Monday, August 29, 2016

The W. 21st Street Extension

I’ve mentioned before that when I was a kid, if my family was going to go to Vermilion or Huron, we always went down Leavitt Road to West 21st Street and used it as a shortcut to Lake Road. It would have been impractical to go north all the way down Leavitt to Lake Road.

Ironically, we rarely traveled that section of Lake Road between Leavitt and the undercut that I’ve written so much about – via stories about the Pueblo, Anchor Lodge, McDonald’s, the Lorain Arena, Taco Boy, Howard Johnson’s, etc.

Anyway, I’ve always thought of that stretch of W. 21st Street as being rather forgettable, notable only because it was the road leading to (yum) the Nickles Bakery Thrift Store.

How long has that stretch of W. 21st Street been there?

The answer’s in this story, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on August 2, 1941.


County Earmarks $35,000 for New 21st Street Route
Other Jobs Placed Ahead of Lorain-Elyria Road Plan

Lorain-co board of commissioners yesterday earmarked $35,000 for extension and improvement of W. 21st-st from Leavitt-rd to an intersection with Lake-rd, just west of the Nickel Plate underpass, according to Board Chairman Oscar Dunn.

The action was taken to provide the county’s share of the cost of building a western outlet for Central High Level bridge.

Use of the county’s $35,000 is contingent upon the state highway department doing the work and making the road a “defense access road” under a new federal works program to relieve traffic on Lake-rd, now the most heavily traveled in Northern Ohio.

The state has agreed to cut the road thru and pave it as soon as federal funds are released to the state for the defense roads.

At the same time yesterday, the county board decided that the county will insist on definite action on the 21st-st extension and three other projects already planned before the board will consider the right-of-way purchase of the old Lorain Street railway for a new Lorain-Elyria road.

The state highway department has asked the county to purchase the right-of-way for the planned new road.

The other three projects given priority by the county board are the completion of Route 611 (Colorado-av) improvement, the widening of two narrow bridges on Route 18 west of Wellington, and elimination of a curve on Elyria-Oberlin-rd at Brookdale cemetery and resurfacing of the road.

It’s interesting that at that point in 1941, the “new Lorain-Elyria road” – today’s Route 57 - had to take a backseat to the W. 21st Street extension.

As usual, the Journal page that I’ve reproduced probably has things that are more interesting to readers than the article that I’m spotlighting. If you have good eyesight (or some good glasses), you might want to check some of them out. Included are articles about the death of Curtis Snyder, one of the “pioneer army of steelworkers who came to Lorain in 1898,” the mention of a Moose Lodge picnic at Crystal Beach, the story of a 73-year-old man who had just left on a honeymoon with his 16-year-old bride, and a fish story told by Gene Mason, a crane man at National Tube.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Great article!!