March 21 offers a unique opportunity to take part in a guided tour of the downtown Allen County Courthouse and the historic Thomas & Lucy Swinney House on West Jefferson Boulevard.
Settlers Inc. hosts the event that begins at the Swinney House where you will find a 1½-story brick and limestone structure that was later enlarged to 2½ stories. Built in 1844 by Thomas J. Swinney, a pioneer settler of Allen County and a prominent Fort Wayne businessman of the time, the house features an Eastlake Movement front porch and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. The house and land for Swinney Park were passed to the city of Fort Wayne in 1922.
After the Swinney tour, lunch will be served by Settler members before departing for the Allen County Courthouse on Calhoun Street. Built from Bedford Limestone and Vermont granite with Italian marble details, the Beaux-Arts architecture-style structure, designed by Brentwood S. Tolan, began construction in 1897 with the dedication taking place September 23, 1902.
It includes such features as four 25 by 45-foot murals by Charles Holloway, 28 different kinds of scagliola covering 15,000 square feet, bas-reliefs, and art glass. Atop the building is a 255-foot high copper-clad domed rotunda topped by a 14-foot statue wind vane of Lady Liberty. The Courthouse also houses a fallout shelter underground. It was restored over a seven-year period from 1995-2002 at a cost of $8.6 million.
Transportation for the tour is not included. Deadline for reservations is Thursday, March 14.