Here's another photo from the 1968 Greater Lorain Chamber of Commerce Booklet. It appeared in a section promoting the local shopping options, and the accompanying text gave a nice snapshot of what shopping in Lorain was like back then. (Click on it for a larger view.)
The article states, "The traditional place to go shopping is Broadway, where a great variety of retail stores and service establishments – 30 blocks long – appeal to every taste. Wares range from candy to major appliances, prices from those of the discount house to those of the high fashion shop."
The article even mentioned the downtown shopping district's main nemesis, Midway Mall, declaring, "Midway Mall is an incredible new super shopping center midway between Lorain and Elyria. This complex covers 65 acres and includes outlets of three major department stores."
Lorain's other shopping centers were not overlooked either. "A large, well stocked shopping center is never far away in Lorain. Westgate, Lorain Plaza, Sheffield, Oakwood and Shoreway are conveniently located in various neighborhoods, each essentially a self-contained shopping community."
Today, only Lorain Plaza and Sheffield (now called Centre of Sheffield) are still thriving (somewhat). Oakwood and Shoreway are being redeveloped. Westgate, its signage removed, sits deteriorating, although a dollar store operates at the eastern end.
Now, getting back to this photo. When I first looked at it, I assumed that it was from the 1950's. However, Furniture Mart didn't appear in the Lorain City Directory until the mid-1960's.
Unfortunately, the choice of this strip of stores as a representative example of downtown shopping proved to be a poor choice. By the time of the 1969 City Directory, Furniture Mart was no longer listed and by 1970 Fisher Foods was gone as well. For the final irony, the entire block here was leveled a few years later due to urban renewal.
Today (at right), the area shown in the photo serves as a parking lot for the City Center Building.