Monday, January 13, 2014

Avon House Move – January 1964

Moving a house to make way for a commercial business (such as a gas station) always interests me. It's a considerable undertaking, and says alot about a homeowner that they value their home so much that they want to go to the expense of having it jacked up and relocated.

Not surprisingly, the photo and accompanying caption above from the January 30, 1964 Journal caught my interest. The house – which was located at the northeast corner of Detroit and Center roads in Avon – was to be moved to make way for a gas station.

But thinking about that area now – unrecognizable in 2014 from what it was even a mere 10 or 15 years ago – made me think that surely the house would be gone by now. There's no way it could have survived the massive changes that occurred with all of the commercial development at that intersection now.

But I 'd almost forgotten that with the construction of I-90, Center Road had been cut in half – and that a new spur of Route 83 was built to carry traffic over the new highway. That meant that a small, sleepy dead-end chunk of Center Road was still there, oblivious to the shopping centers, banks and drug stores that were merely a few hundred feet away.

Of course, I had to drive out there late Sunday afternoon to see if the house was still there.

I was glad to see that the house was indeed still there in its new location (below). According to the Lorain County Auditor website, it is listed as being built in 1900 – so that means that it predates that generic date.

The view from yesterday
However, once again my determination to get a "now" photo almost got me into trouble.
As I slowed down in front of the house and took the picture, I noticed somebody in the house looking out the window.
"Aw, jeez," I thought as I kept going down the dead-end street, knowing I would have to turn around and pass the house again on my way back to Detroit Road. Would the person looking out the window be outside the house when I drove by again? 
Sure enough, in the time it took me to turn around, the same young man that was looking out the window was now down at the end of his driveway, staring at me when I slowly approached the house again.
I briefly thought of stopping, showing him the article and giving him an explanation of what I was doing. But I decided that he probably would think I was some kind of nut so I kept on going.


Anonymous said...

You should have pulled in the driveway to turn around several times so they could have called the sheriff. Just kidding. I am reluctant to photograph houses also, even with college students inside!

Drew Penfield said...

You should buy a black windowless van to use when you take photos of peoples' houses. And wear a black windbreaker, sunglasses, and a ball cap!

Dan Brady said...

I should have learned my lesson years ago. Once I drove to Norwalk to photograph the home that my great grandfather Brady lived in. It was pretty dilapidated, and while I was shooting it the door flung open and two of the current residents came running out and approached me menacingly, yelling at me. Fortunately I was able to avoid being throttled by showing them a photocopy of the house's city directory listing from the late 1800s.

Loraine Ritchey said...

he probably thought you were working for the auditor and their taxes would go up ;)

Ken said...

Nothing that a little dose of the old dough-re-mi wouldn't cure!