Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fort Wayne's City Planning

XI. Fort Wayne’s City Planning
example of city in need of cleanup

In addition to house design Joel and Lee’s vision expanded city wide; they devised a city plan that allowed streets and roads to follow the natural contour of the land.(42) The board members of Wildwood Builders began to launch a promotion for more naturally designed Fort Wayne neighborhoods. Most residential streets were designed with houses radiating out from central square and flat leveled lots. Alleys of the time tended to be filled with garbage and discarded junk. Joel believed in the elimination of unsightly city areas, and her vision was to clean up these areas.[i] Wildwood Builders wanted to do more than just build houses, so they launched a citywide beautification program. This program included amenities such as parks, playgrounds, and landscaping. Under these new guidelines, lots could be contoured. Houses no longer had to be built at street level. Trees were left standing and provided a panoramic backdrop for neighborhood streets. [ii][iii]
Another important  Wildwood development included new infrastructure that had not been considered previously including individual water supply and a "double sewage" system.

Using the vehicle of the Wildwood Magazine contests were ran to promote beautification and landscaping of individual properties “ In order to stimulate (interest in landscaping) the Wildwood Builders Company, the promoters of the (Shawnee) addition, put up three prizes each year of $10.00, $5.00 and $2.50 respectfully for the best kept property.” [iv] :
[i] Michael Hawfield, “Suburban Living was a New Concept” Fort Wayne News-Sentinel October 22, 1994, n.p. Historian Michael Hawfield (Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Museum) wrote the Cityscapes column for the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Summit Magazine starting in May 1984. The columns are being republished in conjunction with the city’s 200th birthday October 22, 1994.[ii] Ibid.[iii] Greater Builders of Fort Wayne, 1926,425 (Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Museum). “Lee J. Ninde (1874-1953), a Fort Wayne native was prominent in business here and achieved national renown in real-estate and city planning. He was one of the organizers of the Fort Wayne Board of Realtors as well as the Indiana Real Estate Association. He became widely known as the “dean of city planning” in Indiana, and was the first chairman of the Fort Wayne City Planning Commission established in 1916.”[iv] The Wildwood Magazine, Autumn 1916, n.p. The residence of Mrs. A. F. Redderson, Shawnee Place (2923 Shawnee Drive was the winner of first prize in the garden contest.

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