18 August, 2013
Need Coffee? Try Downtown Starbucks & Library Dunkin’ Donuts
By Dawne Slater-Putt
Genealogists at a national conference are running from early morning to late at night and many of them go in search of coffee for a needed caffeine energy boost. Fortunately, in addition to the hotel restaurants and other downtown eateries, conference-goers have two worthwhile choices to satisfy their craving for coffee – one unique and one ultimately convenient – Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.
What makes Fort Wayne’s downtown Starbucks coffee shop so unique is its setting. It’s in a repurposed building that was first a filling station, and later a tire store. This makes it a perfect coffee shop because the big, glass overhead doors can be raised to provide open-air seating on fine days. The structure has a clock tower on one end and is an example of the L-shaped service station architecture of the late 1920s.
The Art Deco-style building was built in 1929 and used originally as a service station. Later it was home to Firestone-McMahon Tires. While it sat empty in 2005 before being converted to Starbucks, the building was included on a list of “endangered structures” by Fort Wayne’s architectural preservation organization, ARCH, Inc. In June 2009, ARCH awarded a commendation to Starbucks for adaptive reuse of the structure.
Especially notable to FGS Conference attendees: This downtown Starbucks at 502 West Jefferson Boulevard is just a couple of blocks from the Grand Wayne Convention Center and the Allen County Public Library! It’s open from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Dunkin’ Donuts is even more convenient, since it is located on the first floor of the Allen County Public Library. The traditional donut and coffee shop on the Plaza end of the library offers much more than just donuts and coffee, however. It has a menu that includes flatbread and croissant lunch sandwiches, egg wraps, bagels, bottled juices, soda and water, soft-serve ice cream and milk shakes, and more. This means researchers can take a short break for their lunch or snack and not even leave the building, if they wish!