Friday, March 3, 2017

Fire Station Eyesore – March 1964

Although nowadays it seems like my hometown of Lorain is demolition-happy, there was a time when only truly rundown structures were targeted.

That seems to be the case here with the old No. Five Fire Station, which was located at 208 East 32nd Street between Broadway and Elyria Avenue. The photograph below and accompanying caption calling for its demolition ran in the March 7, 1964 Lorain Journal.
Although it was no longer an operating fire station, the Fire Chief wanted to keep using it for storage. 
Apparently he lost the battle because today a small, newer home sits at that address.


Anonymous said...

My grandmother lived down the street from
that fire station, and I do remember a large building still standing on that lot well into the 70's. it had been painted green and the structure above the roofline was no longer there, but I'm pretty sure it was the same building, as my grandparents told me it was on old fire station. So I think the Fire Chief may have actually won that battle in 1964.
Charlie Marko

Dan Brady said...

Hi Charlie! Thanks for leaving that comment! The house in the photo is pretty new (early 2000s) so I wondered just how long the old station did survive. Thanks again for the first-hand recollection, which is always great.

Mike Kozlowski said...

...I knew Chief Al Nickley and his family pretty well - after he retired from the LFD, he opened up the Lorain Hobby Center behind the old Police Station off Erie Avenue. My dad and I would spend Saturday mornings there with other plastic model builders and radio control plane flyers, and it was always a lot of fun. Mr and Mrs Nickley were always welcoming and generous to anyone in the hobby - sadly though things didn't end all that well for them. When the city finally set about building the new City Hall, there was an unpleasant eminent domain battle for the property (they lived there as well) which ended in them pretty much being evicted as the buildings began to come down. They ended up moving to Wellington where they both passed away in the early 80s.


Robert Kovach said...

My Grand parents lived a block south of the fire station so during the summer my Grand father and I would walk past it on our way to the Italian Mutual Club on Broadway.He was the caretaker for the club so I would tag along while he cleaned. I am not positive but just before it was torn down I sort of remember Bucks Excavating having trucks parked there.Could of been there to tear it down for all I know.

Dan Brady said...

Thanks to all of you who pointed out that the building lasted a lot longer than I thought. When I first checked the city directories, the building’s 208 E. 32nd Street address had disappeared in the 1965 edition. Consequently, I thought it had been torn down.

But had I kept on checking subsequent directories, I would have seen that from 1967 until the late 70s, it was the Sign Shop for the city of Lorain. (This was also pointed out to me in an email from Alan Hopewell, who worked in the Sign shop in the summer of ’73.) And then as Robert Kovach noted, the building in the 1980 directory was listed as “Buchs Wrecking & Excavating.”

It’s interesting that Lorain found a good use for an old building instead of tearing it down; that doesn’t seem to happen too often these days!