Monday, July 11, 2016

Huron’s Main Street – Then & Now Part 2

I drove out to Huron again this weekend to grab a “now” shot of Main Street to go along with one of the vintage postcards I posted on Friday (above).

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that one building did indeed survive the massive demolition of the downtown that began back in late 1969.

In my “now view (below), the Firstmerit Bank office building at 357 Main Street is the same building shown on the vintage postcard.

The building was identified as Firelands Community Bank with the same address in the 1970 Vermilion-Huron City Directory.

An article in the Sunday, April 27, 1975 Lorain Journal about the winding up of Huron’s urban renewal project mentioned that the Firelands Community Bank had added a “drive-in facility.”

When Huron began demolishing its downtown for its urban renewal project, the Lorain Journal offered its support in an editorial (below) that ran on December 2, 1969. It was probably an attempt to get the citizens of Lorain ready for what was beginning to unfold in their own city.

All Together for Huron

THE BUSINESS section of Huron is beginning to disappear. There’s no magic involved. The disappearing act is being performed by a bulldozer and crane which, as reported in a news article yesterday, “are ripping away at the core of Huron…and memories will soon be all that remains of this city’s downtown.

The demolition is the result of an urban renewal project over which many citizens of Huron are split into opposing camps.

Powerful arguments can be offered for and against urban renewal. This federal experiment in community renovation is cumbersome and costly. This doesn’t mean, however, that Huron will be hurt. It is much more likely that the city will be stirred up to a new era of progress.

As for the downtown section, it will remain more attractive in nostalgic memory than it is in reality.

Huron has not in the past lived up to its potential. Perhaps now it will do so.

These comments are not in defense of urban renewal, as such, nor in opposition to it. Rather, they lead up to a conclusion that if the project has reached the point of no return, then all citizens of Huron should unite to get the best possible results from it for the good of the community.

1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

This is what Lorain needs!

They should take all the unpainted bricks and use them as a base for a new island out in Lake Erie.