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Update on the Taylor Alumni Center

March 4, 2010

As we were holding our Annual Meeting at Brown Gables last night, I was reminded that the Association did not write an article in the March newsletter about our support of a use variance for the relocation of the Taylor University Alumni Center.

The Association fielded a handful of calls from residents concerned or curious about the future of the campus or the status of the offices at Brown Gables. We don’t yet know about the future of the campus. But we can answer questions about the future of the Alumni Center.

The Board of Directors supported the variance and we sent an officer to the hearing in support of the measure. We believe it is a good idea to have an office available for alumni of the former campus. Relocating the office next to Witmer Hall seems a wise location. The Association doesn’t want there to be any confusion about what is planned. Michael Mortensen, Taylor’s Fort Wayne Alumni Director, agreed to submit an article about it to our website. His article follows.

Steve McCord


Taylor University received Board of Zoning Appeals approval January 21, 2010 to relocate its Fort Wayne Alumni & Friends Resource Center to 915 W. Rudisill Blvd.  With support of several neighborhood associations, Taylor asked for a “Use Variance” for the former “Lillian Rolf Home” to provide a place for Michael Mortensen, director of Fort Wayne Alumni and Friend Relations and a Southwood Park resident, and several volunteers to care for Fort Wayne Bible College, Summit Christian College and TUFW alumni and to celebrate the 100+ year history of the historic Fort Wayne campus.

 The Resource Center presently is located in the former Chancellor’s home owned by Taylor at 827 W. Rudisill Blvd.  After hearing complaints about “the commercial use” of Brown Gables and receiving official notification of zoning limitations, Mortensen met with the contiguous neighbors in October announcing the decision to relocate, but also asking for support for the “use variance.”  All agreed to help, as did several neighborhood associations, which was appreciated.  “As a long-time resident of the south side and a home owner in Southwood Park, I certainly did not want to be a poor neighbor and nor did my colleagues at Taylor University,” Mortensen said.  “We have always tried to listen and have a good relationship,” so we made the decision to move, even though the home is much smaller and would require some internal remodeling.

 With this “use variance” approval by the BZA and the support of the neighbors, Mortensen reports that the Resource Center will move sometime in late May giving time for the remodeling and hopefully more favorable weather to transport the archives.  Meanwhile, he encourages neighbors to visit Brown Gables to see what we are doing to preserve and celebrate the history of our campus.


 Michael D. Mortensen ’91

Director of FW Alumni & Friend Relations

827 W Rudisill Blvd – Fort Wayne, IN 46807

260.744.8790 (Phone) – 260.437.1265 (Cell) – 260.745.4974 (Fax)

March 2010 Southwood Park News available

March 2, 2010

Here is the current edition of the Southwood Park News: SPN 03.10. Be sure to keep track of it, this issue has all the important dates for our upcoming events.

The Association will cut the number of USPS-mailed newsletters this year. Doing so is “green” and will save us money. We still have this website, Facebook, word-of-mouth and chalkboard signs to get the word out whenever necessary.

Annual Meeting agenda

March 2, 2010

Don’t forget… tonight is the Annual Meeting at Brown Gables (827 W. Rudisill).

For a preview of the meeting, here is the agenda:SP Agenda, Annual Meeting, 03.03.10

Doing the dues…

March 1, 2010

We are doing the dues… (apologies to the folks who devised Pepsi’s “Do the Dew” campaign)

The process of recording payments and cashing checks has taken longer than expected this year. Treasurer Steve Nagy informed us that he is switching to a new spreadsheet and attaching all the owner information to it. This should make next year’s process more efficient. This year’s checks should be cashed within about a week.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you and thank you for your patience.

Annual Meeting to be held March 3rd

February 17, 2010

Hundreds of mature street trees in Southwood Park are ash trees and we are in danger of losing them all.                   

Interested in knowing which trees are in danger? Just go outside and look for street trees with bright green dots spray-painted at the base facing the street. 

