Thursday, May 31, 2018

L&K and Leavitt Road Revisited - Part 3

The 1980s brought more national chains to Leavitt Road in Amherst near the intersection of Cooper Foster Park Road.

As you can see from the 1980 Lorain City Directory listing below, Dunkin Donuts and Mr Hero had joined the restaurant lineup on the east side of the highway.

The original L&K Restaurant next to the Marathon station – the granddaddy of all of the chain restaurants along that stretch of Leavitt Road – would last appear in the 1982 directory, its address going vacant in the next edition.
And by the time of the 1983 city directory, Sambo’s would also be gone – replaced at its location by Friendly’s.
The mid-80s brought even more chain restaurants. A Sisters Fried Chicken outlet opened in the L&K Restaurant’s old location at 940 Leavitt. Here’s its listing in the 1986 city directory.
The 1986 city directory was also the last to include a listing for the L&K Towne House Restaurant. By the time of the 1987 edition, it would become Ike’s Great American Restaurant.
As noted in a past post, Bob Evans Restaurants opened its Amherst store in late 1987.
But what about the L&K Motel? It would continue to appear in the directories until around the 1991 edition, when Travelodge was listed at that location, bringing an end to L&K’s presence in Amherst.
1991 city directory listings
Many more changes occurred along that portion of Leavitt Road since the 1990s.

Today, the Big Boy is long-gone; an empty lot sits near Route 2 where once the jolly statue of Big Boy stood. Sisters Chicken & Biscuit is gone; a Taco Bell sits at its old location. A Chipotle Mexican Grill occupies Friendly’s spot. Days Inn now runs the motel that started out as a Lawson’s Motor Inn, and there’s a Denny’s at the L&K Towne House’s old address
The BP gas station – the successor to Jack’s Sohio – is closed as well, leaving Sunoco as one of the oldest businesses on Leavitt in that area.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

L&K and Leavitt Road Revisited - Part 2

Consolidated Foods of Akron made an interesting decision when it was time to name its new restaurant and motel on Leavitt Road in Amherst in the early 1970s.

Although Consolidated Foods owned both the L&K chain as well as Manners Big Boy, its new restaurant and motel took the name and branding of another chain the firm owned: Lawson’s.

The 1972 city directory listing shown below (with the original L&K Restaurant highlighted) tells the story, with Lawsons Motel Inn motel at 832 Leavitt and Lawson’s Restaurant at 900 Leavitt. (They first appeared in the 1971 edition, however.)

The Cleveland Memory Project website features a postcard with a Lawson’s motel and restaurant. The back of the postcard reads, "LAWSON'S RESTAURANT & MOTELS 16201 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44112, Phone 216-281-2600; Restaurants and Motels in Ohio, Motels in Stow, Montrose, North Canton, Amherst and Macedonia. Swimming pools; Color T.V. and phones in all rooms."
Courtesy Cleveland Memory Project
There was another Lawson’s Restaurant – the first in the chain – on Babbitt Road in Euclid. 
The Lawson’s restaurant/motel experiment apparently did not last very long, because by the time of the 1973 Lorain city directory, both properties were rebranded as part of the L&K chain as seen in the listing below (with the original L&K restaurant highlighted).
Thus, there were two L&K restaurants on Leavitt Road within the same quarter mile– the original next to the Marathon station, and the L&K Towne House, home to many club meetings.
By the mid-1970s, the L&K Motel appears to have taken on a new name, judging from various online newspaper accounts from that time. It was often referred to as the Penny Pincher Motel (or L&K Penny Pincher Motel.)
Commercial development consisting of national restaurant chains continued to thrive along Leavitt Road. Sambo’s opened its Amherst location in the spring of 1977. Below is an ad for the pancake house that ran in the Amherst News-Times on May 5, 1977.

