The Transfer Building

from the archives of The News-Sentinel

Back when downtown Fort Wayne was still the place to work and shop, electric trolley cars criss-crossed at the corner of Calhoun and Main streets, spewing out some passengers and gobbling up others.

The intersection, with a morass of trolley cables suspended above it, became known at ``The Transfer Corner.'' Logically, the major building at the intersection became known as ``The Transfer Building.''

The Transfer Building was erected in 1894 at the intersection's northwest corner and originally housed the old Hamilton National Bank. Hamilton Bank was founded in 1853 and in 1917 merged with the First National Bank.

The new First and Hamilton National Bank moved to Berry and Calhoun streets but could non survive the Great Depression.

After the merger, the Citizens Trust Bank moved into the Transfer Building. It rospered for a time, but also folded during the Depression, along with about 12 other local banks.

Over the years, the building also played host to offices of Lincoln National Life, the Purdue Extension Center, the Republican Party, a shoe store, Needham's Typewriter Co., as well as scores of medical and legal offices.

Then, in December 1963, National Management Inc. bought the building. National Management and the Fort Wayne Mutual Life Insurance Co., moved their offices into the Transfer Building in late 1964 - but not before the old structure was given a facelift.

In early 1964, $250,000 was spent to modernize the building. The project included an extensive renovation of the exterior. The resulting yellow and brown facade was certainly more modern than the old ornate stone face, but much less distinctive.

The transfer building, no longer functional and no longer a thing of architectural interest, was torn down in 1979 to allow the widening of Main Street at the old ``Transfer Corner.''

--Jan. 9, 1982

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