Monday, April 10, 2017

Penfield Avenue Looking North – Then & Now

Vintage postcard postmarked January 19, 1910
Although the look of Downtown Lorain was altered forever by the 1924 tornado, the buildings of the Central Lorain business district have remained largely intact for more than a hundred years.

A good example is this vintage postcard (postmarked 1910) of "Penfield Avenue Looking North" that was recently on Ebay, and ripe for the “Then & Now” treatment.

Some of the signs in the photo are legible. I was able to find a few of them in the closest available city directory, although in the 1912 edition the Penfield addresses have already been replaced with that of the new name – Broadway.

We see a sign for DOCTOR GRILLS on the far left side of the photo. Dr. A. T. Grills was a physician and surgeon with his office there at 1948 Broadway. There are also signs for a hotel and a dentist that I could not identify in any available directories.

Further down the street is a sign for FURNITURE & CARPETS that corresponds with Reichlin, Reidy & Scanlan, whose address was 1930-1934 Broadway in 1912.

Today it appears that many of the original buildings from the vintage postcard are still there, though greatly modified through the years.

UPDATE (April 11, 2017)
I finally noticed that the sign advertising the hotel in the vintage postcard is actually on a pole – not attached to the building as I originally thought. Consequently, I believe the sign is pointing down W. 20th Street towards Livingston Avenue where the Commonwealth Hotel was located at 1950 Livingston. 

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