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Update as of October 5, 2017:
Environmental remediation on the site is complete and the land has been seeded. Eleven underground storage tanks were removed from the property and the soil surrounding the tanks was removed and replaced with clean dirt. The tanks contained petroleum products, which is common for industrial sites. The site is now considered "buildable." The executive summary from the environmental management consultant is available by clicking on the link below. Once the full report is completed, the City will also make that available.

Once the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has reviewed the report and signed off on it, the land will be transferred to the YMCA, which will use it as recreational space.

Meanwhile, the City is working with a consultant to design two historical markers memorializing Sylvanus Freelove Bowser and his company. The markers will be placed in nearby Bowser Park sometime in the spring or summer of 2018. If you would like to see a draft copy of the markers, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Executive summary from IWM Consulting Group regarding 1320 E. Creighton Ave.

Update as of July 31, 2017:
Residents may have seen some newspaper articles or TV stories about work going on at the Bowser site. The information contained in the articles is not new. That information has been available to the public for several months now and was an update that work on the site is progressing as planned. Even though groundwater was mentioned in one of the stories, no drinking water has been affected. All homes and businesses in the area receive drinking water from City Utilities, whose source of water is the St. Joseph River.

Before demolition began on the Bowser Building, Community Development was aware there were likely underground storage tanks on the property. The tanks are currently being removed and their contents being tested. They likely contain petroleum-based material. The tanks will be “cleaned” before they are removed and the soil around the tanks will be removed and replaced with clean soil. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) will sign off on all remediation work being done by the environmental contractor at the site.

The work being done is common for work on any former industrial site and is similar to work that was done after the Bowser tire fire in 1997. Demolition and remediation work will be complete before the end of the year

Information from March 2017:
Over the past several years, the City of Fort Wayne has been working with the McMillen Foundation to determine the next steps for the vacant Bowser buildings, 1302 E. Creighton Ave., which are owned by the Foundation.

After several years of gathering information from area residents and possible developers, the McMillen Foundation requested assistance with demolishing the buildings because developers found them too costly to rehabilitate. In order to be functional, the primary Bowser building would need completely new heating, cooling, and electrical systems, new plumbing, asbestos abatement, adaptations for ADA compliance and more. The City believes it is important to take down the buildings before they deteriorate further and have a negative impact on the Renaissance Pointe neighborhood.

Two historical markers will memorialize the Bowser Company and a public meeting to discuss the markers will be scheduled soon. Please continue to check this web page for a date and time.

The following documents provide more details about the process of taking down the buildings:

March 16, 2017 news release

March, 2017 letter to residents