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Botanical Conservatory Breaks Ground On New Connection To Embassy

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Zach Bernard/WBOI News
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Fort Wayne’s parks department joined the staff of the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory Tuesday morning to break ground on a construction project that would connect the conservatory to the Embassy Theater.

The connection would be grounded, but otherwise similar to the sky deck that connects the Grand Wayne Center, the Embassy and the Hilton downtown.

Mayor Tom Henry was on hand to assist with the ground breaking. He says the purpose of the connection is to ensure visitors to the area never have to step out into inclement weather.

“People don’t like walking in slushy snow or in torrents of rain, so to be able to go to all these different destinations and do it in a safe and dry environment speaks volumes to people when they come to visit downtown,” Henry said.

The cost of the project is just over $560,000, and was funded by eight different local organizations:

  • AWS Foundation
  • Edward M. and Mary McCrea Wilson Foundation
  • English Bonter Mitchell Foundation
  • Grand Wayne Center/Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board
  • Journal Gazette Foundation
  • Magee-O’Connor Foundation
  • PNC Charitable Trusts
  • Auer Foundation

Construction begins shortly, and the project is expected to be completed by November. Fort Wayne Parks director Steve McDaniel says officials are still ironing out details but it is unlikely construction will affect traffic on Jefferson Boulevard or Calhoun Street in the process.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.