Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bye Bye Bait Shop

The view on Tuesday night
I read in the Chronicle-Telegram last night (here) that Lorain is planning to tear down the city-owned Hot Waters Bait & Tackle building.

It’s been decided that given the poor condition that the building is in, there is no reason to continue to lease the property to a tenant, or invest in rehabilitating the building.

Once again, Lorain can’t wait to tear something old down.

Courtesy Lorain County Auditor
And that’s a shame. Here you have an old, interesting little building that would be right at home in a New England harbor environment. If it was fixed up and returned to its former glory, it could be something that tourists would utilize.

I don’t know how many people still fish down at Hot Waters, but I’ll bet plenty enjoy the view of the Lighthouse. This building would be perfect to sell pop, coffee, hot dogs, or newspapers – or even hand out tourist information. Or sell souvenirs. In addition to its purpose of selling bait and tackle.

If this building gets torn down, it’s possible that nothing will take its place. And Lorain loses more of its real, nautical heritage.

Authentic heritage that can’t be replaced by pagan fish pageants.

When are the city and civic leaders of Lorain going to start thinking of the city as a tourist destination and make sure every move is geared in that direction – instead of just cutting costs?

Please, Lorain – leave something old standing for a change. Make this building a project. Find volunteers – grants – corporate sponsors – and fix it up.

Got an interesting email from local historian and author Al Doane this morning about this building. Apparently it has a lot more maritime history than I thought.

Al noted, "I remember when that building housed the Lorain Yacht Club until the new club was built on Alabama Avenue, just north of East Erie Avenue, and just north of the East entrance from East Erie Ave. to the Bascule Bridge.

"I remember the old Yacht Club using this old building in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. It had a lot going for the building when a regatta was held there, for all the various close yacht clubs would enter the races."

All the more reason to try and save this building!


Anonymous said...

I agree Dan. Recently my husband and I went through Lorain to see Oakwood park near Oak less. We meandered our way to Hot Waters and observed everything pretty much as it always was. Really how much effort could it take to spruce it up in volunteers and donations? Rae

Anonymous said...

Oh, they've got another use for the land, Dan, just watch. From the Chronicle story:
Given said the administration will begin demolishing the building but as for the future of the land, it’s up in the air.
“When we get proposals (for the land) back, if we get proposals back, we’ll meet again with Council,” he said. “It’ll likely be the end of the year by the time we bring it all together.”
And as for your question about when Lorain officials will start looking at tourism as a viable industry, the answer is "not in my lifetime". They're too busy lighting votive candles and hoping that US Steel or Ford or some other big manufacturer will come back. Fat chance. Don Wozniak

Loraine Ritchey said...

Dan I have to disagree there was a power point presentation at City Council. The building has major issues .( check the twitter feed of Rick Payerchin and Katie Knix) The city as a landlord has to be held accountable just as I am held accountable to meet codes . The rodents, the electrical, roof and sewage issues in fact leaking raw sewage pipes were held together with duct tape - the toilets when flushed spewed that "flush" onto the walls and floor and in fact the floors in the building were spongy and rotting... and non existent water ( the water that was there was through a hose from the water dept. This being a commercial for profit renter meant the city also has to pay property taxes. And the city would be held responsible for anyone getting hurt ( customers etc- therefore as a commercial building it has to meet a higher criteria ... Dan Given explained ( and the mother of the current tenant also explained they were behind in the rent due to the issues of the poor fishing etc the last two years).... anyway Dan Given went to collect the rent in the summer and was shocked as to the state of the building, he ordered an inspection ( report was given at Council)The building had not been inspected for many years and the tenants ( according to the mother) did not want to complain to the city because they knew the problems and were concerned they would be shut down. they actually called electricians to fix the electrical and no-one would touch it The plan is to remove the building and then explore the options whether to build a seasonal structure, see if anyone wants to purchase the rights or even the land. Also the EPA wants the area cleared ( the hill ) and diverting traffic due to the proximity of the Chlorine tanks. more than just a building that would be cost prohibitive to rehab.... .so much more to this...... and you know if that building had any historic worth at all I would be all over it......

Bill Rees said...

Apparently City hall is determined to tear down every bldg., historic site in Lorain, Ohio. At the latest, Oakwood Park is another example of this.