Monday, May 15, 2017

Water Works Park

Late April 2017 View
The building that served as the Lorain Yacht Club’s clubhouse continues to be of interest to me.

Recently I discovered that it dates back to at least 1929. An article in the Lorain Journal on August 19, 1929 about the Lorain Yacht Club’s second annual regatta makes reference to it. It notes, “More than 200 visitors came by water to Lorain for the regatta, and many of them remained for the buffet luncheon and awarding of prizes at the club house, foot of Oberlin-av, at the close of the races.”

Although today we generally describe the building’s location as being at Hot Waters, in its early days it had another address: simply Lorain Water Works Park. That’s how it appeared in several issues from the early 1930s of Motor Boating – The Yachtsmen’s Magazine.

Water Works Park was featured in the book, Lorain: The Real Photo Postcards of Willis Leiter. The book included the photo of the lakefront park below.

The caption noted, “The huge brick chimney on the left was the location of the steam boilers that powered the water pumps for the city water supply. The park was located behind the Lorain waterworks on First Street at the north end of Oberlin Avenue.”

Here’s another vintage postcard view (below).

An internet search reveals that many municipal water works seemed to have parks adjacent to them. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of available information about Lorain’s park. It’s hard to know when the park was apparently lost to the expansion and upgrading of the Water Department facilities.

It looks like change had already occurred in these 1930s views (courtesy of Al Doane).

Today, the Water Works Park area is unrecognizable (below). The towering chimney seen in the vintage views is long gone, along with the older Water Department buildings.
But at one time, the property provided a nice lakefront park for residents, and a good home and address for the Lorain Yacht Club.

Here’s a view of Oberlin Avenue and First Street from yesterday afternoon. As you can see, the tall building in the background is in several of the vintage photographs.

1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

2nd photo from top down looks like Lakeview Park.