Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Coordinates: 41°04′49.62″N85°08′20.94″W / 41.0804500°N 85.1391500°W / 41.0804500; -85.1391500

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Fort Wayne, Indiana
City of Fort Wayne
Downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana Skyline from Old Fort, May 2014.jpg
Historic Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, Indiana, May 2014.jpg
Chief Richardville House 5705 Bluffton Road Fort Wayne.JPG
Historic Embassy Theatre and Indiana Hotel 4.jpg
Johnny Appleseed Grave.jpg
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge, Fort Wayne, Indiana.jpg
Clockwise from top: Downtown Fort Wayne skyline, Chief Jean-Baptiste de Richardville House, John Chapman's grave in Johnny Appleseed Park, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge, Embassy Theatre, and Historic Fort Wayne.
Seal of the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana.png
"Summit City"; [1] "City of Churches"; [2] "City That Saved Itself"; [3] [4] "Magnet Wire Capital of the World" [5] [6]
Allen County Indiana Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Fort Wayne Highlighted 1825000.svg
Location of Fort Wayne in Allen County, Indiana.
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
Location of Fort Wayne in the United States
Coordinates: 41°04′50″N85°08′21″W / 41.08056°N 85.13917°W / 41.08056; -85.13917
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States
StateFlag of Indiana.svg  Indiana
County Allen
Townships Aboite, Adams, Perry, Pleasant, St. Joseph, Washington, Wayne
FoundingOctober 22, 1794
Incorporated (town) January 3, 1829
Incorporated (city) February 22, 1840
Founded by Jean François Hamtramck
Named for Anthony Wayne
  Type Mayor–council
  Mayor Tom Henry (D)
   City Council
   State House
   State Senate
   City 110.84 sq mi (287.07 km2)
  Land110.63 sq mi (286.52 km2)
  Water0.21 sq mi (0.55 km2)
135.25 sq mi (350.3 km2)
1,368 sq mi (3,540 km2)
810 ft (247 m)
 (2010) [8]
   City 253,691
(2018) [9]
  RankUS: 78th
  Density2,390.79/sq mi (923.09/km2)
313,492 (US: 119th)
419,453 (US: 122nd)
615,077 (US: 77th)
Time zone UTC−05:00 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
Area code(s) 260
FIPS code 18-25000
GNIS feature ID0434689 [10]

Fort Wayne is a city in the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Allen County, United States. [11] Located in northeastern Indiana, the city is 18 miles (29 km) west of the Ohio border [12] and 50 miles (80 km) south of the Michigan border. [13] With a population of 253,691 in the 2010 census, it is the second-most populous city in Indiana after Indianapolis, and the 75th-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. Fort Wayne is the cultural and economic center of northeastern Indiana. The city is within a 300-mile (482.803 km) radius of major population centers, including Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville, Lexington, and Milwaukee. [14] 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. [14]

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.

Indiana state of the United States of America

Indiana is a U.S. state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 38th-largest by area and the 17th-most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U.S. state on December 11, 1816. Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south and southeast, and Illinois to the west.

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.

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. [15] 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. [16] The village was platted in 1823 and underwent tremendous growth after completion of the Wabash and Erie Canal and advent of the railroad. [16] 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. [17] The city is a center for the defense industry which employs thousands. [18] There are also many jobs through local healthcare providers Parkview Health and Lutheran Health Network.

Fort Wayne (fort) military facility

Fort Wayne, situated on a portion of what is now Fort Wayne, Indiana, was a series of three successive military log stockades (forts) existing between 1794 and 1819 in the Miami Indian village of Kekionga on the portage between the St. Mary's and St. Joseph Rivers in northeastern Indiana near the Ohio border. The first fort with that name was built in 1794 by Captain Jean François Hamtramck under orders from General "Mad" Anthony Wayne as part of the campaign against the Miami Indians during the Northwest Indian War. It was named after General Wayne, who was victorious at the just prior Battle of Fallen Timbers. Wayne may have chosen the name himself—the fort was dedicated the day after he left it. The fort was officially occupied by the army on October 21, 1794. The fort was a basic stockade with few buildings, and was located near the present intersection of Berry and Clay streets.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was a war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence in July 1776 as the United States of America.

Fort Wayne was an All-America City Award recipient in 1982, 1998, and 2009. [19] The city also received an Outstanding Achievement City Livability Award by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1999. [20]

All-America City Award

The All-America City Award is a community recognition program in the United States given by the National Civic League. The award recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and nonprofit and government leaders. Once called the “Nobel Prize for Constructive Citizenship” – it has been awarded to more than 500 communities across the country. The award is open to all American communities ranging from major cities and regions to towns, villages, counties, neighborhoods and tribes.


Early history

Native Americans and New France

An illustrated map of Kekionga (1790). Map of Kekionga.jpg
An illustrated map of Kekionga (1790).
Little Turtle Little Turtle.jpg
Little Turtle
Anthony Wayne Anthony-wayne.png
Anthony Wayne

This area at the confluence of rivers was long occupied by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. The Miami tribe established its settlement of Kekionga at the confluence of the Maumee, St. Joseph, and St. Marys rivers. It was the capital of the Miami nation and related Algonquian tribes. [lower-alpha 1]

Indigenous peoples Ethnic group descended from and identified with the original inhabitants of a given region

Indigenous peoples, also known as First peoples, Aboriginal peoples or Native peoples, are ethnic groups who are the original owners and caretakers of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently. Groups are usually described as indigenous when they maintain traditions or other aspects of an early culture that is associated with a given region. Not all indigenous peoples share this characteristic, as many have adopted substantial elements of a colonizing culture, such as dress, religion or language. Indigenous peoples may be settled in a given region (sedentary) or exhibit a nomadic lifestyle across a large territory, but they are generally historically associated with a specific territory on which they depend. Indigenous societies are found in every inhabited climate zone and continent of the world.

Kekionga also known as Kiskakon or Pacan's Village, was the capital of the Miami tribe. It was located at the confluence of the Saint Joseph, Saint Marys and Maumee rivers on the western edge of the Great Black Swamp in present-day Indiana. Over their respective decades of influence from colonial times to after the American Revolution and Northwest Indian Wars, the French, British and Americans all established trading posts and forts at the large village, as it was located on an important portage connecting Lake Erie to the Wabash and Mississippi rivers. The European-American town of Fort Wayne, Indiana started as a settlement around the American Fort Wayne stockade after the War of 1812.

