Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wildwood Builders Company History

By 1915, Wildwood Builders Company had grown into eight separate companies, one of which was the Lafayette Place Company.  In an agreement dated June 19, 1915, the Lafayette Place Company sold a tract of land called Lafayette Place Addition to Lee J. Ninde, for development.  This tract of land was bounded on the north by McKinnie Avenue, on the west by Calhoun Street, on the south by Pettit Avenue and on the east by Lafayette Street. 

In 1915, Arthur Shurcliff, prominent landscape architect from Boson, was hired to design Lafayette Place.  It is one of Shurcliff's hallmarks of the early 20th Century.  He designed three Fort Wayne subdivisions for Wildwood Builders: Wildwood Park in the curvilinear style in 1914; Lafayette Place with an Esplanade, modified grid and formal pattern in 1915; and Brookview that was designed around the Spy Run Creek in 1917.  Shurcliff also complete master plans for Swinney Park in 1916 and Franke Park in 1924.

In his design for Lafayette Place, Shurcliff suggested the creation of an area to be called he Esplanade..."the high strip 216 fee wide and 1,700 feet long in the center of the tract."

No comments: