FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Work began Thursday to take down the obsolete Bowser buildings, once used as the Fort Wayne police headquarters.
Beginning this morning, Martin Enterprises placed barriers around the buildings and begin working on the interior of the buildings. Everything from office furniture to building materials was salvaged, including all the exterior bricks to save on demolition costs, according to a press release.
The primary, 60,000 square foot building, located at 1302 E. Creighton Ave., was built in 1917 and was initially corporate headquarters of the S.F. Bowser Company, which manufactured gas pumps. Sylvanus Freelove Bowser invented the first self-measuring gas pump and founded the company in 1885.
Councilman Glynn Hines was one among a group of community activists who hoped to save the buildings. However, the property owner, the McMillen Foundation asked the city for assistance to remove the buildings because developers found them too costly to rehabilitate, the press release said.
The work to take down the buildings will be completed anywhere between six months to a year. After the demolition, the history of the buildings and the Bowser Company will be memorialized with two historical markers placed in Bowser Park, located at the corner of Reed and Fisher streets.
When Martin clears the site, the land ownership will be transferred to the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne, which will use the property for outdoor recreation activities.
For more information, visit City of Fort Wayne.