Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Parkwest Area

During my quick in-and-out trip Sunday, I stopped through the Parkwest area and captured some pictures of the places that "used to be". Mind you - my point of capturing the stuff wasn't to tell you that what exists there today is crap and what used to be there was much better.

Nope. I'm just tellin' you what it used to be. Commentary for what may or may not be current and past crap may be alluded to within each individual blurb next to the photo. Otherwise - no sweeping generalizations on the current state of this strip mall area.

For all of you young'uns, believe it or not - at one time - Parkwest - used to be a thriving suburban-like area - just around the bend from downtown (via West Jefferson). I wish I could tell you the history of this place. Sadly, I know - well - not much. I know that it existed in the early 70's. But none of my Fort Wayne history books give this stripmall the time of day (except to acknowledge that it existed). If anyone knows the history of this place - speak up and share!

Confession - the place has always struggled with establishing and maintaining its own identity. I'm not sure why. Maybe cause we folks on the southwest side, didn't have the money you northsiders had ;) ahem.

Picture #1, 2, 3:

This is the front, main entrance to a place that used to be a department store. In the 70's - it was Mr. Wiggs. In the 80's - it was Heck's. Both were very generic department stores - something like a KMart or a Walmart.

I worked inside of here during 1986 as a teller for Anthony Wayne Bank. If you walked into Heck's, we were located in our own area, to the left.

Or basically, in the area where this door is now located.

Picture #4:

This is the back corner of what used to be the location of International Business College. I took a couple of courses there in the 80's.

Picture #5:

This used to be Godfather's Pizza. My husband (boyfriend at the time), really like GF Pizza. Me - not so much.

Always heavy on the stuff that I wasn't fond of and their cheese had that non-descript, generic taste.

Picture #6:

This used to be Scott's Parkwest. It was quite the place. In fact, it was my official, first job after graduating high school and it changed my life in many ways.

In a series of six degrees of separation (at least I'm guessing that's how many there were), I can trace back meeting my husband to the hiring of me at Scott's - and in particular - me being assigned to the Scott's at Parkwest.

Side note: before you start thinking that this was as easy as him coming into the store - think again. I don't think the man ever stepped south of the Mason-Dixon line (i.e. Main Street) in his life. He barely crossed over Coliseum Blvd. - and then - only for special occasions like O'Sullivans and Coney Island. But more on all of that LATER.

This was a thriving store, undergoing massive remodeling in mid 1985 (I was hired during the grand re-opening!). Dave Burkhart was the store manager. He was a cool dude. I think this Scott's ended up closing around 2000. I blame the adhd development of Coventry (and Jefferson Pointe) on the demise of this particular store.

Since I'm diagressing...Coventry was quite the controversy in the mid-80's. I remember the citizens of Aboite fighting with the developer (Zehr?) and with the then - Allen County Commissioners. Lots of back and forth over the 100 + acre re-zoning - but as we know - the developer won. And now, that area is like its own little city. Too bad people didn't have the forethought to take all of the energy and put it into revitalizing the downtown area 20 + years ago...

Picture #7:

Not really "Parkwest" - but more like the Time Corners area - was this building which is a combination Office Depot and Fresh Mart. It used to be Cub Foods. I worked here part-time.


Carl H. said...

As a die-hard south-sider, my kids grew up hearing - Anything north of State street is EVIL!! This was said mostly in jest, but I got very tired of hearing how BAD the south side was from pretty much all media outlets and people who never crossed THE LINE.

So seeing your love of the south side, I find it odd that you would even talk to a northie, much less marry one!!! EWWW How could you!

SecondAnonymous said...

I love your Blog, but you are definitely wrong about Godfather's. Maybe it's a guy thing, but I loved that pizza. Unfortunately, by the time I moved to FW (around 1988) the GF on Coldwater was on its last leg and not a good representation of what Godfather's Pizza was supposed to be.

Chris said...

I remember Godfather's on South Anthony. They would play the old silent films on a projector.

Speaking of pizza, anyone remember Shakey's pizza on Tilman Rd by the Atz's restaraunt? This would have been around the mid 70s.

Daron said...

Oleys was way better than Godfathers.


What happened to Rogers?

John Good said...

I remember the Scott's at Parkwest very well. And I worked for the newest tenant of that locale, Big Lots, from 1985-1999.

I also grew up on the south side of town, and Chris, there was never a Godfather's there - although you were right about the flicks. Noble Romans, perhaps? It was across the street on S.Anthony from Hire's. Last that I knew, it was a Mexican buffet. . .

John Good said...

Kristina - My wife's high school bud was the stepson of one of the Cub Foods movers and shakers that opened that store. The "bud's" name was Jon Andress - does that ring any bells for you?

Kristina said...

Carl, there are moments I am ashamed hangs head that I married someone who rarely crossed over Coliseum Blvd.

I swear - it was a complete fluke.

I didn't even like the guy.

Well - for awhile.

Kristina said...

Secondanonymous - oh yes - I can tell you - it is a GUY thing. It has to be. Nothing else makes sense ;)

Kristina said...

Chris - YES YES YES! My family frequented Shakey's Pizza on the south side. It was the coolest place for birthday parties :). It is on my list to write about. I'm still trying to hunt down some pictures...

Kristina said...

Dman - what do you mean - what happened to Rogers? Like you want the whole history of Rogers or what?! :)

Kristina said...

John - his name sounds familiar...that's the best I can do.

When I was like 19 - I don't think I knew what a mover and shaker was ;).

ida said...

i loved that pizza. had a friend that would take me there. he would eat like almost the whole thing. i only wanted a couple of slices. yummm. if i hadnt went into the military i would have attended the finance part of the tech college in your pic. i thought at one time there was a target there. used to get some lee jeanes from that store. remember kmart that was behind it all and the k car give away they had back in the 80's. i did. i thought the k car was silly looking, but for free......hummm was watching a car show on tv and that k car got about the same gas miliage as my 99 toyota corrola. who would figure that.