The opening of enclosed shopping malls and the construction of Interstate 69 through rural areas north and west of the city proper further drove the exodus of retail from downtown through the 1960s.The 1990s marked a turnaround for the city, as local leaders focused on crime reduction, economic diversification, and downtown redevelopment.The airport served as Fort Wayne's primary commercial airfield until Baer Field (now Fort Wayne International Airport) was transferred to the city in 1947 after serving as a military base during World War II.
It later attracted the European explorers and traders and the American pioneer settlers who continued to develop the area as a transportation and communications center.
According to the 2010 census, Fort Wayne has a total area of 110.834 square miles (287.06 km Receding glaciers eroded the land, depositing an evenly distributed layer of sediment during the last glacial period.
The most distinguishable topographical feature is Cedar Creek Canyon, just north of the city proper near Huntertown. The two rivers converge to form the Maumee, which eventually empties into Lake Erie.
This area at the confluence of rivers was long occupied by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. It was the capital of the Miami nation and related Algonquian tribes.
The Miami tribe established its settlement of Kekionga at the confluence of the Maumee, St. The French built Fort Miami in 1697 as part of a group of forts and trading posts built between Quebec and St. In 1721, a few years after Bissot's death, Fort Miami was replaced by Fort St. Increasing tension between France and Great Britain developed over control of the territory.