Monday, February 8, 2010

Old Lorain City Hall & Police Station Part 4

The Journal ran a nice feature about the old central police station behind the old City Hall on December 16, 1973, the day that the new City Hall complex was dedicated. (The above photo is actually from the 1968 Greater Lorain Chamber of Commerce promotional booklet.)
The article collected a series of Lorain Times Herald and Lorain Journal News newspaper accounts from the days when the soon-to-be-demolished police station was new. Here are a few excerpts, courtesy of the Morning Journal.
NOVEMBER 10, 1910 – John "Zins" Zinsmeister rocked back in his chair, the ends of his droopy mustache drooping with max and his mind groggy from the radiator heat.
Outside it was bitter cold and the veteran patrolman bragged he didn't have to wear itchy woolens under his stiff blue uniform.
The brand new Lorain Central Police Station came to life today with the hissing and pinging of its monster steam furnace in the cellar, but the jail has yet to be completed.
With deep set eyes, high cheek bones and floppy ears, Zinsmeister looked more like a prisoner than a deskman. Today he found himself entombed in an office of iron bars. "A real caged attraction," a reporter cracked.
By 8:30 this morning Zims booked in the usual number of tramps and hobos, one horse thief and two gamblers, rounded up from the city's four other boxcar jails.
These prisoners would be brought before the mayor for trial.
NOVEMBER 15, 1910 – A disgruntled Chief Williams today said it wouldn't be until January before prisoners could be placed in the jail. Plans call for 20 cells capable of holding 40 prisoners.
H.E. Ford, the creator of this $14,000 fortress, could not be reached for comment. The station is engineered to hold in its iron-ribbed stomach, the crooks of the boom town of 28,000 people.
The upstairs of the station will feature an airy courtroom, store room, electrician's apartment and spacious room for police officers. Each patrolman will have his own locker.
JANUARY 12, 1911 – The new central police station was officially opened today as city fathers toured the building. Conspicuously missing was a cornerstone.


Anonymous said...

I love the collection of "tramps, hobos,one horse thief and two gamblers..". I do think the horse thief was a relative of mine!!??? Ahhhhh, those were the days!!

Hoy hoy,
Jeff Rash

Dan Brady said...

I agree, the sentence with the hobos & horse thief was the best part of the post! (That and the part about the missing cornerstone!)