Building Fort Wayne’s Future

You might not know the name Elevatus Architecture, but you’re sure to recognize their work. The firm, formerly known as Schenkel & Shultz, Inc. was responsible for local projects like Glenbrook Mall, IPFW’s Rhinehart Music Center, and Citizen’s Square. As Elevatus, they recently completed a number of buildings on Indiana Tech’s campus, including the law school.


Started in Fort Wayne in the early 1950s, SchenkelShultz, as it was often referred to, grew exponentially, cracking the top 500 firms nationwide and expanding to include offices across the country.

But in January 2015, the company went through a period of reorganization and rebranding, with co-owner Michael Gouloff taking the Fort Wayne-based part of the company and, along with a new business partner, Cory Miller, adopting a more locally-focused business strategy, as well as the new name, Elevatus.

“I believe there are places in the marketplace for firms that are small, adaptable, [and] that can work quickly and be ahead of the curve but not so far ahead that they’re out of it,” Gouloff said. “We want to do the newest, best, most appropriate thing for our community.”

“And,” he adds, “I like the kind of stuff that Greater Fort Wayne is talking about.”

Gouloff, who has been doing business in Fort Wayne since the 1970s, says he invests in Greater Fort Wayne Inc. because he likes what he sees. And what he sees is potential. He believes that GFW Inc. provides valuable, apolitical leadership in the direction of a unified community goal, driving progress that can make Fort Wayne into a nationally- and globally-competitive city.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is dedicated to making Fort Wayne into a U.S. top 25 metro area. Investors like Gouloff are working together to support a forward-thinking strategy for business and economic development in the city, spurring growth at the community level.

“There’s no reason that we can’t compete with any other city in the United States, or the world,” Gouloff said. He adds: “It’s important for every business in our community to buy into this.” 

At the end of the day, Gouloff says he’s driven primarily by his love for Fort Wayne.

“Fundamentally, we all want to live in a great community. I live in Fort Wayne because I was born here; I love this city, and it’s a part of me. And what better way to live your life than in a community you love?”


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