The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, December 08, 2021 1:00 am

National Register adds Beechwood District

Journal Gazette

The Beechwood Historic District is now part of the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's official list of properties considered worthy of preservation, city officials said Tuesday.

The district is located primarily in the Creighton-Home Neighborhood but also crosses to the east side of Fairfield Avenue to include small parts of the Williams Woodland Park and the Fairfield neighborhoods.

“This National Register designation provides the Creighton Home Neighborhood, and our neighboring neighborhoods, with new opportunities to recognize and capitalize on the collective historic character of the area,” said Dawn Parnin, president of the Creighton Home Neighborhood Association.

The Beechwood Historic District was one of two that Fort Wayne's Historic Preservation Commission approved in late February for applications seeking entry onto the National Register of Historic Places. The other was for the Becker House, a single-family home on West Williams Street. The status of that was not immediately clear Tuesday afternoon.

The Beechwood Historic District, roughly bounded by Fairfield and South Wayne avenues on the east and west, and Pierce Avenue and Beechwood Drive on the north and south, contains homes and churches built between 1885 and 1964, a news release said. The designated area includes 67 properties, making it a relatively small historic district when considering that it includes parts of three neighborhoods.

Architectural styles range from Italianate and Queen Anne, built earlier in the district, through typical early 20th century styles built during its heaviest development. These styles include Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Neoclassical and Prairie Style. A few mid-century styles complete the development into the early 1960s, the release said.

Historic churches in the district include the First Church of Christian Scientist (now the Karpeles Museum), First Baptist Church, the Fairfield Avenue Church of the Nazarene (now Wings of Deliverance), and the B'nai Jacob Synagogue (now the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church).

The former synagogue is a rare example of the International Style, local officials say. It was designed by the significant Fort Wayne architect Alvin M. Strauss & Associates and completed in 1956.

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