Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a city that prides itself on its industrial history. It’s the birthplace of magnet wire, a type of coiled copper or aluminum that became a major player in the development of modern-day electronics.
So it’s no surprise General Electric established a factory in this part of Indiana in 1911. There were over 10,000 workers in that factory alone, making it an important landmark for the Fort Wayne community ― and leaving some residents now less than excited it’s going to be redeveloped.
With the fall of the industrial age, the campus has been vacant for years. Greater Fort Wayne Inc., which operates as the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Fort Wayne and Allen County, has a plan to bring the deserted factory back to life with the help of two consulting groups.
The project will transform the vacant 1.2 million square feet of land into a mixed-use “innovation district” that will include high-rise apartments, restaurants, office spaces and more. The first phase of the estimated $220 million project is projected to be complete in 2020, with the second half of construction wrapping up a few years after that, said Kevin Erb, who works in communications for an advertising company representing the project.
“A revitalized Electric Works campus will energize our economy, create jobs, and inspire many generations to use their creative talents to improve the lives of others,” said Eric Doden, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
HuffPost got to tour the abandoned space before its transformation begins. Check out the spooky photos below, including a full-size basketball court and a bowling alley that was once used for GE employees.