Conference Destination 2017

Wabash Hosts Statewide Conference

The town of Wabash, 45 miles southwest of Fort Wayne, boasts a robust Main Street organization that has helped revitalize a handsome historic downtown—site of the 2017 Preserving Historic Places conference.

About Wabash

Preserving Historic Places: Indiana’s Statewide Preservation Conference changes location every year in order to expose registrants to more of Indiana’s historic places. This year’s conference, April 25-28, 2017, celebrates historic downtowns and their economic development power in Wabash, a community founded in 1849 on the Wabash River in northeast Indiana.

In 1880, people traveled miles to see the lights come on in Wabash—the first electrically-lit city in the world. Fast forward 136 years and you’ll find Wabash is still making a mark, winning by popular vote the $500,000 top prize in last year’s national Small Business Revolution contest. Check out Wabash in a series of eight videos.

Along with remnants of the 1830s Wabash and Erie Canal, you’ll find wonderful historic commercial and residential architecture spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. At the conference, you’ll find out how Wabash achieved such a lively historic downtown. While you’re there, check out the city’s cultural attractions, restaurants, and locally owned shops. Visit Wabash County, the tourism and visitors bureau, will help you find them all!

Conference location & parking

Most conference sessions take place at the National Register-listed Honeywell Center, a handsome facility completed in 1952 and expanded in 1994. The center houses a theater, meeting rooms, a restaurant, art gallery, and roller rink. You can park for free in the Honeywell Center’s lot.

Mark Honeywell (1874-1964) grew up in Wabash and founded what is now Honeywell International, a producer of thermostats and automatic controls for heating systems. He established the Honeywell Foundation in 1941 to create the Honeywell Center. Today, the foundation also operates the Honeywell House, Dr. James Ford Historic Home, Charley Creek Gardens, historic Eagles Theatre, and 13-24 Drive-In.

Things to do

The conference agenda will keep you busy, but if you extend your stay, or bring family along, the area offers sightseeing possibilities. The Wabash County Historical Museum has been called the best of its type in the state. You should check out the county courthouse and Lincoln Monument, the Dr. James Ford Historic Home, Charley Creek Gardens, Paradise Spring Historical Park, and other sites in the county. You’ll find information at

After hours 

Green Hat Lounge
A favored go-to spot for an evening out, the Green Hat features a deep wine cellar, seasonal martinis, and beers on tap in a cozy, speakeasy-like space, complete with grand piano. In the Charley Creek Inn, 111 W. Market St.

Harry’s Old Kettle Pub & Grill
“The Kettle,” a locally beloved institution, features a brew menu that changes all the time, with a rotating selection of 13 craft beers on tap. Add your dollar bill to the ceiling, a Wabash tradition. 1633 Stitt St.

Chapman’s Brewing Co.
The craft brewery has taprooms in Angola, Fort Wayne and Columbia City, and is due to open one in Wabash this spring. 233 Miami St.

Market Street Grill
A “Friendly Place with a lot of Taste,” the Market Street Grill serves award-winning food in the 1898 S. J. Payne Building. Visit the bar for a craft beer or special house martini. 90 W. Market St.

Additional Downtown Taverns

Blooeys Bar and Grill
52 West Canal Street

Dyes Bar & Grill
509 West Market Street

Smitty’s Bar & Grill
10 East Canal Street


Three primary partners—Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana Landmarks, and Indiana University—stage the annual Preserving Historic Places conference. We’re grateful for the essential support the conference receives from generous sponsors.

Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology

Indiana Landmarks

Indiana University

Cornelius O'Brien Lecture Series

U.S. Department of the Interior

National Park Service

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Wabash Marketplace


American Structurepoint, Inc.

Arsee Engineers, Inc.

Butler, Fairman, Seufert

Eagles Theatre

Flaherty & Collins Properties

Honeywell Foundation

R+B Architecture

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Assoc.


Historic Preservation & Heritage Consulting

krM Architecture

Odle McGuire Shook Architects

RATIO Architects, Inc.

R.E. Dimond and Associates, Inc.

SRKM Architecture

With special thanks to Wabash County Tourism & Visitors Bureau and the City of Wabash, and AIA Indiana


If you have questions about registration, contact the conference registrar, 800-933-9330,

If you have questions about sessions or tracks or conference events, contact Suzanne Stanis at Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534 or 800-450-4534,