Senseless demo on Indiana's Lincoln Highway

Mitch Harper wrote on his Fort Wayne Observed blog about a beautiful house that will soon be demolished along the Lincoln Highway (IN 930) just east of Fort Wayne in New Haven, Indiana:

Its demolition will mean a little bit more of the historic record of the Lincoln Highway will be lost. In recent years, the demolition of the old Hoosier Courts motel and the Jefferson Consolidated School means that the structures which were familiar sights – and sites – to motorists traveling the Lincoln Highway are gone forever.


Above is a photo from Mitch’s blog – click to see it large. While the elegant appointments inside are set to be auctioned this Sunday, locals are outraged that such a demolition could occur. Here are some of the comments:

• WHY ARE WE TEARING THIS HOUSE DOWN?! I looked at the stuff up for auction – the interior of that house is drop dead gorgeous.

• You can’t build something like this today. I am so, so sad. Someone — please save this place!

I can’t believe demolition is the only option for this house.

Angie Quinn, Executive Director of ARCH, Inc., answered questions about designating it a historic landmark:

The Dr. Cowan House is eligible for the National Register [plus] … Municipalities and counties in Indiana can adopt a Historic Preservation Ordinance, which places some protections on landmarks like this…. Both Allen County and the City of New Haven have the information about adopting a Historic Preservation Ordinance, and ARCH and others have pushed for this for several years. Unfortunately, neither has adopted an ordinance at this time.

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3 Responses to “Senseless demo on Indiana's Lincoln Highway”

  1. Strawberryhellcat Says:

    Oh please, Fort Wayne has a long history of destroying historical architecture at the whims of so-called progress. Does anyone remember the large blue-tiled Art Deco bus station downtown? Power’s Hamburgers building? I’m suprised the idiots actually saved the Emboyd/Embassy Theater years ago. Of course, that was years ago before the brain-washing REALLY had taken effect. If you don’t have the guts to pull an Arthur Dent in front of the dozers, you can eat your plastic hamburgers and drive your little cars on the asphalt that covers your history as surely as neo 24 carves up your landscape. Lincoln Highway, my asterisk.

  2. Jeff Sedlmeyer Says:

    I have to add my 2 cents. I was at the auction. My girlfriend and myself each bought some of the history. True the house was beautiful. The only problem is, it’s outlived it’s usefulness in it’s present condition. The cost of updating it to meet the requirements for it’s usefulness as a business far outweight it’s return. It’s sad but you have to use common sense. I didn’t see anyone offering to buy it and move it. Put yourself in the ownrs shoes. He has a business to run. I believe he is doing the best that he can. At least he is trying to give new life to as much as he can. He could have just had it all torn down and put in a landfill. This way a lot of it has found a new home. I applaud the owner of the building for a good job. I plan to bring him all my business and I plan to recommend him to everyone I know that has the business need. Once again job well done!!! Jeff.

  3. Jeff Sedlmeyer Says:

    I like that! Keeping it green…

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