Statement issued Wednesday by ARCH:
Fort Wayne, April 20, 2011: The Brookview-Irvington Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior on March 21, 2011.
The district is composed of three related suburban neighborhoods that reflect principles of design important in the history of community planning and development: Oak Knoll designed in 1906, Irvington Park designed in 1910, and Brookview designed in 1917. Together these areas combined the naturalistic landscape design with curvilinear circulation, park areas, and convenient access to roads, trolleys, and interurban railroads to create desirable neighborhoods.
The naturalistic development that landscape architect Walter Hoxie Hillary laid out for Irvington Park utilized the existing topography of the wooded site. In his development of Brookview for the Wildwood Builders, noted landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff further expanded and refined this idea by creating meandering roads that followed the natural contours and developing home sites focused on the scenic beauty of Spy Run Creek. The slightly earlier Oak Knoll development reflects a form of railroad era suburb that is rare in Fort Wayne. Women architects Joel Roberts Ninde and Grace E. Crosby designed several houses in the district, and the district has an outstanding collection of homes with a variety of architectural styles.
The City of Fort Wayne obtained Federal grant funding administered through Indiana's Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology to assist with the effort to prepare the application to the National Register of Historic Places. The City used the grant to contract with a listed qualified professional, ARCH, Inc. to research the district and prepare the nomination. The completed application was reviewed by the Fort Wayne Historic Preservation Commission before it was forwarded to the Indiana Historic Preservation Review Board and finally to the National Park Service.
The National Register of Historic Places is the Federal government’s official list of prehistoric and historic properties worthy of preservation. In Indiana, this program is administered by the Department of Natural Resources-Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, with assistance from the City of Fort Wayne as a Certified Local Government. Listing in the National Register provides recognition and assists in preserving our nation’s heritage. It does not prevent a private owner from altering, demolishing, or disposing of the property as he wishes.