TIME LAPSE VIDEO: Building begins move to become new downtown Hall’s restaurant

Mayor Tom Henry, center, flanked by Allen County Commissioners Therese Brown and Nelson Peters, "move" the 500-ton former Cambray building across the street Monday. The building will become a new Hall's restaurant. (Photo by Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel)
The former Cambray Building was moved by Wolfe House & Building Movers and will be relocated to its permanent home on Superior Street this spring. (Photo by Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel)

With a ceremonial tug by Mayor Tom Henry, Allen County Commissioners Nelson Peters and Therese Brown and other dignitaries, a dilapidated 122-year-old brick building has begun its move to become one of downtown Fort Wayne’s trendiest restaurants.

The building at 312 S. Harrison St., originally the E.M. Baltes Co., was moved across the street Monday by Wolfe House & Building Movers and will remain there until spring, when it will be relocated to a county-owned parking lot at Harrison and Superior streets before being converted into the latest Hall’s Restaurant.

As The News-Sentinel first reported in November, the building had been slated for demolition as part of the city’s riverfront development project, but Bud Hall worked with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to save it. The county will transfer the parking lot to the city in exchange for spaces in the parking garage at the Rousseau Centre.

“It will be a challenge, but with the building’s architecture I wanted to save it even though I didn’t know what I would do with it,” Hall told The News-Sentinel earlier this month. Much of the interior will be gutted, but Hall’s renovations will accentuate the exposed brick walls and heavy wooden beams. The original windows will be kept but upgraded, and the planned elevated deck will offer a unique view of the soon-to-be developed riverfront. He said the still-unnamed restaurant will be an American grill, with a bar and restaurant, and noted he’ll try to avoid competing with Hall’s Gas House just down the street by concentrating on “lighter fare.”

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