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Headwaters Junction and the Legacy Champion Teams

Headwaters Junction remains under the consideration of the Downtown/Riverfront Development Champion Team behind Legacy Fort Wayne.

Since the idea went public in 2009, it rose quickly within the community as a favorite development idea for the North River property in Fort Wayne, it’s heralded as “bold, transformative” and an idea that “actually says something about Fort Wayne.” Our original proposal to the task force was for seed money to pursue and develop “a mixed use gateway and downtown attraction project combining river, rail, and trail in a colorful, inviting public space for recreational, social, artistic, educational, and commercial activities.”

In March, the effort was approached to resubmit materials to the teams for further discussion and include an updated summary, list new developments and potential partners, and name some benefits to the community. We deeply appreciate the opportunity to revise our original proposal and provide new information with the potential for making a presentation in the near future. We’ll update this site with the new summary soon. Click here for the summary.

This document was submitted along with several supporting exhibits, including an infographic detailing the benefits to the community and visualizing the route of the recreated railroad and its connections to nearby attractions and neighborhoods. Adding additional credibility to the project, RL Banks & Associates has delivered a proposal for a for a full feasibility study, stating “a proposal as broad and innovative as the Headwaters Junction project can facilitate the potential revitalization of an entire section of a city; linking past with present and history with culture. We believe in the value of the Headwaters Junction proposal to Fort Wayne, the State of Indiana and railroad and cultural preservation alike. It is a rare project, rooted in the will to improve the urban form and preserve history.”

Additional documents also contributed to a conceived visualization of the project, as it could eventually find many physical forms and different layouts on North River and will certainly be perceived by individuals differently. In one view, North River could become home to Headwaters Junction, a public market,  TekVenture, and of course, river access and an esplanade — all ideas that were advanced by Legacy Fort Wayne in their initial proceedings and a few of which were part of Headwaters Junction’s original conceptual development plan.

Though the plan is difficult to condense given its many facets (developing a transit attraction as the anchor to a mixed use development being one of them), the executive summary aims to clarify the components of the plan and highlight that one of its primary components – a restored steam locomotive with a global following – already has a proven track record, with it’s popularity measured in one of its recent record visitor and ridership numbers: 40,000 people in four days.

If only we could find a way to fit the locomotive into their meeting room.

Once on display at 4th and Clinton Streets before it was restored in 1979, what could this magnet attraction do for downtown Fort Wayne by returning to that street corner in a brand new way?

One city legacy can become a part of the next where our rivers, rails, and trails connect.

– Kelly Lynch

Conceptual Layout Guide

Fifth and Calhoun, now and…soon?

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