ARCH Aquires Merchant-Huxford House

By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive

Credit: ARCH

Dr. Merchant W. Huxford House, 502 Tennessee Ave.

September 11, 2013 Updated Sep 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - A 19th century home with ties to the actual Fort Wayne will be preserved to years to come.

Architechure & Community Heritage, Inc., has acquired the Dr. Merchant W. Huxford House, 502 Tennessee Ave., in hopes to protect the home.

"We intend to rehabilitate and protect this special building," ARCH executive director Michael Galbraith said in a statement. "We'll stabilize it first, and then rehabilitate it so it can be returned to active use"

The Merchant-Huxford House is a Greek Revival-style home built around 1854, and is believed to include remnants of the third edition of the fort torn down in 1815. The Merchant-Huxford House has been an endangered building for the past three decades, ARCH says.

ARCH acquired the Merchant-Huxford House through an Efroymson Family Endangered Places Loan Fund from Indiana Landmarks. Additionally, Partners In Preservation will help with the cost of nominating the home for the National Register of Historic Places.

Plans include for the Merchant-Huxford House to eventually be sold, with preservation covenants built in to protect the home.

Dr. Merchant Huxford was a Fort Wayne druggist and botanist, who would serve three terms as mayor from 1846 to 1848. He also helped start the Episcopal faith in Fort Wayne, and served as a City Councilman in the 1830s. Huxford died in 1878.

Historical records show the last portions of the third Fort Wayne were destroyed around the same time as Merchant-Huxford home was built, ARCH says. Huxford is believed to have salvaged some of the timber to use on the home. Huxford's property spanned from what is now to Lawton Park east to the St. Joseph River, ARCH says.

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