An announcement of the construction of a Bob's Big Boy on Leavitt near the Route 2 interchange ran in the Amherst News-Times on November 10, 1977. And McDonald’s made its appearance at 500 Leavitt Road as the 1970s drew to a close.

Next: The 1980s and the fate of L&K

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

L&K and Leavitt Road Revisited - Part 1

Another reproduction of the architectural rendering of the new Marathon station and L&K Restaurant
(Courtesy Amherst News-Times) 
The reaction to my post last week about the L&K Restaurant in Amherst convinced me that it was a story worth revisiting in more detail.

What follows, then, is a general look not only at the various L&K properties (yes, there was more than one) along that stretch of Leavitt Road, but also of the other commercial development that took place from the early 1960s to the 1990s.

It’s a fascinating story, because so many of the businesses in that area came and went, leaving no visible trace of their existence, except for some fading memories of them among the locals.

Back in the early 1960s, there was almost no commercial development on Leavitt Road from Spruce Lane (the entrance to Rock Creek Run) north to Cooper Foster Road. It was mostly residential, with the exception of Harman’s Nursery at 512 Leavitt.

Very slowly, things began to change.

Amherst Baptist Church appeared in the 1961 directory at 900 Leavitt Road. By the time of the 1962 directory, Westminster United Presbyterian Church was listed at 515 Leavitt.

But it wasn’t until the 1968 city directory that commercial development seemed to explode, with three new listings: Jack’s Sohio at 801 Leavitt, and J & J Sunoco at 1004 Leavitt; and a Convenient Food Mart at 707 Leavitt.

Note that the property at 920 Leavitt was listed as being ‘under construction.’ That apparently was the L&K Restaurant. It opened in the beginning of June 1969.

June 5, 1969 article from the Amherst News-Times
The restaurant made its first appearance in the 1970 city directory at 940 Leavitt Road (the 920 construction address simply disappeared.) The Marathon station next door wouldn’t appear in the listings until the 1971 edition.

But Consolidated Foods – the parent company at that time of L&Kwasn’t quite finished yet on that part of Leavitt Road. The company had several other projects in mind for the growing area.

As an article in the April 9, 1970 edition of the Amherst News-Times explained, “Three new commercial enterprises revealed plans for locating themselves on Rt. 58 near the intersection with Cooper Foster Park road at a Planning meeting Monday night.

“The three businesses include a bank branch, a restaurant and a motel, all of which would be located on the west side of Rt. 58 on land owned by the Baptist Church.

“The Lorain County Savings and Trust Bank has purchased the church building, which sits back from the road some 150 feet. The bank has devised plans for remodeling the church into a bank with drive-in window service.

“The motel and restaurant would be constructed by Consolidated Foods of Akron, the same company that owns Manners and L and K chain of restaurants. Representatives from the company told the Planning Commission that the restaurant would have no curb service and hoped to establish a reputation for fine foods.”

So what was the name of Consolidated Foods' new restaurant and motel? You might be as surprised as me when you find out in tomorrow’s post.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Kipton Civil War Soldier Monument Stands Tall

About a month ago, I received an email from Bill Stark of Cleveland. He was wondering if I had heard that the Civil War Soldier Monument out in Kipton had been fixed so that it no longer was leaning backwards.

(I had done a post about the leaning monument way back here in 2011.)

I thanked Bill for the heads-up, and did a little online research. As it turns out, it had been fixed back in 2017 in time for the Kipton, Camden, Henrietta Memorial Day and Program. 

Nevertheless, this provided me a good excuse to take a little drive out to Kipton for some new photos of the monument to post today on Memorial Day.

I’ve said it before: I sure wish Lorain still had its Civil War Soldier statue, which looked similar to this one.
Have a safe and solemn Memorial Day.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Lawson's Dutch Loaf Ad – May 20, 1968

I still can’t believe some eagle-eyed readers saw that tiny Lawson’s sign in the Sandy’s photo from a few days ago.

