A touch of color is coming to tallest building in Fort Wayne, just in time for the holidays. As crews assemble the iconic light displays ahead of downtown's Night of Lights, our building takes no exception. Many recall the large wreath on the building during the holidays, but few may know the story behind this festive décor.
- The wreath is 32 feet in diameter and weighs 3.5 tons
- Displayed from 1937 to 1958 (except during WWII)
- Features 4,000 red bulbs, 2,800 green bulbs and 1,200 white bulbs
- Initially displayed at the northeast corner of Calhoun Street and Washington Boulevard
First displayed in 1937, its concept was conceived from a holiday post card Wolf & Dessauer Department Store general manager G. Irving Latz had received. The wreath was displayed until the new Wolf & Dessauer store opened at Washington and Lafayette Street, when it was put into storage in 1959.
For 28 years, the display remained in storage until its removal in 1987. From there, I&M employees played a significant role in cleaning, repainting, replacing lamp sockets, rewiring circuits and installing its 8,000 light bulbs. Upon restoration, it was affixed to the One Summit Square building, now Indiana Michigan Power Center, in December 1987, where Latz was invited to join the ceremonial lighting.
In 2008, I&M refreshed the wreath with a new coat of paint and replaced all the light bulbs with LED options, which are 90% more energy efficient and last significantly longer.
Today, I&M is proud to be the caretakers of this Fort Wayne treasure. This display has a special meaning and serves as a valued tradition for our community during the holidays. Stop by the I&M plaza during the Downtown Improvement District's Nov. 22 Night of Lights event as we look to power festive memories this season.
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