Sunday, May 18, 2008

Snyderman House

One week ago I posted a mystery photo of a long gone historical home here in Fort Wayne, and asked readers to submit their best guesses as to where the home was located and it's real name. That particular house was the lost Knee House located in southeast Fort Wayne, behind the old Heck's store on US 27 South.

Local blogger Cathy Dee incorrectly guessed that it was another lost local treasure, the Snyderman House, on the city's southwest side. But she reminded me of this newer, albeit no less interesting, home that was lost to "arson" in 2002. As she noted, the home merited a Wikipedia entry as well. I'll leave my "conspiracy theories" at the door on this one, and merely note that a certain local developer sorely wanted the land that this house stood upon. Here is the home in it's original glory:

And what little remained after it was torched:

From: The Architectural Record:

The 1972 Snyderman House in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a seminal early project of Michael Graves, burned to the ground on July 30. The house is perhaps the best example of the Modernist work of Graves’ early career. Arson is suspected, but has not been confirmed.

The home’s original owners, Sanford and Joy Snyderman, left the house in 1998 and sold it in December 1999 to developers Joseph Sullivan and William Swift who initially had plans to tear it down and develop a number of homes on the property. Local architect Matt Kelty, AIA, started a nonprofit organization called Eleventh Commission Inc. to potentially purchase the home and save it. The house has remained on the site in disrepair since 1998, and vandals "tagged" the house, knocked holes in interior walls, and broke glass.

The house was the subject of much attention in the past three years. Kelty told RECORD, “More than 3,000 attended the two open houses sponsored by Eleventh Commission, Inc., and at least two dozen student groups were provided private tours. Photographers of international fame visited to capture the deteriorating design on film, and members of academia who happened through the Midwest would call and meet us at the house.”

Fortunately enough, this lost treasure was quickly replaced by "cookie cutter" homes that were deemed Beazer than this old chestnut. Progress, but at what price?

1 comment:

archinform said...

Hi John,

can You post the original address/coordinates of this building?