Angie Quinn, Executive Director, Arch, Inc.

Fort Wayne, Indiana

An older wood structure to which a sizeable brick addition has been made.


As the only structure in Fort Wayne that was possibly connected to abolition, this house has been nominated for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.  S. Harris & Co. was selected to determine the historic construction sequence and age of the residence of Alexander T. Rankin, a well-known abolitionist active in Ohio and Indiana, to either prove or disprove its use as a stop on the Underground Railroad.


Our role was to perform an in-depth survey and physical assessment of the house to determine its condition and any needed repairs as well as investigate its historical significance.

  • We recommended that the roof junction of the two building portions be simplified and repaired to remove water from the roof efficiently.  Our investigation found that due to the then-current configuration of the roof, water was collecting at their intersection and had caused water damage and timber rot.
  • We recommended that the client address surface runoff issues upon our discovery that water was not being removed from grade efficiently.
  • We found signs of both termite and fungal damage…the later from water intrusion.
  • We determined that the “hidden” areas thought to have been used to hide escaping slaves in the 1850's to 1860's were not actually built until after the Civil War.
National Register of Historic Places - 2004