Maumee River river in Indiana and Ohio, United States

The Maumee River is a river running from northeastern Indiana into northwestern Ohio and Lake Erie in the United States. It is formed at the confluence of the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers, where Fort Wayne, Indiana, has developed, and meanders northeastwardly for 137 miles (220 km) through an agricultural region of glacial moraines before flowing into the Maumee Bay of Lake Erie. The city of Toledo is located at the mouth of the Maumee. The Maumee was designated an Ohio State Scenic River on July 18, 1974. The Maumee watershed is Ohio’s breadbasket; it is two-thirds farmland, mostly corn and soybeans. It is the largest watershed of any of the rivers feeding the Great Lakes, and supplies five percent of Lake Erie’s water.

In 1696, Comte de Frontenac appointed Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes as commander of the outpost. [23] The French built Fort Miami in 1697 as part of a group of forts and trading posts built between Quebec and St. Louis. In 1721, a few years after Bissot's death, Fort Miami was replaced by Fort St. Philippe des Miamis. [24] The first census in 1744 recorded a population of approximately 40 Frenchmen and 1,000 Miami. [24]

Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, was a Canadian soldier, explorer, and friend to the Miami Nation. He spent a number of years at the end of his life as an agent of New France among the Miami.

Fort Miami (Indiana)

Fort Miami, originally called Fort St. Philippe or Fort des Miamis, was the name of a pair of French palisade forts built at Kekionga, a large Miami Indian village founded where the St. Joseph River and St. Marys River merge to form the Maumee River in northeastern Indiana, near the Ohio border.

Quebec Province of Canada

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the US states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada.

British control

Increasing tension between France and Great Britain developed over control of the territory. In 1760, France ceded the area to Britain after its forces in North America surrendered during the Seven Years' War, known on the North American front as the French and Indian War. 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, ruling it for more than 30 years. [24]

US battles Native Americans for land in Fort Wayne

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. [25]

Settlement permitted by Treaty of St. Mary's

An illustration depicting the 1812 military garrison. Fort Wayne in 1812.gif
An illustration depicting the 1812 military garrison.

The first settlement started in 1815. In 1819, the military garrison abandoned the fort and moved to Detroit. In 1822, a federal land office opened to sell land ceded by local Native Americans by the Treaty of St. Mary's in 1818. [26] Platted in 1823 at the Ewing Tavern, the village became an important frontier outpost, and was incorporated as the Town of Fort Wayne in 1829, with a population of 300. [27] [28] The Wabash and Erie Canal's opening improved travel conditions to the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, exposing Fort Wayne to expanded economic opportunities. The population topped 2,000 when the town was incorporated as the City of Fort Wayne on February 22, 1840. [29] Pioneer newspaperman George W. Wood was elected the city's first mayor. Fort Wayne's "Summit City" nickname dates from this period, referring to the city's position at the highest elevation along the canal's route. [16] As influential as the canal was to the city's earliest development, it quickly became obsolete after briefly competing with the city's first railroad, the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway, completed in 1854. [30]

Modern history

A lithograph of Fort Wayne (1868). FortWayneIN 1868.jpg
A lithograph of Fort Wayne (1868).

At the turn of the 20th century, the city's population reached nearly 50,000, attributed to a large influx of German and Irish immigrants. Fort Wayne's "urban working class" thrived in industrial and railroad-related jobs. [31] The city's economy was substantially based on manufacturing, ushering in an era of innovation with several notable inventions and developments coming out of the city over the years, such as gasoline pumps (1885), the refrigerator (1913), and in 1972, the first home video game console. [32] [33] A 1913 flood caused seven deaths, left 15,000 homeless, and damaged over 5,500 buildings in the worst natural disaster in the city's history. [34]

As the automobile's prevalence grew, Fort Wayne became a fixture on the Lincoln Highway. [35] Aviation arrived in 1919 with the opening of the city's first airport, Smith Field. The airport served as Fort Wayne's primary commercial airfield until Baer Field (now Fort Wayne International Airport) was transferred to the city in 1947 after serving as a military base during World War II. [36]

The Lincoln Bank Tower was completed as Indiana's tallest building in 1930. Lincoln Tower by night, Fort Wayne, Ind (71527).jpg
The Lincoln Bank Tower was completed as Indiana's tallest building in 1930.

Fort Wayne was hit by the Great Depression beginning in 1929, with most factories cutting their workforce. [37] The stock market crash did not discourage plans to build the city's first skyscraper and Indiana's tallest building at the time, the Lincoln Bank Tower. [38] By 1935, the New Deal's WPA put over 7,000 residents back to work through local infrastructure improvements, including the construction of new parks, bridges, viaducts, and a $5.2 million sewage treatment facility. [39]

The post-World War II economic boom helped the city prosper once again. Between 1950 and 1955, more than 5,000 homes were built, many in large subdivisions in rural Allen County. [40] In 1950, Fort Wayne's first bypass, Coliseum Boulevard, opened on the north side of the city, followed by the city's first arena, War Memorial Coliseum, bringing new opportunities for suburban expansion. [41] The Coliseum was home to the NBA's Fort Wayne Pistons from 1952 to 1957. The opening of enclosed shopping malls and the construction of Interstate 69 through rural areas north and west of the city proper further drove the exodus of retail from downtown through the 1960s. [42] According to the Fort Wayne Home Builders Association estimates, more than 80 percent of new home construction occurred outside the city proper in the 1970s. [43]

A flooded Superior Street in 1982. Fort Wayne flood 1982.jpg
A flooded Superior Street in 1982.

Like many cities in the Rust Belt, deindustrialization in the 1980s brought urban blight, increased crime, and a decrease in blue-collar manufacturing jobs. [44] Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods continued declining as residents and businesses sprawled further into rural Allen County. [45] A 1982 flood forced an evacuation of 9,000 residents, damaging 2,000 buildings, and costing $56.1 million (1982 USD, $137 million 2015 USD). [46] [47]

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. [48] 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. [49] [50]

The city continued to concentrate on downtown redevelopment and investment in the 2000s. [51] 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. [52] 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. [53]


Fort Wayne is in the East North Central region of the Midwestern United States, in northeastern Indiana, 18 miles (29 km) west of Ohio and 50 miles (80 km) south of Michigan. According to the 2010 census, Fort Wayne has a total area of 110.834 square miles (287.06 km2), of which 110.62 square miles (286.50 km2) (or 99.81%) is land and 0.214 square miles (0.55 km2) (or 0.19%) is water. [54]


The St. Marys River (left) and St. Joseph River (right) converge to form the Maumee River (foreground). Three Rivers, Fort Wayne, Indiana.JPG
The St. Marys River (left) and St. Joseph River (right) converge to form the Maumee River (foreground).