Last year, throughout the city, ash trees on park strips (aka street trees) were marked with the green dots to indicate they had been treated against ash tree killer emerald ash  borers under a Parks Department program initiated by Chad Tinkel, Manager of Forestry Operations.

Interested in learning more about the future of the program and its impact on our highly prized tree canopy? Come hear Chad Tinkel, our guest speaker.  Please come to our Annual Meeting at 7PM on Wednesday, March 3 at 827 West Rudisill, known as Brown Gables to Taylor alumni. Out of consideration for our neighbors, we ask that you do not park on the street, but at First Missionary Church, five houses away.

We will also have a brief State of the Neighborhood session, an open forum for residents concerns, followed by a regular session meeting of the Board of Directors.

The meeting will be an  excellent chance to meet other people involved in the future of our neighborhood. As always, if you have any interest in volunteering, please come! We can match your interests with a volunteer job.

What issues should the Board address?

February 17, 2010

People were well-behaved with their comments. So, we can share each and every one. Your suggestions of what issues the Board should address, collected from ballots, were: 

Children at play signs to combat speeding.

Flooded streets due to clogged stormdrains.

Replace trees that are cut down.

People need to shovel walks – many do not.

Leave white lights on Roundabout all year.

Keep the security. They are awesome!

E-mail notices of meetings.

A maximum amount of community organized to voice concerns for who purchases the Taylor U. campus in the future.

Increased security when homeowners are on vacation.

Grass not mowed, lawn care – condition of houses – shutters and gutters hanging.

It would be nice to have photos of those we vote for.

High security when we have robberies in broad daylight.

Be aware of the amazing number of crows. Why? How to manage as children begin to play outside.

Continue Dirt Day – it is a great service!

Leash ordinance for dogs and cats.

Ask city to replace street trees more quickly.

Security cameras in alleys with dues money.

Remind our members of their obligation to clear snow and ice from their entire sidewalk. This is getting worse. People are getting very lazy.

Barking dogs! Speeders!

Sidewalks not cleared of snow. People not cleaning up after their dogs.

Empty homes – some for 5 years.

Pet owners cleaning up after their dogs on walks.

You are doing a good job!

Lawn maintenance and alley upkeep. Speeding on South Wayne.

Rising cost of association dues again.

Stop sign on Sherwood/Beaver, due to new fence is almost a blind stop. Solution: switch stop signs to stop Sherwood.

Keep up the great work! We love our neighborhood!


Enforcement of stop signs, esp. Sherwood/Stratford with the new “fast” street, before a kid gets killed.

Taylor U house at Indiana/Rudisill should not be used commercially.

I think the security service is a needless expense and is very ineffective.

Salt barrels at intersections.

Vehicles parked in the street at the end of private driveways make in hard to pull out of driveways.

Good neighbors 101

February 14, 2010

In doing a little research for this article I was informed that this has been an ongoing issue in the neighborhood for quite awhile. So with that in mind, I will just quote the City of Fort Wayne’s Neighborhood Code Enforcement:

“Animal waste left in public areas and in neighborhood yards is a familiar complaint. And, while the neighbors might enjoy seeing your dog, they do not enjoy seeing what he leaves behind. As a reminder City sanitation law requires citizens to remove animal feces immediately from public lands and from the property of another. Citizens must also maintain animal areas in a sanitary manner regularly and as often as necessary to prevent odor, or health and sanitation problems.  When sharing common areas, be considerate of where you take your dog to urinate. Although it is not a legal requirement to remove animal urine, allowing a dog to eliminate in public areas where children play is inconsiderate and just bad form. If you encounter an on-going problem concerning sanitation, report the concern to Animal Care & Control at 427-1244. If at all possible, a timely photograph of an owner allowing a dog to leave feces behind has been known to result in a timely $50 citation.”

— Jeff McCarthy


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