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Rudisill Boulevard


Rudisill Boulevard
Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Rudisill Boulevard Cultural Landscape Report, recently completed by Heritage Landscapes for Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, presented interesting challenges. Rudisill Boulevard was constructed according to a park system vision changing it from a country lane into a 3-mile tree-lined corridor, connecting emerging neighborhoods and parklands. Laid out in 1912, the 100-foot wide green corridor is bounded by large and small lot residential neighborhoods and a commercial area today. Documenting history, evolution and current conditions revealed challenges in boulevard character and daily use. The recommendations guide the future of this historic scenic corridor by addressing the boulevard and abutting uses to recapture character, add a multi-use and bike trail, upgrade pedestrian crossings, and reclaim commercial frontage for green space. 

Historical research, condition assessment, community meetings, and user surveys contributed to resource knowledge and issues identification. Heritage Landscape defined seven aspects of values that define how Rudisill Boulevard contributes to the citywide park and boulevard system and to the quality of urban life: city integration and linkages; civic value; diversity and quality of experience; preservation and innovation; sustainability and stewardship; function, maintenance and safety; and public-private partnerships. An assessment of street trees revealed the loss of continuous double tree rows has altered the former scenic character. Expansion of the commercial center contributes to shifting character. Illustrated narratives and detailed plans present recommendations for a phased rehabilitation strategy for boulevard renewal. Proposed initiatives focus on enhancing the boulevard character and balancing recreational opportunities with functionality. Street tree plantings and tree lawns renew boulevard edge definition. Repaired sidewalks and a new multi-use trail provide safe recreational opportunities and improve connections. Central planted medians and reduction of street-edge paving improve boulevard character through the commercial center and will likely increase revenues. The community based process engaged citizens to define immediate initiatives and future projects to recapture this important green corridor as a scenic route and bring Rudisill Boulevard to a higher degree of function.

Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation

Rudisill Boulevard Cultural Landscape Report, 2008

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners, Patricia M. O’Donnell, Principal, Peter F. Viteretto, Sarah Cody, Carrie Mardorf, Tom Helmkamp, Gregory De Vries, Project Staff