For a regional summit, the city is situated on flat land characterized by little topographical relief, a result of the Wisconsin glaciation episode. [55] Receding glaciers eroded the land, depositing an evenly distributed layer of sediment during the last glacial period. The most distinguishable topographical feature is Cedar Creek Canyon, just north of the city proper near Huntertown. [55] The Fort Wayne Moraine follows two of the city's three rivers: the St. Marys and St. Joseph. The two rivers converge to form the Maumee, which eventually empties into Lake Erie. Land east of the moraine includes the former Great Black Swamp, a lacustrine plain formed by Glacial Lake Maumee. The Little River flows southwest of Fort Wayne, a tributary of the Wabash River, and remnant of the Maumee Torrent. The city lies along the St. Lawrence Continental Divide which separates the Great Lakes Basin from the Gulf of Mexico watershed.

The most important geographical feature of the area is the short distance overland between the Three Rivers system, which eventually flows to the Atlantic, and the Wabash system, which eventually flows to the Gulf of Mexico. This came to be the "portage" or carrying place, over which travelers could transport their cargoes from one system to the next. This natural crossroads attracted the Native Americans for thousands of years. It later attracted the European explorers and traders and the American pioneer settlers who continued to develop the area as a transportation and communications center. Chief Little Turtle of the Miami Nation expressed its importance eloquently at the treaty of Greenville in 1795 when he called it "that glorious gate...through which all the words of our chiefs had to pass through from north to south and from east to west."

Fort Wayne's urban tree canopy is 29 percent, double the state average of 14.5 percent [56] and above the national average of 27.1 percent. [57] The canopy is decreasing, notably from development and the emerald ash borer infestation. [56] Fort Wayne has been designated a Tree City USA since 1990. [58]


Downtown Fort Wayne, looking south from the St. Marys River. Downtown Fort Wayne Panorama2.JPG
Downtown Fort Wayne, looking south from the St. Marys River.

Historically, Fort Wayne has been divided into four unofficial quadrants: northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest. Calhoun Street divides the southwest and southeast, while the St. Joseph River divides the northwest and northeast quadrants. The Maumee River separates the northeast and southeast, while portions of the St. Marys River and Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad separate the northwest and southwest quadrants. [59]

Fort Wayne's early-20th century development was influenced by the City Beautiful movement and centered on a "park and boulevard plan" conceived by urban planner Charles Mulford Robinson in 1909 and finalized by landscape architect George Kessler in 1912. The master plan proposed a network of parkways and boulevards connecting the city's three rivers and Spy Run Creek to dozens of neighborhoods and parks. Several parks were designed by noted landscape architect Arthur Asahel Shurcliff. Much of the original plan was implemented by 1955. In 2010, the Fort Wayne Park and Boulevard System was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, consisting of 11 public parks, four parkways, and ten boulevards, covering 1,883 acres (762 ha). [60] [61]


Cortes del Condado de Allen, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Estados Unidos, 2012-11-12, DD 01.jpg
USA-Allen County Courthouse 7697.JPG
The Allen County Courthouse was completed in 1902 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.

During the 19th century, Fort Wayne was dominated by Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, and Italianate architecture. Examples of Greek Revival architecture remain in the city, with one being the Richardville House (1827), a National Historic Landmark. Gothic and Gothic Revival architecture can be found in some of the city's most prominent churches, including Trinity English Lutheran Church (1846), Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (1860), Trinity Episcopal Church (1865), and Saint Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church (1889). [62]

Popular early-20th century architectural styles found in the city include Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque, Neoclassical, Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Prairie, American Craftsman, American Foursquare, and Art Deco. Richardsonian Romanesque buildings include Fort Wayne City Hall (1893) and John H. Bass Mansion (1902), each designed by Wing & Mahurin. Notable examples of Neoclassical architecture include the Masonic Temple (1926) and North Side High School (1927). Beaux-Arts, an architectural style closely related to Neoclassical, gained popularity during the City Beautiful movement of the 1890s and early 1900s, which is reflected in the Allen County Courthouse (1902). [62] The Allen County Courthouse is one of two National Historic Landmarks in the city. The Pennsylvania Railroad Station, also known as Baker Street Station (1914), was designed in American Craftsman style. At 312 feet (95 m), the Art Deco-style Lincoln Bank Tower was Fort Wayne's first high-rise and Indiana's tallest building from 1930 to 1962. [62] The E. Ross Adair Federal Building and United States Courthouse (1932) is another example of Art Deco architecture. Williams–Woodland Park Historic District includes examples of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival residential homes, [63] while the Forest Park Boulevard Historic District includes Tudor Revival homes. [62]

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). [64] Louis Kahn's design for the Arts United Center (1973) was inspired by a violin and its case. [65] 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). [66]


The Oakdale neighborhood after a January snow. Oakdale west from Wayne.jpg
The Oakdale neighborhood after a January snow.

Fort Wayne lies in the humid continental climate zone (Köppen: Dfa), experiencing four distinct seasons. [67] The city is located in USDA hardiness zones 5b and 6a. [68] Typically, summers are hot, humid, and wet. Winters are generally cold with moderate snowfall. The average annual precipitation is 37.34 in (948 mm), recorded at Fort Wayne International Airport. During the winter season, snowfall accumulation averages 33.5 in (85 cm) per year. Lake-effect snow is not uncommon to the region, but usually appears in the form of light snow flurries.

The National Weather Service reports the highest recorded temperature in the city at 106 °F (41 °C), most recently on June 28, 2012, and the lowest recorded temperature at −24 °F (−31 °C) on January 12, 1918. [69] The wettest month on record was June 2015, with 11.98 in (304 mm) of precipitation. [70] The greatest 24-hour rainfall was 4.93 in (125 mm) on August 1, 1926. The snowiest month on record was January 2014, with 30.3 in (77 cm) of snowfall. [71] The greatest calendar-day snowfall was 18.0 in (46 cm) on February 28, 1900. [72]

Severe weather is not uncommon, particularly in the spring and summer months; the city experiences an average of 39 thunderstorm days and about 10 severe weather days annually. [73] An EF2 tornado struck northern Fort Wayne on May 26, 2001, injuring three and causing damage along the Coliseum Boulevard corridor and a subdivision. [74] Fort Wayne experienced 91 mph (146 km/h) wind gusts in the June 2012 North American derecho, knocking out power to 78,000, uprooting approximately 500 trees, [75] and costing $2.5 million. [76]

