Thursday, November 8, 2012

From 1960: "Tear it down and make it a park."

If you ever wondered why Lorain decided to stay in the ancient City Hall on West Erie Avenue into the 1970s, rather than occupy the more spacious former Carnegie Library, I think I found the answer.

It was 1960, and the old library building had been vacated for three years. Lorain was still trying to find a use for it, and was hoping that the Board of Education could use it.

Unfortunately, according to an article in the November 18, 1960 Lorain Journal, "High remodeling costs were cited by board members in turning down the possibility of purchasing the former library building. City officials in the past have stated that remodeling costs would be from $200,000 to $400,000."

In that very same edition of the newspaper, the article below appeared in which Lorain's Mayor John C. Jaworski very clearly opposed using the old library as Lorain's City Hall. I think it was probably the final word on the issue.


Not Suitable For City Hall Site
Mayor Repeats Stance On Old Library

Mayor John C. Jaworksi has again emphasized his position on the old library building now that the Lorain Board of Education has said definitely it doesn't want the building. He said again, "Tear it down and make it a park."

Jaworski feels that remodeling the old structure for a city hall would cost too much. He also doesn't think a city hall should be near railroad tracks and off a main street.

The mayor envisions a ranch style building on the site of the present city hall.

City Solicitor Adrian F. Betleski has ruled that the heirs to the owner of the Streator property would have to be consulted before the old library could be used for anything other than a park or a city hall, as provided in the will.

The land was named Streator Park after its owner, Worthy Streator.

Councilman Ed Novack, D-at-large, has been one of the strongest supporters for tearing the structure down.

The city is now storing emergency hospital equipment in the building, which has been purchased for Civil Defense use. Cost of keeping a janitor and heating the building is about $4,000 yearly.

City Council has been "hemming and hawing" over the structure for many months now, waiting for someone to say, "Yes, we want the building." No one has said it yet.

1 comment:

Jerry A. McCoy said...

A "ranch style building?"

I know what this look is when applied to residential architecture but I wonder what they were envisioning applying this style to government use!