Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Tale of Two Buildings

During the long holiday weekend last week, I grabbed a few photos around town to take advantage of the nice weather. There's a lot going on.
The conversion of the former Gel-Pak Building to the new home of Lorain County Health & Dentistry is moving along nicely (below).

Quite a difference from what it looked like last February (below).

Now if someone can only come up with a brick coating that repels graffiti. (I think I did see that product – in an early 1980s Al Jaffee cartoon feature in MAD magazine. A long-haired hippie type unknowingly sprays some graffiti on a wall that has a teflon-like coating, only to see his handiwork disappear. The panel ends with him pulling out his hair in frustration.)

Conversely, the conversion of the former Admiral King High School to a pile of rubble is also moving along well, not so nicely – mainly because it is an unhappy sight for an AK alumnus to behold. The whole property has been surrounded by a fence for some time now, and very slowly the building is being gutted (below).

It's sad to look over and see this in progress.


Anonymous said...

It is still my personal opinion but someday Lorain will regret NOT building the new High School (Community education Center) on the River Site. St Joe's and the Dental Center are sitting isolated in a sea of blight that could have been a vibrant gateway for the Community.

Dan Brady said...

You're probably right, Dennis. I'm not sure if just the rehab of the Gel-Pak building is going to spur any other development in that area. I kind of doubt it.

While I was not entirely on board with the concept of a riverfront high school, I did like the idea of a campus that included a new library. The present Lorain Public Library is pretty depressing and more of shelter/hangout than a place of learning and enlightenment.

Lisa said...

Have you been over to Black River Wharf to see what's going on with the tunnel project? After seeing for real how close it would have been to the proposed project, if not running underneath it at some point, I'm glad they didn't go with Site 3.

I wish the East Side Wildlife Preserve (aka wannabe commerce park) would have been given more consideration, as it met all the criteria, has plenty of room for expansion, and is only a little over a mile from Site 3. Oh well.

The GelPak building looks better and better every day. I was happy to see windows in all around and the HVAC rooftop units on board. While its ability to spur development in the area remains to be seen, it has spurred the neighbors into cleaning up their lots and that's always a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing, the tunnel seems to be under the railroad and the report claims that future development in the areas will not be affected by it. Certainly would have been wasted a lot of great property if that was not true.

Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio said...

Hi Dan. Thank you for the photographs of the Gel Park brick building. I was wondering what was going on with it. Since I no longer live in Lorain, but can only visit it, I did not know if it was actually becoming something or what. Are the new owners private or connected to the city or county?

Yes, I agree with what I have seen about Lorain's library. It has been there in that spot since I was a child. So many cities have no libraries and here in Cuyahoga County it seems like they are building new libraries left and right; and in some cases whether the residents really want them or not. Lorain does desperately need a new library! So, will the new Lorain High School be build where AKHS was? I went to AKHS for summer school in the summer of 1965 and boy was it hot there. I graduated from LHS in 1966. Thank you so much for your wonderful information posts, Dan. I check them quite often and am so glad you are covering so much past history in conjunction with current status for buildings, people, just everything pertaining to Lorain.

Dan Brady said...

Hi Linda Jean,
The new owners of the building are a nonprofit that provides discounted medical and dental care to those who do not have health insurance or qualify for Medicaid.

And yes, the new high school will be built in the same location of the old Admiral KIng HIgh School. The kids are all going to the old Southview High School building until the new one is ready in August 2016.