Climate data for Fort Wayne, Indiana (Fort Wayne Int'l), 1981–2010 normals, [lower-alpha 2] extremes 1897–present
Record high °F (°C)69
Mean maximum °F (°C)53.5
Average high °F (°C)32.4
Average low °F (°C)17.4
Mean minimum °F (°C)−4.5
Record low °F (°C)−24
Average precipitation inches (mm)2.26
Average snowfall inches (cm)10.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)12.610.112.212.913.
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)
Average relative humidity (%)75.774.371.766.265.566.369.473.373.271.576.078.971.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 148.5158.5206.3251.4311.9340.0347.0318.2258.1207.6124.2108.22,779.9
Percent possible sunshine 50535663697576756960423862
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990) [77] [78] [79]


Historical population
1850 4,282
1860 10,388142.6%
1870 17,71870.6%
1880 26,88051.7%
1890 35,39331.7%
1900 45,11527.5%
1910 63,93341.7%
1920 86,54935.4%
1930 114,94632.8%
1940 118,4103.0%
1950 133,60712.8%
1960 161,77621.1%
1970 178,26910.2%
1980 172,196−3.4%
1990 173,0720.5%
2000 205,72718.9%
2010 253,69123.3%
Est. 2018267,633 [9] 5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census [80]
2014 Estimate [8]
Map of racial distribution in Fort Wayne, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or Other (yellow) Race and ethnicity Fort Wayne.png
Map of racial distribution in Fort Wayne, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or Other (yellow)

According to the 2010 Census, there were 420,690 people and 113,541 households. The racial makeup of the city is 73.62% White, 15.41% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American or Alaska Native, 3.3% Asian (1.4% Burmese, 0.4% Indian, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.2% Chinese, 0.2% Filipino, 0.1% Korean, 0.1% Laotian, 0.1% Thai), 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.72% from other races, and 3.52% from two or more races. 7.96% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the Hispanic population, 6.1% are Mexican, 0.4% Puerto Rican, and 0.3% Guatemalan. [81] Non-Hispanic Whites were 70.3% of the population in 2010, [82] down from 87.7% in 1970. [83]

There were 101,585 households of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.3% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.0% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.09.

The median age in the city was 34.5 years. 26.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.9% were from 45 to 64; and 12% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.

Fort Wayne has the largest Burmese American population in the U.S., estimated at 6,000. [84] Burmese refugee settlement and "secondary migrants" doubled the city's Asian population between 2000 and 2010. [85]


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne, Indiana.jpg
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Fort Wayne is sometimes referred to as the "City of Churches,"[ by whom? ] an unofficial moniker dating to the late-19th century when the city was the regional hub of Catholic, Lutheran, and Episcopal faiths. [86] Today, there are 360 churches in the city. [87] 54 percent of Fort Wayne residents identify as religious, where 16 percent are Catholic, 9 percent are Lutheran, 6.5 percent are Baptist, 5 percent are Methodist, and 0.14 percent are Jewish, with 16.5 percent adhering to other Christian faiths. [88] An increasing religious minority is found among the city's immigrant communities, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. [89]

Major churches include the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Saint Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church and Trinity Episcopal Church. Fort Wayne's Reform Judaism population is served by Congregation Achduth Vesholom, the oldest Jewish congregation in Indiana, founded in 1848. [90] In 2013, construction began on the first Burmese Muslim mosque to be built worldwide since the mid-1970s. [91]

As of December 2012, four national Christian denominations were headquartered in the city: the American Association of Lutheran Churches, the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association, the Missionary Church and the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches. Fort Wayne is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend, covering 14 counties in Northern Indiana, and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Indiana District, encompassing all of Indiana and north central Kentucky.


General Electric, Fort Wayne, Indiana.JPG
General Electric Sign, Fort Wayne, Indiana.JPG
The vacant General Electric complex consists of 30 acres (12 ha) and 12 buildings. [92]

In 2017, the Fort Wayne metropolitan area had a gross domestic product (GDP) of $25.7 billion. The top four industries were: manufacturing ($8.1B), health care ($2.54B), retail trade ($1.4B), and finance and insurance ($1.3B) Government, if it had been a private industry, would have tied for third, generating $1.4 billion. [93]

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. [94] The total workforce also increased from 18,000 in 1900 to nearly 50,000 in 1930. [94]

Companies that had a significant presence in the city include Dana Holding Corporation, Falstaff Brewing Corporation, [95] 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. [96] 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. [97]

Abraham Lincoln: The Hoosier Youth stands in front of Lincoln Financial Group's downtown offices. Manship's Lincoln 1.jpg
Abraham Lincoln: The Hoosier Youth stands in front of Lincoln Financial Group's downtown offices.

The 1970s and 1980s were times of economic depression in Fort Wayne, when much of the city's manufacturing foundation eroded and the blue-collar workforce shrank. Fort Wayne joined several other cities reeling economically within the Rust Belt. [98] At the same time, General Electric also downsized much of its more than 10,000-person workforce. [99] Amid other area plant closures and downsizing, coupled with the early 1980s recession, the city lost 30,000 jobs and reached a 12.1 percent unemployment rate. [100] The arrival of General Motors in 1987 helped fill the void from shuttered manufacturers and aided in the area's recovery, employing 3,000 at its Fort Wayne Assembly. [101] In 2017, General Motors was the largest manufacturer in the city, employing 4,100 assembling Chevrolet Silverado regular and double cab light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks. [102]

Through the 1990s and into the 2000s, the city diversified its economy; manufacturing now employs 16.9 percent of Allen County's workforce. [17] Other sectors include distribution, transportation, and logistics (23.1 percent), health care (17.9 percent), professional and business services (12.1 percent), leisure and hospitality (11.1 percent), and financial services (6.3 percent). [17] The leisure and hospitality sector has especially grown, with 5.8 million visitors spending $545 million in 2013, a 4.3 percent increase over the previous year. [103] The city is a center for the defense industry, employing thousands at such companies as BAE Systems (1,150), Harris Corporation (888), Raytheon Systems (950), and the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Station (423). [18]

Despite economic diversification, the city was significantly impacted by the Great Recession. According to a report from Pew Research Center, the city lost nearly a quarter of its manufacturing jobs and 11% of its economic status between 2000 and 2014. [104] Economic Innovation Group's 2016 Distressed Communities Index Report ranked Fort Wayne among the most unequal large cities in the U.S. in terms of linking economic opportunities to its distressed zip codes. As of 2017, Allen County's labor force was 180,637 with an unemployment rate of 2.5 percent. [17] [105]

Companies based in Fort Wayne include Brotherhood Mutual, Do it Best, Franklin Electric, Frontier Communications – Central Region, [106] Genteq, Indiana Michigan Power, K&K Insurance, MedPro Group, North American Van Lines, Rea Magnet Wire, Steel Dynamics, Sweetwater Sound, and Vera Bradley. Steel Dynamics is the only Fortune 500 company headquartered in the city, ranking 354th. [107] Founded in 1905, Lincoln Financial Group was based in Fort Wayne until its move to suburban Philadelphia in 1999. [108] The company maintains a large presence in the city, employing nearly 2,000. [109]


Performing arts

The Embassy Theatre opened in 1928 as a movie palace. Historic Embassy Theatre and Indiana Hotel.jpg
The Embassy Theatre opened in 1928 as a movie palace.

