|Early 1960s Lorain Phone Book ad|
It was a good question, and to give Todd a definitive answer, I reviewed old city directories at the Lorain Public Library. In the process, I learned about City Hall Place, a very old Lorain street that today is pretty much a shadow of its former self.
Although it now serves only as an entrance to the City Hall parking lot, at one time it was a street like any other in Lorain, with houses on both sides of it.
Of course, for City Hall Place to get its name, Lorain City Hall had to be located nearby. That didn’t happen until the city purchased the old mansion built by William Jones in 1870 (and later purchased and lived in by shipbuilder John Stang until his death) for use as City Hall in 1903.
But the name ‘City Hall Place’ didn’t show up in the 1905 city directory.
Perhaps the name had to wait until Lorain's 1908 street renaming plan. It noted that, “Short and blind streets running north and south” were to be named ‘Places.' So it’s possible that City Hall Place didn’t get its name until the new system was in, er, place.
At any rate, by the time of the 1912 directory, the name was in use, with both even and odd numbered addresses. Most of these would remain in the listings right up until the old City Hall was demolished in 1974, since they were located on the portion of the street behind the old Central police station.
The 1919 listings include several of the same resident names, but with comically different spellings.
And by the time of the 1929 edition, there was even a commercial business listed: Lorain Dry Cleaning.