience. The ArtsFest was open and free to the public.
For 29 years, the WCNA Home & Garden Tour has presented homes representing a diverse array of both history and style with no featured home appearing on the Tour more than once in at least five years. WCNA provides free carriage and pedicab rides along the Tour route as well as a full-color, souvenir Tour brochure. Proceeds from the Home and Garden Tour are used to support the West Central Neighborhood mission to preserve and renovate historic properties in the neighborhood as well as undertake projects that beautify the neighborhood.
Advance tickets were purchased at the Neuhouser nurseries, 8046 Stellhorn Road and 4605 West Jefferson Boulevard; Umber’s Do-It-Best hardware stores, 2413 Lower Huntington Road and 2814 Maplecrest Road; Antiques on Broadway, 1115 Broadway; Friends of the Third World, 611 West Wayne Street; and Bittersweet Gifts, JoAnn Plaza, 4630 Coldwater Road. The neighborhood sold tickets on the days of the Tour on the grounds of the Swinney Homestead, 1424 West Jefferson Boulevard, and at the St. Joseph Hospital parking lot on the corner of Broadway and West Wayne Street as well as at the ArtsFest.
The WCNA Home & Garden Tour was funded in part by St. Joseph Hospital. Free admission to the ArtsFest and the performances was funded in part by the Downtown Improvement District and a grant from Fort Wayne Subaru.