A crane operator continues working Wednesday to demolish the historic former S.F. Bowser company office building at 1320 E. Creighton Ave.
Local company Martin began demolition work at the site March 27, starting with a red brick building to the east of the office building. That red brick building and a second red brick building west of the office building, which housed the Wildcat Baseball League office, both now are gone.
The site and buildings are owned by the McMillen Foundation, which, after demolition is completed, reportedly plans to donate the land to the Renaissance Pointe YMCA just south of the property. The city of Fort Wayne is using more than $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to pay for demolishing the buildings for the McMillen Foundation, which reported assets of about $34.6 million on its 2014 tax form, the most recent year available through the Foundation Center, www.foundationcenter.org.
The six-story office building being demolished now was constructed in 1917 to house corporate offices for Bowser, a pump manufacturer. The building later was used for offices by Phelps Dodge Magnet Wire and the Fort Wayne Police Department. It has been vacant since police moved out in 2012.
Neighborhood residents and statewide historic preservation group Indiana Landmarks tried to save the Bowser buildings, especially the office building. But a McMillen Foundation official told the city they wanted the buildings torn down, city officials said.