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Due to the positive response to the “Porch Off Calhoun,” the public gathering space will now remain open through October.

20190803 170210The “Porch Off Calhoun” is located in the parking spaces adjacent to the alley on Calhoun Street next to Pint ‘n Slice, 816 S Calhoun St. The City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division had leased the parking spaces through September, but will now lease them for another month. The parking spaces have been transformed into a welcoming gathering area with seating, planters, art and lighting. “The Porch Off Calhoun” is always open to everyone, however local businesses may plan events to further activate the space.

The “Porch” is part of the City’s Alley Activation project, which is funded primarily by an $83,000 grant from the Knight Foundation/Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. The project builds on the Art this Way alley mural program by enhancing the alleyways located between Berry Street, Washington Boulevard, Harrison Street and Calhoun Street.

Improvements have been implemented to encourage people to walk and explore the murals as well as take a seat and simply hang out. The improvements include string lighting, signage, dumpster screening, bump out and crosswalk painting, mural and overhead art installations and the placement of moveable furniture and planters.

The Alleyway Activation project was recommended by the Public Realm Action Plan, which was led by Gehl, an internationally recognized architecture and urban design firm. Gehl worked with the City in 2018 to analyze how residents and visitors use downtown public spaces and to recommend ways to make public spaces more attractive and enjoyable.

Partners in the project include the City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division, the Downtown Improvement District and the Fort Wayne New Markets Revitalization Fund.