135-year-old Fort Wayne home passes first step in historic designation

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A home built back in 1886 has passed the first hurdle in becoming a historic designation.

During Tuesday’s Fort Wayne City Council meeting a resolution to make the Diffenderfer House, located on DeWald Street, a historic location unanimously passed out of committee.

Fifth district councilman Geoff Paddock said that “this is a really important [resolution], in a neighborhood that’s being to emerge.”

Current owner Yolanda Black, along with the Historic Preservation Commission planner Creager Smith, told the council they are willing to put in the work and effect to preserve the house.

“It has good integrity, it has good architecture and has a good history with it,” Smith said. “It’s just a great house that it can tell has had a lot of love over the years because that’s typically what it takes for an old house to be well preserved.”

The Queen Anne-style home was designed and built-in 1886 by prominent Fort Wayne architects John F. Wing and Marshall S. Mahurin. The “unusual” red brick chimney as well as the home’s asymmetrical massing with a cross gable roof and a prominent gabled dormer on the façade are part of the reason it’s historic.

Black says she felt the need to submit the application to recognize her home’s architectural significance to the Historic Preservation Commission because the surrounding homes have been turned into apartments. She also wanted to ensure that the Diffenderfer House would remain standing long after she’s gone.

With the pass out of committee, Fort Wayne City Council will vote on whether or not the Diffenderfer House will become historic at a later meeting.

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