The Embassy Theatre is a 2,471-seat performing arts theater which hosts over 200,000 patrons annually. [110] Since its founding in 1944, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra has often been hosted at the Embassy. [111] The University of Saint Francis Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center, located on its Downtown Campus, contains a 2,086-seat auditorium. [112]

Since its establishment in 2010, the Cultural District has been home to several of the city's cultural institutions, including the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Auer Center for Arts and Culture, Arts United Center, and Hall Community Arts Center. [113] Arts United Center houses the Fort Wayne Civic Theater, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, and Fort Wayne Youtheatre. Auer Center for Arts and Culture houses Fort Wayne Ballet. Hall Community Arts Center houses Cinema Center, an independent film venue.

Though used mainly for exhibitions and conventions, the Grand Wayne Convention Center hosts dance and choir productions, such as the annual Foundation for Art and Music in Education (FAME) Northeast Festival. [114] Foellinger Theatre, a 2,500-seat amphitheater in Franke Park, hosts seasonal acts and outdoor concerts during warmer months. [115] Located west of downtown, Arena Dinner Theatre is a nonprofit community arts corporation with a focus on live theater production, annually hosting seven full-length theatrical productions. [116]


Science Central opened in the city's former municipal power plant in 1995. Science Central Building.jpg
Science Central opened in the city's former municipal power plant in 1995.
A reticulated giraffe in the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo's African Journey exhibit. Reticulated Giraffe at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, Fort Wayne, IN.jpg
A reticulated giraffe in the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo's African Journey exhibit.

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo has been lauded as one of the nation's foremost zoos. [117] [118] Covering 40 acres (16 ha) and containing 1,000 animals of 200 different species, the zoo is the largest regional attraction, regularly drawing over 500,000 visitors annually. [119] [120] The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory gardens cover 24,500-square-foot (2,280 m2), displaying over 1,200 plants of 502 different species and 72 types of cacti. [121] Science Central, an interactive science center, contains permanent displays and temporary exhibits, drawing 130,000 visitors annually. [122]

Established in 1921, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art (FWMoA) is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, specializing in the collection and exhibition of American art. [123] The FWMoA annually receives 100,000 visitors. [124]

The History Center, located in Fort Wayne's Old City Hall, manages a collection of more than 23,000 artifacts recalling the region's history. [125] The center is overseen by the Allen County–Fort Wayne Historical Society, which maintains the Richardville House, one of two National Historic Landmarks in the city. Historic Fort Wayne, a replica of the 1815 fortification, hosts scheduled tours and historical reenactments throughout the year. [126] Other cultural museums include the African/African–American Historical Museum, [127] Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum, [128] Greater Fort Wayne Aviation Museum, [129] and Baer Field Heritage Air Park.

The Allen County Public Library's Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department is the second-largest genealogy collection in North America. [130] The collection contains 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items of microfilm and microfiche. [131]

Festivals and events

A concert during the 42nd Three Rivers Festival in 2010. Downstait 2010-07-10 1.JPG
A concert during the 42nd Three Rivers Festival in 2010.

The city hosts a variety of cultural festivals and events annually. Festivals commemorating ethnic food, dance, music, and art include Germanfest, [132] Greek Festival, and Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. [133] Initiated in 1997, Fort Wayne Pride celebrates northeast Indiana's LGBTQ community. [134] BBQ RibFest showcases barbecue rib cooks and live entertainment, attracting 40,000 visitors annually. [135]

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. [136] In 2012, Fort4Fitness debuted a spring cycle, Bike-the-Fort, which included three bicycling tours with over 1,000 participants. [137] 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. [138]

The largest annual events in the city are the Johnny Appleseed Festival, Taste of the Arts, Middlewaves 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. [139] Apple-themed cuisine, crafts, and historical demonstrations recalling 19th century American pioneering are among some of the festival's events. [140] Three Rivers Festival, a celebration of Fort Wayne, spans nine days each July, attracting 400,000 visitors. [141] 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, [142] BAALS Music Festival, National Soccer Festival, [143] [144] and the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. [145]


Fort Wayne is home to three minor league sports franchises: the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets, the Midwest League's Fort Wayne TinCaps, and the NBA G League's Fort Wayne Mad Ants who are owned and operated by their parent club, the Indiana Pacers. Fort Wayne also hosts the Fort Wayne Derby Girls of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Division 2. These teams compete at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Parkview Field is home to the TinCaps. Intercollegiate sports in the city include the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons, representing Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW) in the NCAA's Division I Summit League, and NAIA schools Indiana Tech (Wolverine–Hoosier Athletic Conference) and University of Saint Francis (Crossroads League and Mid-States Football Association). The Mastodons had represented Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) prior to its 2018 split into two separate institutions (see below), and from 2016 to 2018 were branded as the Fort Wayne Mastodons, but the athletic brand was changed to "Purdue Fort Wayne" shortly before the split took effect. [146]

The city has been home to other professional sports franchises, including the National Basketball Association's Fort Wayne Pistons (which moved to Detroit in 1957), 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 (precursor to Major League Baseball).

Some notable events in sports history occurred in Fort Wayne. On June 2, 1883, Fort Wayne hosted the Quincy Professionals for one of the first lighted evening baseball games ever recorded. [147] Fort Wayne is also credited as the birthplace of the NBA, as Pistons' coach Carl Bennett brokered the merger of the BAA and the NBL in 1948 from his Alexander Street home. [148] [149] [150] On March 10, 1961, Wilt Chamberlain became the first player in the NBA to reach 3,000 points in a single season while competing at the War Memorial Coliseum. [148] [151]

Parks and recreation

Tulips bloom in Foster Park. Foster Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana, May 2014.jpg
Tulips bloom in Foster Park.

