The ARCH Inc. Fun & Free lecture series kicks off in January with an exploration of how Petula Clark’s classic song “Downtown” is a valuable guide to understanding our city today. Its four following monthly installments through May cover topics ranging from our city’s railroad heritage to a look at the homes of Fort Wayne’s rich and famous (and infamous, too).
Here’s the schedule and details about each topic and presenter. All events will be at the Allen County Public Library downtown, where free parking is available to library card holders. Time for questions and discussion is provided at each event.
• 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25: “Petula’s Postulate,” presented by Zachary Benedict, architect and partner in MKM
Architecture + Design in Fort Wayne. Zach’s research, writing and practice focus on the connection between people and places His earlier publication of “Petula’s Postulate” in Fort Wayne Magazine Health, which he will expand on for ARCH, reflects deeply on how downtowns and communities have been built over time. In Meeting Room A
• 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22: “Fort Wayne Railroad History,” presented by Craig Berndt. Berndt is Northeast Indiana’s go-to railroad historian. For ARCH, he is creating a new presentation on “Steam Railroads of Allen County.” He’ll tell the stories of the 11 steam railroads that served the county beginning in 1854, two of which operated entirely inside the county and most of which are still in existence. In Meeting Room A
• 11 a.m. Saturday, March 21: “Historic Preservation by the Numbers,” presented by ARCH Executive Director Connie Haas Zuber. Our historic built heritage embodies a staggeringly large investment that we benefit from day after day. Come be impressed by the big numbers and learn why it’s so smart to protect this investment, which is what ARCH is dedicated to achieving. In Meeting Room A
• 11 a.m. Saturday, April 18: “The Underground Railroad in Indiana,” presented by ARCH board member Michael Galbraith. Galbraith, a former ARCH Executive Director and now Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement District, did this research and created the presentation originally as a Quest Club paper but it addresses questions ARCH still fields about Fort Wayne’s role and what may have happened in ARCH’s own home, the Alexander T. Rankin House at 818 Lafayette St. In Meeting Room A
• 11 a.m. Saturday, May 9: “Homes of the Fort Wayne Rich and Famous,” presented by Karen Richards. Richards, longtime ARCH volunteer historian, lecturer and board and committee member, has chosen to look back at the homes, many of them grand and too many of them lost, of the people who made fortunes and reputations — good and not-so-good — in Fort Wayne. It’s a topic perfect for her master storyteller talents. In Meeting Room B
ARCH’s community education programming is supported by funding from Arts United and the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne.