Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What used to be in that building?

Recent photo of 215 E. Erie
I haven’t done one of these types of posts for a while, so here’s one to start off the new year.

For decades, eastbound traffic coming over the Bascule Bridge may have noticed a small boxy building on the north side of E. Erie. Of course, locals recognize the building at 215 E. Erie Avenue as the home of Mary’s Sweet Shop since 1976.

Here’s what it looked like after the business closed in in 2010 (which the Morning Journal covered here).

Courtesy Lorain County Auditor
Once the newer signage was removed, a vintage sign painted on the west wall was revealed (below). It was later painted over.

Courtesy Google
But what was in there before Mary’s Sweet Shop?

The earliest listing for the 215 E. Erie address in the Lorain city directory that I could locate was in the 1947 edition. (It was not listed in previous available editions, including the 1945 book).

Heisner Radio Inc. was the first tenant listed in that 1947 directory. The company listed ‘radio repair’ as its business. By the time of its 1958 listing, it had expanded to offer radio, TV and marine radio equipment. But the business was gone by the time of the 1959 edition.

Next, an Elyria company that most Lorain Countians are familiar with was briefly listed at 215 E. Erie in Lorain: Dick Stewart Inc. (later known as Stewart’s Appliance). The Elyria store had already been open for more than a decade, originally starting out as a radio store as well. But the Lorain location was only listed in the 1959 directory. After that the listing became vacant for two years.

It wasn’t until the 1962 directory that a new, soon-to-be longtime tenant took over the building: Domestic Upholstering.

1970 Lorain phone book ad
The same ad (shown above) ran in the Lorain phone book for many years. It’s a reminder of the days when Lorain had an incredible array of crafts and services available right in the city.

Domestic Upholstering would continue to be listed at the 215 E. Erie address through the 1975 city directory; Mary’s Sweet Shop took over the building after that.

Anyway, here’s hoping that whoever currently occupies the building at 215 E. Erie also has the same success at that location by the bridge that the previous tenants enjoyed.

3 comments:

Gary Smith said...

Recess Games was that last tenant there a few years ago. They sold games and comic books. I don'the remember if was before or after they were at the Midway Mall at the former greeting card store that was near the food court. They are currently near Great Northern Mall.

Dan Brady said...

Thanks for posting your comment, Gary. I remember going in there when it was a comic book store but couldn’t remember the name!

Mr. Raleigh McB said...

I remember painting the sign of the west side of the building back in the 70's when I worked at Ritter Signs. I remember the color scheme was more of a chocolate brown on a yellow ground; very similar to the yellow of the Hersey's Mr. Goodbar.