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation maintains 86 public parks totaling 2,805 acres (1,135 ha). [87] Three public and 20 private golf courses are located in Allen County. [152] Franke Park is the most extensive city park, covering 339.24 acres (137.3 ha). [153] Franke is home to the Foellinger Theatre, Shoaff Lake, and the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. Other notable parks include Johnny Appleseed Park (home to a campground and John Chapman's grave) and McCulloch Park (home to Samuel Bigger's grave). Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Headwaters Park, Lawton Skatepark, and Historic Fort Wayne are located downtown. Hurshtown Reservoir, near Grabill, is the largest body of water in Allen County and is popular with watersports enthusiasts for sailing and fishing. Some 300 lakes are located within 50 miles (80 km) of the city. [154] Located downtown along the St. Marys River, Fort Wayne Outfitters offers canoe, kayak, stand-up paddle board, and pontoon boat rentals for recreation along the three rivers. [155]

Canoeing on the St. Marys River. Canoeing on St. Marys River, Fort Wayne, Indiana.JPG
Canoeing on the St. Marys River.

Starting in the 1970s, the city developed a system of recreational trails along the riverbanks, known as the Rivergreenway, with the aim of beautifying the riverfronts and promoting active lifestyles for residents. [156] The Rivergreenway was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2009. [157] As of 2018, the Rivergreenway had expanded with additional trails to encompass nearly 180 miles (290 km) throughout the city and county, with about 550,000 annual users. [158] With the expansion of trails in recent years, cycling has become an emerging mode of transportation for residents. In 2009, the city's first bicycle lanes were established [159] with the installation of 250 bike parking places. [160] In 2016, Fort Wayne was designated a Bronze Level bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists. [161]

According to the Trust for Public Land's 2017 ParkScore Index, some 56% of Fort Wayne residents are underserved. [162]


A statue of General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, namesake of the city, stands in Freimann Square. Anthony Wayne George Ganiere Statue.JPG
A statue of General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, namesake of the city, stands in Freimann Square.
The Allen County Courthouse (center) and the Rousseau Centre (right), home to city and county offices. Cortes del Condado de Allen, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Estados Unidos, 2012-11-12, DD 03.jpg
The Allen County Courthouse (center) and the Rousseau Centre (right), home to city and county offices.

Fort Wayne has a mayor–council government. [163] The mayor, city clerk, and city council members serve four-year terms.

Fort Wayne's mayor is Tom Henry, a Democrat, who was elected in 2007. Henry succeeded Democrat Graham Richard who chose not to run for re-election after two terms as mayor. Henry was re-elected to a third term in 2015. [164] Karl Bandemer was appointed deputy mayor in 2013. [165] Lana Keesling was elected city clerk in 2015. [166] Fort Wayne City Council has nine elected members, one representative from each of the city's six council districts and three at-large members, serving four-year terms. [163]

The city is represented in the Indiana General Assembly by three Senate Districts and seven House Districts. Fort Wayne's state senators include Dennis Kruse (14th District), Liz Brown (15th), and David Long (16th). Representatives include Dan Leonard (50th District), Ben Smaltz (52nd), Phil GiaQuinta (80th), Martin Carbaugh (81st), Christopher Judy (83rd), Bob Morris (84th), and Dave Heine (85th). Federally, Fort Wayne is part of Indiana's 3rd congressional district, represented by Republican Jim Banks, who was first elected in 2016.

Under the Unigov provision of Indiana Law, Fort Wayne would have automatically consolidated with Allen County when its population exceeded 250,000, previously the minimum population for a first class city in Indiana. [167] Fort Wayne nearly met the state requirements for first class city designation on January 1, 2006 when 12.8 square miles (33 km2) of neighboring Aboite Township (and a small section of Wayne Township) including 25,094 people were annexed. [168] However, a 2004 legislative change raised the population threshold for first-class status from 250,000 to 600,000, which ensured Indianapolis' status as the only first class city in Indiana. [169]

Fort Wayne's E. Ross Adair Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse houses the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, which was authorized by Congress in 1928.

Municipal and state laws are enforced by the Fort Wayne Police Department, an organization of 460 officers. [170] In 2006, Fort Wayne's crime rate was 5104.1 per 100,000 people, slightly above the national average of 4479.3. [171] There were 18 murders, 404 robberies, and 2,128 burglaries in 2006. [171] Steve Reed was appointed to the position of police chief in 2016. [172] In 2014, former police chief Rusty York was appointed to the position of director of public safety. York previously served as police chief from 2000 to 2014. [173] As of 2010, the Fort Wayne Fire Department includes 375 uniformed firefighters and 18 fire stations. [174] Eric Lahey was appointed fire chief in 2014. [175]


Voter registration and Partisan Primary Participation [176]
PartyNumber of votersPercentage
Democratic 31,79820.61%
Republican 35,45222.97%


Primary and secondary education

Allen County public school districts: FWCS (pink), EACS (yellow), NACS (blue), SACS (green). US-IN-Allen County School Districts.png
Allen County public school districts: FWCS (pink), EACS (yellow), NACS (blue), SACS (green).

Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) is the largest public school district in Indiana, [177] enrolling 30,981 students as of the 2013–2014 academic year. FWCS operate 51 facilities, including 31 elementary schools, ten middle schools, and five high schools. The student body is diverse, with 75 spoken languages in the district. [178] East Allen County Schools (EACS) operate 20 schools, with a total enrollment of 9,114. [179] Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS) operate seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school, with a total enrollment of 6,853. [180] Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS) operate six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school, with a total enrollment of 6,995. [181] [182] Private primary and secondary education is offered largely through Lutheran Schools of Indiana and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend. Amish Parochial Schools of Indiana has schools through eighth grade in rural eastern Allen County. [183]

Higher education

Fort Wayne hosts institutions affiliated with both of Indiana's major state university systems. Indiana University Fort Wayne (IU Fort Wayne) and Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW) were established in July 2018 after the dissolution of Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), which had enrolled over 13,000 students prior to its closure and was the state's fifth-largest public university. [184] IPFW's degree programs in health sciences are now operated by IU Fort Wayne; as such, that institution is now home to the Fort Wayne Center for Medical Education, a branch of the Indiana University School of Medicine. All remaining IPFW degree programs were taken over by PFW. [185]

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.


Composed of 14 branches, the Allen County Public Library is among the 20 largest public libraries in the U.S., and ranks 89th factoring in academic libraries, with 3.4 million volumes. [186] The library's foundation is also among the nation's largest, with $14 million in assets. [187] The entire library system underwent an $84.1 million overhaul from 2002 to 2007. [188] In 2009, over 7.4 million materials were borrowed by patrons, with over 3 million visits made throughout the library system. [189]


Major broadcasting network affiliates include WANE-TV (CBS), WPTA-TV (ABC/NBC), WISE-TV (CW), WFFT-TV (Fox), and WFWA-TV (PBS), Northeast Indiana's PBS member station. Religious broadcasters include WINM and W07CL. Access Fort Wayne maintains Fort Wayne and Allen County's Public Access capabilities serving from the Allen County Public Library. Two National Public Radio stations are based in the city, WBNI and WBOI with the new WELT Community Radio Station transmitting from the Allen County Public Library.

