FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The iconic sign atop the General Electric campus that shone for decades on downtown Fort Wayne’s southwest corner was disassembled and brought down Tuesday.
Vandals, it turned out, forced the company’s hand.
A two-man crew on Tuesday began pulling down the letters that spelled General Electric from the campus’ main building’s roof. The logo was also set to be removed.
Matt Conkrite, a GE spokesman, said in a news release Tuesday that intruders had entered the Broadway campus and climbed onto the building to vandalize the GE sign. The sign’s red lights have been turned off since last year due to such, he said.
“To avoid further deterioration, and for safety reasons, we have decided to dismantle the sign and remove its support structure,” said Conkrite.
Conkrite said the sign’s 15 letters and large main logo will be stored in one of the buildings onsite. The supporting structural steel work will also be lowered from the building, he said.
Over the last several months, a task force formed to brainstorm ways to recover General Electric’s dilapidated 32-acre, dozen-building campus, to reuse the buildings instead of tearing them down, has met several times. The task force, called the General Electric Campus Coalition, has said it fears GE will continue demolishing buildings which will lead to a drop in nearby property values.
On Tuesday, Conkrite said that GE is working with the City of Fort Wayne to identify “actionable solutions” for the property that will benefit the Fort Wayne community and meet the needs of the local market.
Conkrite added that no final decisions have been made concerning the property, but said, “We’re confident we share a desire with the City and Mayor (Tom) Henry to be open to ideas and suggestions from the community and will take them into consideration as we progress.”