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Cambray Building moved into place; Hall's set to renovate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - After sitting at a temporary location for more than a year, the old Cambray Building has been moved to its final home. 

It's not the first time the historic building, built around 1895, has moved. 

On January 29, 2018, Wolfe House and Building Movers loaded the building onto a special trailer and moved it from its original location at 312 S. Harrison St. to the northeast corner of Harrison and Superior streets. That's where it has remained since then, while crews prepared the final resting place across the street on the southeast side of the intersection.

Movers wheeled the two-story building across the street Tuesday. The undertaking took almost five hours to complete.

The intersection of Superior and Harrison was shut down during the process. 

In a complicated chain of events, the initial move was part of the Riverfront Development project downtown. 

In 2017, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation bought the Cambray building to use the land for Promenade Park. The city had two options for the building - demolish it, or sell it and make the new owners move it.

That's when the Hall family, known best for their restaurants around the Fort Wayne area, stepped in. They bought the building, and in return they sold a piece of land just north of the St. Marys River back to the City of Fort Wayne.

Now the family plans to renovate the building to continue the growth of downtown. 

"It's just a a pleasure to be a part of this, all the downtown," said Jeff Hall, Co-Owner of Hall's Restaurants. "Halls have been synonymous with Fort Wayne. We're all about Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne's been good to us, and it's thrilling to play a part in the big package here."

It's not the first time the Hall family has bought historic buildings to renovate. Several of their restaurants and businesses around the area were once old buildings that have been given new life.

Don Hall's Gas House, just two blocks from where the Cambray Building will sit, was an old gas plant. The Guesthouse on West Washington Center Road used to be the Imperial Palace Hotel. And don't forget Triangle Park, which used to be Holly's Landing. 

"You look around and see what we do, we just like old buildings," Hall said. "It's fun and there's enough stuff been knocked down in this town. It's time to give pause and try to recall a different era."

Detailed plans for the building haven't been released, but it will likely fall into the hospitality theme like the other Hall's businesses.


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