Here's an undated photo of my old apartment house: the Lorain Overlook Apartments at 2715 E. Erie. (Thanks to the Black River Historical Society for allowing me to copy this photo.)
The vintage photo is hard to date. There's no real landscaping, so the barren view makes me think that the photo dates back to the apartment's early days. There are also structures visible to the east of the building (I've been told there were garages at some point) – instead of the present parking lot – so that also makes me think the photo is earlier rather than later in the building's history.
The Lorain Overlook Apartments first showed up in the city directory in 1926 at 2709 E. Erie. (The previous person who had that address was Gurnie Randall; that makes sense, since the Overlook Apartments were supposed to have been built on or near the site of the old Randall's Grove picnic grounds. (Click here and scroll down a bit to read more about the history of Randall's Grove as it relates to the interurbans and local streetcars on the Lake Shore Rail Maps website.)
I've been told, and the city directories seemed to confirm it, that at one point the Overlook was the only real apartment house in town.
Here are some recent views from last weekend. (I couldn't exactly match the angle without standing on the front porch of the house directly across from it – sorry about that.) There are some minor differences in the fascia above the entrance, but the building is still in great shape.
Like I said, I used to live in these apartments back in the mid-1980's. I thought my apartment was pretty nice for an efficiency. And cheap too – I think I was paying $185 a month.
|My living room at the Overlook|
The faucets in the bathroom sink were interesting. You had two faucets; one for hot and one for cold. You would have to mix it up yourself to get lukewarm so you could shave.
My biggest complaint? Being so close to the lake, my apartment was infested with huge centipedes – ugh! Besides on the floors, they would show up everywhere: on the walls, in the sink, on my bath towels, etc. It was so bad that I used to spray all my baseboards with Black Flag every morning before work – and then come home each night and sweep up the carcasses.
There were also some of the most exotic-looking spiders and beetles I had ever seen in the hallways, with all sorts of unique markings. But that's all part of living in an old building I guess.
Back then, the Overlook was also on the bus route out of Downtown Lorain (since it's right on US 6) – so for a while I could step right out my front door and catch the bus to Cleveland. But it was on a limited schedule, and it was cheaper to drive to Aqua Marine Resort in Avon Lake, leave my car there and ride the RTA.