Thursday, January 10, 2013

History of Kline's - Part 2

Here's an article (below) about the background history of Kline's new home in the brand new Gould Block.

It appeared in the Wednesday, November 14, 1928 edition of The Lorain Times-Herald. The above drawing was featured in the same edition.

Work Started Last May Now Practically Completed

Out of the ruins of a disastrous fire has risen a new building at Sixth-st and Broadway. It will be dedicated, figuratively, Thursday with the entrance of Kline Brothers store, a store for years one of Lorain's largest.

The new Gould building is the successor to the old Gould Block which was destroyed March 3, 1928 when fire razed the building for more than ten hours. Damage at that time was estimated at more than $500,000 including contents. It was a three story structure and all that remained after the smoke had cleared and the ice had melted from the watered debris was a pile of jumbled girders and wreckage – a pile of junk. Twenty-eight business firms were out a home and sought new quarters. Documents were gone and business had to start anew.

Early in May steam shovels started removing the debris and way was made for a new building. Now it is completed and a building costing more than $175,000 stands as a memorial to the staunchness and faith in Lorain held by Joseph Gould, 3455 East Erie-av the owner who saw his building stricken by fire.

The ground upon which the throne of achievement stands has been valued at $275,00. It is one of the most valuable pieces of Broadway property and stands in the heart of the business district of Lorain. The property has a frontage of 107 feet in Broadway and 60 feet in Sixth-st. It has a depth of 134 feet, back to the alley. A small corner of the block is taken up by the Lorain Banking company which suffered a loss of $65,000 in the blaze.

Gould's new building is of most modern construction and has one of the lowest fire insurance rates in the city because of its resistance to fire, according to the owner.

It is a two story-basement type of steel, concrete and terra cotta build. The front alone is terra cotta, a white stone construction. Floors have been made of concrete and composition. The building is entirely fireproof.

Not more than two or three store rooms will occupy the new building on the first floor. Kline's will take up space both on Broadway and Sixth-st. The new concern will be alloted more than 19,000 square feet of space on the first floor in addition to a selling basement.

Nineteen office 'suites,' entirely up-to-date, will occupy the second story. More than half of these are now rented according to the owner. Each office will have an 11-foor ceiling and will be equipped with hot and cold water and gas. Rolling copper screens will be supplied on every window. Every wire running to the building has been concealed in the walls. This includes phone and electric wiring. Even telephones have base plugs.

A new vapor system operated by two large boilers in a section of the basement will furnish heat to tenants.

Although Kline's enter the building and open to the public Thursday, the building will not be entirely complete for some time.

Shortly after the fire Gould returned all rent payments to tenants. They had paid for the month and three days later the building burned to the ground.

Here's another article (below) from the same newspaper describing the Kline's store itself.

Basement First and Second Floors Will Be Utilized

One of the most modern and completely equipped department stores in the county is the boast of Klines for their new store which opens Thursday in the Gould Block Broadway at Sixth-st.

Housed in a fire-proof building of concrete and steel construction, which was erected to replace the old Century Building, destroyed by fire last spring, the Kline store now has much more floor space and other advantages over the old quarters, according to H. S. Kolbert, manager.

The first floor of the store will be taken up with ready-to-wear clothing for men, women and children. It includes coats, dresses, millinery, hosiery, underwear and other articles of clothing for women and young girls, and all types of clothing and furnishing for men and boys, it was announced.

The offices and executive department of the store will be located in spacious quarters on the mezzanine floor at the rear of the store.

In the basement will be located the shoe department, and quarters for rugs, linoleum, beds, bedding, drapes, and other articles. The basement also will contain the storage room and stock room of the store.

The new store is finished throughout in golden oak and all new fixtures of the most modern type have been installed. A new lighting system, which is expected to make the store as light as day at all times.

In addition to all new fixtures, the entire stock of the store will be new, Kolbert said. There will be no stock brought over from the old store, he declared. A force of 60 employees will be used.

The new Kline store has four entrances – two in Broadway and two in Sixth-st. Large island display windows have been erected in the two Broadway entrances. Another feature of the new store is the automatic change conveyor, which has been installed.

Next: A calvacade of Kline's ads through the years

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