ARCH lecture series looks at local history, preservation

This alley running west from Calhoun Street in the block between Berry and Wayne streets downtown has already been activated with a mural by nationally recognized artist Yis “Nosego” Goodwin, who was commissioned by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art to do the piece in 2016. The site is also under consideration for further alley activation by the city of Fort Wayne. (Courtesy photo)

The ARCH Inc. Fun & Free lecture series kicks off this month with a visit to the Great Alleys of Fort Wayne. Its four following monthly installments through May, all at the downtown Allen County Public Library, will cover topics ranging from a then-and-now look at Fort Wayne history to a look at the future of preservation work in our city and region.

The schedule includes:

• 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26: “Great Alleys of Fort Wayne,” presented by ARCH executive director Connie Haas Zuber. An exploration of the history of Fort Wayne’s alleys, including the early struggles to even create them, in the larger context of the roles alleys play in American cities. The presentation wraps up with a look at the author’s Top Ten Fort Wayne Alleys and a celebration of all the possibilities they represent. In Meeting Room A.

• 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16: “Fort Wayne Through Time,” presented by Randy Harter. Historian Harter and photographer Daniel A. Baker’s latest book, “Fort Wayne Through Time,” becomes an engaging presentation that uses comparative photos of well-known places to answer the questions we all have about what happened to the buildings that used to be there. In Meeting Room A.

• 11 a.m. Saturday, March 23: “Preservation and Activation of the Arts United Center,” presented by Arts United Chief Operating Officer Miriam Morgan. Arts United is embarking on a project to address an urgent and critical need — the preservation and activation of the Arts United Center, the community’s Louis Kahn-designed landmark. Arts United says, like most 50-year-old buildings, the theater needs significant renovation to meet and exceed community standards for guest and performer experience. ARCH is featuring this project on its lecture series because the building is an important part of our built landscape and the project is one of the city’s most important historic preservation projects. In Meeting Room A.

• 11 a.m. Saturday, April 27: Preservation Tomorrow: A conversation among the region’s preservation organizations about shared interests and challenges as they pursue shared goals in a growing economy, hosted by ARCH. In Meeting Room B.

• 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11: “How the Alabama Migration Changed Fort Wayne,” presented by Karen Richards. Richards, who is Allen County Prosecutor and longtime ARCH volunteer historian, lecturer and board and committee member, has chosen to explore the migration from Alabama that brought so many African-American families to Fort Wayne and to document its impact on the city. In Meeting Room A.

The series is supported by funding from the Sledd Foundation. For more information, contact ARCH at (260) 426-5117 or