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Lafayette Place neighborhood named to National Register of Historic Places

It was one of three districts nominated by local group ARCH that received listing approval

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 7:34 am

The Lafayette Place Historic District on Fort Wayne’s south side has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Local historic preservation group ARCH made the announcement Friday afternoon after receiving notice from the State of Indiana, a news release said. The neighborhood, which was nominated by ARCH, officially became listed on the National Register on Jan. 9.

Lafayette Place is bounded roughly by Lafayette Street on the east, Calhoun Street on the west, McKinnie Avenue on the north and Pettit Avenue on the south.

The Lafayette Place Historic District is significant in architecture, landscape architecture and community planning, the ARCH news release said.

ARCH will feature their neighborhood its annual Home and Garden Tour in June.

Lafayette Place was designed in 1915 by Arthur Shurcliff of Boston, who also designed the Wildwood Park neighborhood in 1914 and Brookview in 1917, The News-Sentinel reported in February 2012 before a public hearing on the National Register nomination.

Shurcliff also developed master plans for Swinney Park in 1916 and Franke Park in 1924. He likely is best known, however, for leading the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg in the 1930s.

Early building contractors working in Lafayette Place included Wildwood Builders, which was led by woman designer Joel Roberts Ninde and female architect Grace Crosby.

The city previously suggested Lafayette Place become a local historic district, but residents opposed that designation as too restrictive regarding exterior improvements to homes, The News-Sentinel reported.

Inclusion on the National Register could make some federal money available for home improvements, a city official said last February.

Two other ARCH nominations approved

The Lafayette Place nomination was one of three submitted by ARCH and approved this month by federal officials, the ARCH news release said.

The other nominations were made with assistance from the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana:

*Peru High School Historic District in Peru in Miami County was nominated and listed for its significance in architecture, education, and entertainment and recreation. The district, which now is the headquarters of the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana, includes the historic Tig-Arena high school basketball venue.

*The Meshingomesia Cemetery and Indian School, near Marion in Grant County, was nominated and listed for significance in education and Native-American ethnic heritage. The historic district was the location of the last division of Miami tribal property in Indiana and is the best remaining property associated with Miami Chief Meshingomesia.

The property is used by the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana as a center for education and the revitalization of the Miamis' native Myaamia language.

The three nominations by ARCH were part of a project funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior through the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund, the news release said. The money is administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.