Here's an interesting way to do a "then and now" – from the air!
The "then" photo is from the Images of America book. (Click on it so you can get a good look.) It shows Lorain circa 1937. Washington Park (now Veteran's Memorial Park) is pretty sparse; the trees are few and thin.
Walter A. Frey Funeral Home (which I blogged about last week) is pretty easy to find in the 1937 photo. It's opposite the park to the north and the Parkside Chapel is immediately to the right of the funeral home. The old Lorain City Hall is to the right of the chapel. If you really know your old-time Lorain, you probably recognize some long-gone buildings.
Is that a miniature golf course on the south side of Fourth Street, a half-block from Broadway? I'm going to have to find out!
I have two "now" photos. The upper photo is a recent screen grab from Google Earth, with my captions added so you can get your bearing. The second "now" photo is a screen grab from MapQuest. (You can tell the MapQuest map is more recent, because the demolished building on West Erie to the west of the City Center is still in the Google Earth photo.)
It's pretty fascinating to see how much the area has changed in more than 70 years. Lorain really changed the street configuration in that area by closing off Reid Avenue at Fifth Street (at that point Reid becomes part of the Meridian Plaza parking lot).
There sure used to be a lot of homes downtown!