This postcard – published by Ohio Natural Color Card Company of Cleveland, Ohio – is offbeat for other reasons as well. The west side of Broadway is completely cloaked in shadow, including the Ohio Turnpike sign on the light pole. Parked cars seem to dominate the scene, and there are no visible store names on the buildings.
At least it gives the appearance of a somewhat healthy, bustling downtown. The back of the undated postcard stated that "About 600 retail stores are located in this area."
What’s the date of the postcard? I’m guessing it’s from the mid-to-late 1950s, mainly because the Ohio Turnpike opened in 1955. It also predates the use of modern zip codes in 1963, since both the printer and the company that did the color work (Howard Studios) use the old two-digit postal area codes as part of their addresses listed on the back of the card.
As for my sleepy “now” shot from last weekend (before the snow hit us again this week), it’s hard to believe it’s the same view. It’s cleaner, that’s for sure.
Gone is the Lorain Block, home to the Moose Lodge (at 361-371 Broadway) seen in the “then” photo. Also missing are all of the addresses between the still-standing Duane Building (at 401 Broadway) and 445 Broadway (where the now vacant Driscol Music store building is).
And the entire west side of Broadway seen in the vintage photo – from West Erie down to Fourth Street – is history.