Fort Wayne is served by two primary newspapers, the Journal Gazette and Pulitzer Prize-winning News-Sentinel . [190] The two dailies have separate editorial departments, but under a joint operating agreement, printing, advertising, and circulation are handled by Fort Wayne Newspapers, Inc. The News-Sentinel announced that it would cease printing operations in favor of digital publishing in August 2017.



An A-10 Warthog after completing a training mission at the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Station. A-10C Warthog remains the star of close air support 150813-F-GK926-003.jpg
An A-10 Warthog after completing a training mission at the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Station.

Fort Wayne includes two municipal airports, both managed by the Fort Wayne–Allen County Airport Authority. Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) is the city's primary commercial airport, with five airlines offering direct service to 13 domestic connections. The airport is Indiana's second busiest, with over 350,000 passenger enplanements in 2015. [191] Fort Wayne International is also home to the 122d Fighter Wing's Fort Wayne Air National Guard Station. [192] Smith Field, in northern Fort Wayne, is used primarily for general aviation. [193]

Fort Wayne is served by a single Interstate, (Interstate 69), along with an auxiliary beltway (Interstate 469). Once the State Road 37 expressway between Bloomington and Martinsville is completed in 2018, filling a gap in I-69 that exists south of Indianapolis, the road will run south to Evansville; it currently runs north to the Canada–United States border at Port Huron, Michigan. In the coming years, I-69 will extend to the US–Mexico border in Texas, with branches ending in Laredo, Pharr, and Brownsville. Four U.S. Routes bisect the city, including US 24, US 27, US 30, and US 33.

Five Indiana State Roads also meet in the city, including State Road 1, State Road 3, State Road 14, State Road 37, and State Road 930. Airport Expressway, a four-lane divided highway, links Fort Wayne International Airport directly to I-69. [194] About 85 percent of residents commute alone by personal vehicle, while another eight percent carpool. [195]

Unlike most cities comparable to its size, Fort Wayne does not have an urban freeway system. In 1946, planners proposed a $27 million federally funded freeway, crossing east-west and north-south through downtown. [196] Opponents successfully campaigned against the proposal, objecting to the demolition of nearly 1,500 homes at the time of the post-World War II housing shortage, while playing on fears that the project would force displaced minorities into white neighborhoods. [197] [198] In 1947, Fort Wayne residents voted down the referendum that would have allowed for its construction, dubbed the 'Anthony Wayne Parkway.' [199] Beginning in 1962, construction commenced for I-69 in suburban Fort Wayne. [200] [43]

The I-469 beltway around the southern and eastern fringes of Fort Wayne and New Haven was constructed between 1988 and 1995 as the largest public works project in Allen County history, at $207 million. [199]

Pennsylvania Railroad Station has stood as a landmark to the city's railroad heritage since 1914. Penn Station Ft W IN 1.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad Station has stood as a landmark to the city's railroad heritage since 1914.

Amtrak's Capitol Limited (Chicago - Toledo - Cleveland - Pittsburgh - Washington, D.C.) and Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited (Chicago - Toledo - Cleveland - Buffalo - Albany - split to Boston and to New York City) are the closest passenger rail services to Fort Wayne, located 25 miles (40 km) north at Waterloo Station. Service by Amtrak ended in 1990 when the Broadway Limited was rerouted away from Fort Wayne's Pennsylvania Station. Until 1961 the Pennsylvania Railroad operated the north-south Northern Arrow through the station. Other stations in Fort Wayne served the passenger trains of the Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville Railway ('Monon Railroad') and the Wabash Railroad. [201]

There has been a movement to bring direct passenger rail service back in the form of Amtrak or high-speed rail service. [202] In 2013, a feasibility study was published outlining the impacts of a proposed Columbus—Fort Wayne—Chicago high-speed rail corridor. At 300 miles (480 km), the route would cost $1.29 billion and generate some $7.1 billion in economic benefits to the region. [203] Freight service is provided by a class I railroad (Norfolk Southern) and two class III railroads. [204] Fort Wayne is headquarters and main operations hub of Norfolk Southern's Triple Crown Services subsidiary, the largest truckload shipper in the U.S. [204]

Fort Wayne's mass transit system is managed by the Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corporation (Citilink), providing 12 bus routes through the cities of Fort Wayne and New Haven via downtown's Central Station. [205] CampusLink debuted in 2009 as a free shuttle service for students, faculty, and general public traveling between Ivy Tech's Coliseum and North campuses, IPFW and its student housing on the Waterfield Campus, and shopping and residential areas. [206] MedLink debuted in 2013 connecting Parkview Regional Medical Center with Parkview Health's Randallia campus. [207] Despite annual ridership of 2.2 million, [206] less than one percent of residents commute by public transportation. [195] Fort Wayne is served by two intercity bus providers: Greyhound Lines (Indianapolis—Toledo—Detroit) and Lakefront Lines (Chicago—Columbus—Akron). [208]

In 2016, the city introduced its first bike-sharing program, including five stations and 25 bicycles. [209]


Fort Wayne is served by ten medical centers belonging to one of two regional healthcare providers in the city: Parkview Health System and Lutheran Health Network. Notable hospitals include Dupont Hospital, Lutheran Hospital of Indiana, Parkview Regional Medical Center, Parkview Hospital Randallia, and St. Joseph Hospital. Over 1,600 patient beds are available throughout the city's healthcare system. [210] As of 2017, both healthcare systems were the city's first and second largest employers, respectively, and contribute to a total healthcare workforce in Allen County of 34,000. [210] VA Northern Indiana Health Care System's Fort Wayne Campus provides medical services through the Department of Veterans Affairs. [211]


City Utilities is the largest municipally owned water utility in Indiana, supplying residents with 72 million US gallons (270,000 m3) of water per day via the Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant and St. Joseph River. [212] Sanitary sewer treatment is also managed by City Utilities. The City of Fort Wayne offers full curbside recycling and solid waste collection services for residents, presently contracted through Red River Waste Solutions. Electricity is provided by Indiana Michigan Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, while natural gas is supplied by Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of NiSource. All tier 1 networks and several additional telecommunication service providers cover the Fort Wayne rate area. [213]

Notable people

Sister cities

Fort Wayne has four sister cities as designated by Sister Cities International: [214]

Friendship city

See also


  1. According to J. Dunn, Jr., this name was "usually said to mean "blackberry patch," or "blackberry bush," this plant being considered an emblem of antiquity because it sprang up on the sites of old villages. This theory rests on the testimony of Barron, a longtime French trader on the Wabash. It is more probable that Kekionga is a corruption or dialect form of Kiskakon, or Kikakon, which was the original name of the place." J. P. Dunn. [21] But, Michael McCafferty, an Algonquian and Uto-Aztecan linguist professor at Indiana University, exhaustively examined the etymology of 'Kekionga' and dismissed Dunn's explanation and several others. See the chapter "Trails to Kekionga" in the relevantly titled Native American Place Names of Indiana (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008), esp. p. 76. In the 1680s, French traders established a post near Kekionga due to its location on a portage between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. [22]
  2. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.

