Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The William Jones Mansion

Lorain's City Hall in the days when it was a private residence.
William Jones, an early shipbuilder, erected the building for a home.
Here's another article about a great old house. It's about the William Jones mansion, and it appeared in the pages of the Lorain Journal and Times-Herald on July 14, 1934. Of course, you know the building as the old Lorain City Hall that was demolished in 1974. (The photo and caption that ran with the article is shown above.)


Jones House, 'Mansion' of '70's, Now Used for Muny Offices

Little did William Jones, an early settler in Lorain, and a pioneer shipbuilder, dream when he laid plans for his home on W. Erie-av. that the building some day would house the administrative office of the city 65 years later.

The present mayor, E. A. Braun, lived in the house as a boy.

Coming here from the New England states in the late sixties, Jones decided to build a home. He selected the present site of the city hall, then a quiet section. Work was started in 1870. Most of the carpentry was done by John F. Prince and Westwood Prince. When completed, it was a mansion and the pride of the city.

Bought by City in 1899
In 1877 the house was bought by John Stang, step father of the present mayor.

Stang was a contractor who built many of the docks along the river, also the main abutments of the Erie-av bridge. He died in 1899. About four years later, the building was bought by the city and used as a combination city hall and municipal court building.

Prior to this time, the city offices were in the old Wagner block which stood on the site of the Broadway building. All the offices were moved to the Stang building together with the police offices. The jail was at No. 1 fire station on 4th-st. and prisoners were taken from there to the city hall for arraignment.

City council also met in the building on the second floor. The interior of the building was remodeled from time to time with the offices shifted from floor to floor.

The amount paid by the city for the building was about $30,000, and it was only a few years ago that the last of the bonds were retired.

For a nice gallery of vintage photos of the mansion, click here to visit Loraine Ritchey's That Woman's Weblog.

1 comment:

Jerry A. McCoy said...

I vividly remember going into this house in the early 1970s and walking up the staircase to the left of the entrance. The staircase featured a massive wooden newel post and hand rail. The mayor's office was at the top of the staircase, probably occupying one of the larger bedrooms. I wonder if the carved newel post was saved?