FORT WAYNE FIVE: Oldest city structures on the National Register of Historic Places

#5 - SWINNEY HOMESTEAD. YEAR CONSTRUCTED: c. 1844-45. Local settler and businessman Thomas W. Swinney constructed the brick and limestone home, which was later enlarged and renovated by his children towards the end of the 19th century. The grounds surrounding the structure were designated the Allen County Fairgrounds, later becoming Swinney Park and the museum of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Historical Society. (News-Sentinel file photo)
#4 - HUGH MCCULLOCH HOUSE. YEAR CONSTRUCTED: 1843. Hugh McCulloch was one of the country's leading financiers in the mid-19th century and one the primary founders of the national banking system. He built the home located at 616 W. Superior St. in the Greek Revival Style for himself and wife Susan Man, who was one of the first school teachers in the city. The original construction included a cupola on the center roof. McCulloch was at President Abraham Lincoln's bedside when he died. The building housed the Fort Wayne Turnverein (Turners) in the early 20th century and also served as the home of a realty company. (News-Sentinel file photo)
#3 - ALEXANDER TAYLOR RANKIN HOUSE. YEAR CONSTRUCTED: c. 1841. Located at 818 S. Lafayette St., the structure appears to be fairly non-descript, but was constructed by one of the leading abolitionist personalities of the 19th century. Built in the Greek Revival style, the brick home also may have served as a school at some point in its history. The interior retains most of its original features, including wall and trim finishes as well as a period staircase and railings. Alexander T. Rankin took part in the Underground Railroad that smuggled slaves from the south into the north. The home is the only standing structure in Fort Wayne that is known to be connected to abolition and the Underground Railroad. It is the current home of ARCH. (Photo courtesy of ARCH)
#2 - WILLIAM EDSALL HOUSE. YEAR CONSTRUCTED: 1839-40. The William Edsall House on W. Main St. is built in the Federal/Greek Rivial style. Its brick construction includes four interior end chimneys. It is the oldest structure in downtown Fort Wayne and hosted grand "Pioneer Balls" that saw the founders of Fort Wayne gather, reminisce and honor the creation of the city on the three rivers. It was converted into the city's second hospital in 1878, but it shuttered two days after it opened due to a clash with the mortgage company. It has housed the offices of the Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne since 1986. (Photo courtesy of The History Center)
#1 - RICHARDVILLE HOUSE. YEAR CONSTRUCTED: 1827. Construction of this home was subsidized by the 1826 Treaty of Mississinwas, which compensated the Miami tribe with money for land for settlement. Chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville, the primary chief of the Miami from 1812 to 1841, was awarded $600 by the U.S. government to help fund a house along the St. Mary's River. The structure reflects both Greek Revival and Federal styles. The History Center is the current steward of the property, which sits off Bluffton Road. (News-Sentinel file photo)

Fort Wayne is home to dozens of structures and neighborhoods listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But which of those recognized are the oldest? The News-Sentinel has compiled the list of the five oldest existing individual buildings in Fort Wayne listed on the register.


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