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Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) was a public university in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Founded in 1964, IPFW was a cooperatively-managed regional campus of two state university systems: Indiana University and Purdue University. IPFW hit its highest enrollment in 2014, with 13,459 undergraduate and postgraduate students in nine colleges and schools, including a branch of the Indiana University School of Medicine. During its last academic year (2017–2018), IPFW had a total enrollment of 10,414 students. IPFW offered more than 200 graduate and undergraduate degree programs through IU or Purdue universities. The university's 14 men's and women's athletic teams competed in Division I of the NCAA Summit League.

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Interstate 469 (I-469) is an Interstate Highway in northeastern Indiana. It is an auxiliary route of parent I-69 that also carries portions of US Highway 24 (US 24), US 30, and US 33 around the urban parts of Fort Wayne. It is 30.83 miles (49.62 km) in length. The Interstate was originally conceived as a bypass for US 24 around the south and east ends of Fort Wayne. Due to heavy traffic on US 30 through the city, support was gained to connect the bypass to I-69 on the city's north end. I-469 was given the name Ronald Reagan Expressway in 2005.

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Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is a 13,000-seat multi-purpose arena located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, near present-day Johnny Appleseed Park. It opened in 1952 with a construction cost of nearly $3 million. The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum was originally designed to seat 8,103 for hockey or 10,240 for basketball. Opened in 1989, the Coliseum's $26 million Exposition Center contains 108,000-ft² (0.100-km²) devoted to hosting substantial trade shows and other events with seating for 7,500.

The Fort Wayne, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, or Northeast Indiana, is a federally designated metropolitan area consisting of three counties in northeastern Indiana, anchored by the city of Fort Wayne. As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 416,257. The Fort Wayne metropolitan area is part of the Northern Indiana region, containing about 2.2 million people, and is considered part of the Great Lakes Megalopolis, which contains an estimated 59 million people.

The Fort Wayne Kekiongas were a professional baseball team, notable for winning the first professional league game on May 4, 1871. Though based in Fort Wayne, they were usually listed in game reports as simply "Kekionga" or "the Kekiongas", per the style of the day. "Fort Wayne Kekiongas" is modern nomenclature.

Hamilton Field is a former baseball field located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States. The ground was home to the Fort Wayne Kekiongas in the 1860s, prior to turning professional and joining the National Association for the 1871 season. The field was named after Allen Hamilton, who donated land for the field.

Milan Township, Allen County, Indiana Township in Indiana, United States

Milan Township is one of twenty townships in Allen County, Indiana, United States. Milan Township is located in east central Allen County, with the Maumee River meandering across the township. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,749. The township is highly rural, with only 1,137 houses in the 2010 census. Many of the residents of Milan Township are Swiss Amish who mostly speak a Low Alemannic Alsatian dialect.

Parkview Health System, founded in 1878 with Fort Wayne City Hospital is a network of more than 80 community hospitals and clinics in northern Indiana and northwest Ohio. The not-for-profit Parkview Health System is the region's largest employer with more than 12,000. The Parkview Physicians Group is also part of the Parkview Health System. Parkview Physicians Group includes more than 700 providers in more than 45 specialties.

Fort Wayne Museum of Art museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art (FWMoA) is an American art museum located in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana, Allen County, United States. The Fort Wayne Museum of Art contains permanent collections and national traveling exhibitions and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. FWMoA annually receives about 100,000 visitors.

Parkview Field Station

Parkview Field is a minor league baseball stadium located in the central business district of Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.

The Leona Group (TLG) is a private company operating charter schools in the states of Arizona, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. It was founded in 1996 in Michigan by Dr. William Coats and operates 66 schools.

The 2010 Fort Wayne Firehawks season was the first season for the Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL) franchise. In November 2009, the FireHawks were announced as the successor team to the Fort Wayne Freedom. Owners J. Michael Loomis and John Christner purchased the assets left from the Freedom franchise, who had played the two seasons before the FireHawks were announced. Christner's first action as General Manager was naming former Freedom head coach Willie Davis as the team's first head coach. On December 9, 2009, it was confirmed that Loomis and Christner would take over the entities that used to run the Freedom. Before the season started, the team announced they had signed Katie Hnida as the team's placekicker. Hnida is best known for becoming the first woman to score a point in an NCAA football game and speaking out during the recruiting scandal at her first school, the University of Colorado.

Fort Wayne Derby Girls

The Fort Wayne Derby Girls (FWDG) is a women's flat track roller derby league based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Founded in 2005, the league currently consists of two teams which compete against teams from all over the United States and Canada. Fort Wayne Derby Girls is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

Fort Wayne station

The Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Fort Wayne, Indiana, also known as Baker Street Station, is a former passenger rail station in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. The American Craftsman-style station opened to the public March 23, 1914, at a cost of $550,000.

BAALS Music Festival

BAALS is a music festival which is primarily focused on electronic dance music, dance music and jam bands. The festival takes place in the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana and has been organized since 2012. Each year the festival earmarks and donates $5,000 to a local charity, cause or nonprofit. The first edition of the festival took place in 2012 as a downtown block part called House 4 a House. In 2014 the festival expanded to Headwaters Park at which point it changed its name to the BAALS Music Festival.

Charles Winslow Miner was a well-known Fort Wayne, Indiana, photographer in the late 1890s and early 1900s. A native of Columbia City, Indiana, Miner moved to Fort Wayne around 1887 and established Miner's Studio on West Wayne Street in downtown Fort Wayne. Miner is best known for his studio portraits and commercial photographs of landmarks in Allen County, Indiana, especially the Allen County Courthouse and notable Fort Wayne businesses. His photographs were published in Fort Wayne booster books in the early 1900s.

Seal of Cincinnati official insignia of the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

The seal of Cincinnati is the official insignia of the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States. Adopted in 1819, the seal incorporates scales, a sword, and a caduceus. The seal is featured prominently in the flag of Cincinnati and the insignia of city agencies and institutions.


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