Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lorain City Hall to Undergo Face-Lifting – April 22, 1947

This painting of Lorain's former city hall hangs in the current city hall
The announcement that Lorain's city hall was going to be spruced up was front page news in the Lorain Journal of Tuesday, April 22, 1947 – 68 years ago today.

Here's the story (below). The fixing up of city hall was part of a larger "spring cleaning" campaign in Lorain, in which councilmen were charged with making sure their wards were "the cleanest in town."

Lorain City Hall to Undergo Spring Face-Lifting

The residence that has served as city hall nearly 40 years will definitely get a much-needed face-lifting operation this spring.

That assurance was given by city councilmen last night as they enthusiastically joined in the spirit of Lorain's "spring cleaning" campaign slated May 12 to 30.

In addition to promising their whole-hearted cooperation in the drive, the solons authorized Service Director Wallace Chapla to take on bids on painting and repairing city hall inside and out at a cost not to exceed $1,200.

The director sent out an S. O. S. to council in the form of an ordinance, after the old building showed signs of "splitting her seams" during a recent rainstorm.

Not only has the hall sprung leaks in many places, but her "plates have been buckling" due to the ravages of time and the elements.

The building now used as city hall was built by William Jones for his private residence during the last century. It was the most pretentious house in Charleston village.

Jones died Jan. 15, 1888 after a record of building 40 vessels at his local shipyards. After Jones' death, John Stang purchased the property and resided in it until his death in 1899 in the room now used as the auditor's office.

Records show the city bought the building in the early 1900's from Herb Little, Stang's son-in-law, and in 1908 an architect was hired to remodel the structure.

The last time the hall was given a re-painting was in 1944 during the administration of Mayor Harry G. Van Wagnen.

Council voted full cooperation with next month's clean-up, paint-up, and plant-up drive, after Mayor Patrick J. Flaherty asked appointment of a special committee comprised of councilmen to take active part.

Council President John Jaworski responded by designating the committee of the whole–which consists of all councilmen–to serve as the special panel. He urged each ward representative to strive to make his district the cleanest in town.

Carl Eversman is chairman of the executive committee in charge of the campaign. He is assisted by James Colgan and Fire Chief Elmer Stough, co-vice chairman.

Elsewhere on that same April 1947 front page of the Journal was a small item with the title, "DRIVE-IN CAFE IN LORAIN OPPOSED." It read, "Protesting anticipated use of former W. Erie-av service station as a drive-in eating place, a petition was presented to city council last night and referred to the building and lands committee. The petition was signed by 15 alleged property owners who wanted the area surrounding the former service station near W. Erie-av and 5th-st to be classified for residential purposes only.

The only filling station in that area at that time was a Gulf station located on the southwest corner of West Erie and Brownell Avenues, just a little east of the park with the Big V at Fifth Street. So I'm guessing that was the property in question.

The anticipated drive-in restaurant never came to pass, because the location apparently had some life left in it selling gas. It became one of the stations operated by Fred Hunger and lasted at least into the 1960s.

The residents who signed the petition back in 1947 would be happy today, as the service station at 1301 West Erie Avenue is long gone.

Courtesy Google Maps

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wish building could have been saved,as many other beautiful homes inlorain county. Very sad. J6dy