For more than half a century the fabulous Honeywell Center in Wabash has brought a measure of culture and entertainment to this town usually reserved for big cities. Its world-class concert hall hosting everything from visiting symphonies to big name country-western stars. This was the vision of a visionary man, Mark Honeywell, a Wabash boy born in the 1870's who would make his fortune inventing the little round thermostat found in millions of homes around the world. Honeywell developed the hot water heating system that uses circulating hot water to heat homes. By the 1920's he was a wealthy man. And he was a generous wealthy man. In 1940 he broke ground for the Honeywell Memorial Community Center, dedicated to recreation and the arts. After some delay it opened its doors in 1952.
“Throughout the building you'll find touches of Mr. Honeywell,” says Center director Todd Minnich. “He had a hand in all the original sketches of some of the original light fixtures and architectural elements of the building.”
Everywhere you see evidence of Honeywell's inventive mind...the light fixtures are his design, one inspired by a corn stalk, another by a pineapple tree. Honeywell designed the boardroom, an art deco masterpiece encircled by murals depicting what the artist called Honeywell's romanticism. And this is the Olivette room, a recreation of Honeywell's private yacht. This room was once part of Honeywell's cottage at Lake Wawasee. The room was dismantled, restored and reassembled in the Honeywell Center. Mark Honeywell died in 1964 at age 89. To this day his inventions help keep the world toasty in cold weather, while his generous spirit keep the folks entertained, back home in Indiana.
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