Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lorain Diner Part 2

Since I knew that Lorain Diner's one year anniversary was in March 1953, it was easy to find its rather humble Grand Opening ad (above) on microfilm. It ran in The Lorain Journal on February 29, 1952.

Within a week, ads for the diner began to appear regularly in the paper, like this one (below) – with an actual photo of the diner. It appeared in The Lorain Journal on March 6, 1952.

Although the photo was rather poor (it looked even worse before I Photoshop'd it), at least it showed me that Lorain Diner looked like a prefabricated diner, especially because of its classic neon sign. But was it a prebuilt?

I decided to bring in an authority on the subject.

I contacted a diner expert – Mike Engle – the author of Diners of the Capital District as well as Diners of New York (and the man behind to get his opinion. (Mike had helped me identify another diner in Lorain back here.)

Mike responded, "The building seems to look too large to be a factory built diner. Because they had to be shipped, they couldn't be too tall, with all the height restrictions out there." He added, "I imagine it was just a regular building built by the owner. At the time, probably cheaper and quicker to build something that somewhat looked like a diner."

So if it was unlikely that Lorain Diner was a prebuilt, that meant it might still be out there by the undercut.

It was time to head out there and find out.


Anonymous said...

Dan...good stuff.
I am a little confused. You mentioned the diner opened in 1953....but the ads were from 1952.Just wondering.....

Jeff Rash

Dan Brady said...

Thanks for noticing that, Jeff! It's corrected now! (This post mysteriously disappeared TWICE after I had it done and ready to post; I hastily re-keystroked it for the third time last night before I hit the hay!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Diners...