The Journal Gazette
Thursday, August 06, 2020 1:00 am

Area communities get conservation grants

Journal Gazette

More than $140,000 is being awarded to Fort Wayne and area communities through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.

A Wednesday news release announced 14 federal Historic Preservation Fund grants totaling more than $481,000 for projects in Indiana communities. In most cases, the grants require a dollar-for-dollar match of local or private funds for a total projected investment of $929,000 in cultural resource projects across the state. Funding comes from the National Park Service, a unit of the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

Awards announced Wednesday:

Angola: The Powers Church and Cemetery Association will receive a $25,000 grant to rehabilitate the bell tower and steeple of the 1876 wood-frame church. It was built as part of the community established by the Powers brothers and served the community until the early 20th century.   

DeKalb County: The county commissioners will receive $50,000 to assist with rehabilitating the Spencerville Covered Bridge. Built in 1873, the bridge is just outside Spencerville and is the last remaining covered bridge in DeKalb County. It is a 146-foot-long single span.

Fort Wayne: The city will receive a $50,000 matching grant to assist with rehabilitation of the ironwork on the Wells Street Bridge. The bridge is a metal Whipple truss built in 1884. It is a 180-foot single span across the St. Marys River that was used for vehicular traffic until 1982. Although the bridge remains structurally sound, many decorative cast iron elements have deteriorated, cracked, and broken, resulting in loss of many of the pieces that have been shed and posing a safety hazard for users. 

Fort Wayne will also receive a $3,020 matching grant to nominate the Beechwood Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places. The district comprises several plats, with large homes constructed from the late 19th century through the 1940s. 

Huntington: The city  will receive a $20,000 grant to prepare rehabilitation plans for the Memorial Park Water Race. In 1937, a project embedded large flat stones into the sloping banks of the park to create a water race that carried storm water from the spillway of the south pond to West Park Drive. There are several places where deterioration has caused some of the stone walls to collapse.

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