FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — One of Fort Wayne’s oldest houses has a new look.
The Hugh McCulloch House, located at 616 W. Superior St., has been undergoing renovations for the past ten years. Despite working on it for nearly a decade, owner Mo Rahim said the house is still not complete.
“I’m glad I bought it,” owner Mo Rahim said. “It’s been a project for me.”
Rahim said he’s always been very impressed by Hugh McCulloch and everything he accomplished in his career. To honor the former owner, Rahim has a photo of McCulloch hanging in the house’s entryway, and a plaque with the house’s history on it outside.
According to ARCH, the home was first built back in 1843 by architect Henry Williams. The two-story home was built for Hugh McCulloch, who helped found the first state bank in Indiana and later became Secretary of the Treasury for President Abraham Lincoln.
When McCulloch moved, the building became the Fort Wayne College of Medicine between 1892 and 1905. A year later, the now-Fort Wayne Turners on Parnell Avenue bought the building and renovated it, using it until the mid-1960s. It’s believed that during this time the third floor was added to the house.
Over the years the house continued to change ownership.
In 2009, the house was put up for auction but failed to sell. A year later, Rahim bought the house from a bank, which he said was eager to sell it. Since then, Rahim has worked to renovate the more than 11,000 square foot home.
To learn more about the history of the house, click here.
Rahim said this was his first time renovating a house, and because he had to learn how to do everything, the project took him a decade.
When Rahim first purchased the house, both the first and second floors were office spaces that were rented out by the previous owner. To open up the floor’s layout, he took out 62 total doors.
Each floor of the three-story house has its own kitchen, including two on the first floor, and its own washer and dryer unit. It also has seven total bathrooms and too many bedrooms for Rahim to count. It’s heated by six furnaces and there are four exits.
The entryway to the house on the first floor has not been touched with the exception of a fresh coat of paint. The front door and fireplace are originals that were put in when the house was first built.
Other than the entryway, everything on the first floor has been completely renovated. It has multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces. There’s also a ramp in the back of the house which leads to an apartment he rents out to his friend.
Rahim’s inspiration for the second floor came from lofts he’s seen in New York. He said he’s very proud of his work on this floor, which has a very modern look. He uses this floor to entertain and host get-togethers such as family birthday parties. The floor also has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a back deck where Rahim loves the view of downtown Fort Wayne. He said it’s perfect for watching fireworks.
Also on the second floor you’ll also find a space Rahim calls his ‘smoke room.’ It’s the only room in the house he allows people to smoke in. The brick on one of the walls of this room is original to the house. The room is covered in colorful artwork created by the previous owner’s daughter. Rahim said he thought about painting over it but decided to keep it because he thinks it adds character.
The third floor still has the original kitchen cabinets and floors that Rahim said dates back decades. It also has multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and another back deck with just as good of a view.
He jokingly says the house is not haunted and if it was, he certainly wouldn’t be living there.
Although a ton of effort has already been put into the house, Rahim says his work is still not complete. A few of his next projects include repainting the second floor a more modern color and continuing to repaint the outside.
Is there an interesting property in northeast Indiana or northwest Ohio that makes you say, ‘What’s up with that place?’ Let us know about it! Send us an email at WANEDigitalContent@nexstar.tv.