The long-standing Village Bowl at Quimby Village is finally no more.
Demolition on the venerable old building was completed about the middle of October, according to officials from Sweetwater Sound, the company that owns the Quimby Village property.
“The building was so dilapidated,” said Jeff Osterman, Vice President of Performance Improvement with Sweetwater Sound. “We just felt it would be an improvement to the image of the entire plaza.”
The Village Bowl had been a part of the historic Fort Wayne shopping plaza since it was first built in the 1950s. But the last pin fell inside the old alley in 2011, and the edifice has sat vacant and decaying ever since.
Osterman said the razing of the building, located at 1710 Bluffton Road, started about two weeks ago, and crews experienced no major problems in bringing it down. “And there were no hazardous materials inside,” he said.
In fact, so much of the building’s old interior already had been stripped away – some sold for scrap – that not much work was required on the inside. None of the bowling alleys or old ball machines were even left behind, Osterman said.
“The inside mechanical had already been stripped away, we just pretty much had to knock down the brick and cement exterior, and the roof,” he said.
Although Osterman didn’t have exact figures for the demolition’s cost, he said the entire bill was covered by Sweetwater.
The company plans to convert the now-empty space into additional parking and new landscaping for the renovated plaza, Osterman said.
“We’ll be adding about 100 new parking spots, as well as some new trees, shrubs, and additional landscaping to improve Quimby’s appearance,” he said.
Osterman said the additional parking will be beneficial to the Clyde Theatre, because its performances have been so popular.
“We’ve been having so much success with the shows at the Clyde (theater),” Osterman said, “that venue really will benefit from the extra parking.”
It won’t be long before no trace is left of the old bowling alley.
“The rest of the building will be down in a week or so,” Osterman said. “And we hope to have the new parking lot done before the snow flies.”