Explore the art you live in with ARCH

What is built heritage?

It’s all the buildings, landscapes, and places that each new generation inherits from the people who lived here before them. Together, they all add up to the place where we live, even if we only go past most of them and never go in them.

All these places have a value in dollars and cents, which is one way to say what our built heritage is worth. Another way to think about the value of our built heritage is to realize that all the buildings, landscapes, and places make us think and feel a certain way about where we live, and they are our reminders of all the stories about the people who lived, worked and played there. We become part of those stories by living here, too. Each different place’s combination of its people, its stories (also called history), and its buildings, landscapes, and places is unique and special.

Being unique and special makes our built heritage important, too, which is why organizations like ARCH Inc. exist. ARCH was founded in 1975 by Fort Wayne people who wanted to ensure that the built heritage of our city was preserved for future generations. In the years since then, ARCH’s leaders have enlarged the vision so that the organization now serves Fort Wayne, Allen County, and Northeast Indiana.

ARCH’s Built Heritage ABCs is an introduction for children (of all ages!) and families to the variety and richness of our built heritage. With one example for each letter of the alphabet, ARCH presents enough information to start our readers on their way to understanding and appreciating the built heritage that makes the Fort Wayne area unique and special. We made sure to include an address for each entry so you can go see for yourself, too. Please remember that many of these places are private property, so view them from the street or sidewalk.

Remember: Architecture is the art we live in. Think about that while you read and while you look at places later.

Created by the staff and Preservation Committee of ARCH, Inc.