Fort Wayne, IN
After Indianapolis, Fort Wayne is the second-largest city in Indiana, with a population of more than 230,000. Despite its decidedly urban flavor, Fort Wayne makes great efforts to protect its natural resources. The city has an impressive series of public parks and natural sites and for the past 18 years has been designated as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Foundation.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing accounts for a significant portion of Fort Wayne's economy and almost a quarter of the city's jobs. The area has been hit hard by an economic downturn, and approximately 10,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost since early 2007. Fort Wayne's top employer is the Fort Wayne Community School System, followed by Parkview Health Systems, Lutheran Health Network, General Motors Truck Group, Allen County Government, the City of Fort Wayne, Lincoln Financial Group, and ITT Communications Systems.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
There are 74 neighborhoods in Fort Wayne, including:
- Brierwood Hills: This quiet neighborhood just north of Lutheran Hospital is mostly made up of single-family homes that house families with children. Residents of Brierwood Hills tend to be wealthy and highly educated.
- Dunfee/Ellisville: The most expensive neighborhood in Fort Wayne (with a median home price of $336,800), Dunfee boasts two large golf clubs, Chestnut Hills and Sycamore Hills.
- Hacienda Village: This affordable neighborhood in northeastern Fort Wayne was once a rural area in Allen County, but it was annexed by Fort Wayne and is a thriving community made mostly of families.
- Liberty Hills: Located just west of Lutheran Hospital, Liberty Hills is an affordable and artsy enclave.
- Rolling Hills/Parkway Hills: This affluent and vibrant community is located in the southeastern part of Fort Wayne and is home to many college students and young professionals.
Fort Wayne is located at the confluence of the Saint Joseph, Maumee, and Saint Marys rivers. This natural feature led Fort Wayne to become a major transportation hub. Today's transportation options include Interstate 69, which bisects the city; Fort Wayne International Airport; and several major rail lines.
Although it has many smaller shopping centers and countless individual stores, the majority of Fort Wayne's shopping is consolidated to just a couple of locations:
- Glenbrook Square: This mall is the largest enclosed shopping center in a 100-mile radius and contains 175 shops.
- Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center: This outdoor mall features 70 different stores and restaurants, as well as an 18-screen movie theater.
Fort Wayne has plenty to offer residents and guests, from Science Central, which offers 20 interactive stations to teach children about science, to Sechler's Pickles, a factory that offers tours and tastings of its 40 varieties of pickles. Additional options include:
- African-American Historical Museum: Exhibits trace the history of African Americans and includes an Underground Railroad Room.
- American Heritage Village: This complex is home to the National Military History Center, Kruse Automotive and Carriage Museum, and Andy Granatelli Hall of Fame.
- Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum: Former Auburn Company showrooms house this museum dedicated to classic cars.
- Cathedral Museum: Dedicated to preserving religious artifacts, this Gothic cathedral also boasts impressive Bavarian stained-glass windows.
- Fort Wayne Firefighter's Museum: Exhibits trace the history of firefighting in the area and honors Fort Wayne firefighters.
- Fort Wayne Museum of Art: Contemporary permanent and temporary exhibits feature nationally known artists.
- Black Pine Animal Park: This sanctuary for endangered species houses exotic animals, as well as retired performing animals.
- Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory: Wander among gorgeous gardens, including a Showcase Garden with lush seasonal displays, a Tropical Garden with a cascading waterfall, orchids and palms, and a quiet Desert Garden.
As part of its thriving entertainment options, Fort Wayne boasts a full complement of professional sports teams:
- Fort Wayne Flash: This professional football team is part of the National Women's Football Association.
- Fort Wayne Freedom: This men's indoor football team plays at Fort Wayne's Memorial Coliseum.
- Fort Wayne Komets: This hockey team is the longest-running sports franchise in Fort Wayne.
- Fort Wayne Mad Ants: The Mad Ants basketball team is part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Development League.
- Fort Wayne TinCaps: This baseball team is the Class-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
There is plenty to do year-round in Fort Wayne, but these events take place only once a year:
- BBQ Ribfest: For more than a decade, Fort Wayne residents and visitors have chowed down at this June festival at Headwaters Park.
- Three Rivers Festival: This nine-day community celebration has entertained visitors for more than 40 years. Events held during the July festival include an art fair and a parade.
- Saint Joe Pickle Festival: Highlights of this August event include a pickle derby, a parade, and pickle ice cream.
- Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival: This Labor Day automotive show features a Guitarfest, kids art tent, and many, many cars for show.