West Central Neighborhood Holds 35th Tour and ArtsFest

The West Central Neighborhood Association presented its 35th Home and Garden Tour and ArtsFest on Sept. 9 and 10 in downtown Fort Wayne, where people could visit historical homes while consuming music, art and food.

Event Chairwoman Charlotte Weybright said the tour consists of 10 stops to architecturally significant homes and buildings in West Central, the city’s oldest historic neighborhood.

“I think the history is critical,” said Weybright, who also owns a home in the neighborhood.DSC_0158

According to the WCNA website, West Central was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and was later recognized as a local historic district.

Through such action, Weybright said the neighborhood is protected from deterioration and subject to guidelines, but residents become devoted to the history and architecture.

Suzy Giant, a 29-year West Central resident and artist, said she appreciates old things because of their craftsmanship.

Her husband, Kevin Giant, said he moved into his West Central home 38 years ago and still finds himself appreciating the close community and eclectic atmosphere today.

Since moving in with Kevin, Suzy said she decorates their house with antiques and projects that match her bohemian style.

She also painted it pink.

“You got to be secure in your manhood to live in a pink house,” Kevin said.

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So, Suzy said they travel the Midwest to find pretty collectibles and furniture for their home through Craigslist.

“I just like old things that are made right,” Suzy said. “I don’t see that a lot.”

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Both Kevin and Suzy said they love going to the home and garden tour each year to experience how people are changing and fixing their homes’ exteriors to remain historic.

From the event, Weybright said the proceeds fund WCNA projects, such as their tree program, or with financial support and expert knowledge to help West Central residents restore their homes. Other programs assistance may be added as the WNCA sees fit.

All three West Central residents said they are excited for the change in their neighborhood because it continues to be unique.

“An old house has character,” Suzy said “and we’re characters.”

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