Anyway, here’s yet another ad for Lawson’s Dutch Loaf. It ran in the Journal back on May 20, 1968 – 50 years ago this month. (You'd think I was Dutch, judging by how many times that I blog about things with 'Dutch' in the title.)

I posted a similar ad back from 1966 in 2016 here, but with a different sales price.

This newspaper ad is interesting in that it was pretty big – almost 3/4 of a page! And it only features four basic products: bacon, eggs, milk and Dutch Loaf.

That’s a pretty simple marketing plan. But I bet it worked. A lot of Lorainites probably had Dutch Loaf sandwiches that week. Maybe even the Brady Bunch.

Note the special logo commemorating Lawson’s 29th anniversary, celebrating its 1939 founding.

By the way, here’s a link to a good article about how there came to be Lawson’s stores in Hawaii in the last few years, by way of Asia. The article includes a very thorough history of the beloved chain as well.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Former Baetz Dairy Bar – “New" Then & Now

Since I started doing this blog back in 2009, I’ve done lots of “Then & Now” photo compositions.

I guess that it’s inevitable then, that sooner or later I would be updating some of the “Now” photos – relegating them to lowly “Then” status!

Here’s a good example. Baetz Dairy Bar and the Lorain Arena has long been a favorite topic on this blog since 2010, when the property was for sale.

Over the years, I've found several photographs of the buildings, showing how the property evolved.

Here’s the Grand Opening ad for Baetz Dairy Bar, which ran in the Lorain Journal on June 9, 1949.

 Here’s an ad that ran in the Journal a few months later, in Sept. 1949.

And here’s a 1955 aerial view, after the Lorain Arena was built right behind the Dairy Bar.

Here’s how both buildings looked when the whole complex was for still for sale in 2011 (below).

Today, the property has been home to Rockwell Metals since May of 2012. Happily, the company has removed the Kerr Beverage signage and given the building an attractive makeover.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New Sandy’s sign – June 17, 1968

Last week I did a post on the Grand Opening of Sandy’s in Elyria back in May of 1962.

Regular blog reader Lisa left a comment on that post, recalling that the restaurant sign with the likeness of “Sandy” used to slowly twirl around, simulating a Scottish dance.

Well, Lisa has a good memory.

Above is a photo of the sign in front of the Lorain Meister Road outlet that accompanied a promotional article in the business pages of the June 17, 1968 Lorain Journal. The article noted, “Ray Voit, manager, is particularly proud of the new Sandy’s sign in front of the restaurant which is decorated with American flags, American beauty roses and evergreen shrubbery."

It’s kind of cool seeing that Sandy's sign again, and the Pure gas station next door. It’s such a familiar site if you grew up in that part of Lorain, like I did.

Here’s a 1955 view of that same Pure gas station, when it was all alone on Oberlin Avenue.

I’ve mentioned several times how back in the 1960s, Sandy’s was our fast-food hamburgers of choice. The closest McDonald’s was down on West Erie, so Sandy’s was much closer being only a few minutes away.
Not that we had Sandy’s very often. It was a rare treat. I do remember at least one or two times that Grandma came over for a visit (in her big ol’ 1963 Buick LeSabre) and brought a bag of Sandy’s hamburgers and french fries. I used to pick the pickles off mine, and generously gave them to her. “Thanks for the hot, wet pickles,” was her unenthusiastic reply.
To see one of the surviving twirling Sandy signs up close, click here to visit the always interesting website.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Skylite Memories

July 7, 1966 Journal ad
A few months ago, I received a nice email from a gentleman named Scott. He had found my blog while looking for pictures of some of the long-gone Lorain establishments that he remembered from when he was growing up.

One of these places was the Skylite bar, which in Scott's memories has come to symbolize a very special time in his life in Lorain.

"I lived in Lorain most of the first sixteen years of my life. I have always known the Broadway Building and Bear Furniture and, in later days, the YMCA,” he reminisced. "The 333 bar was a nice, close familiar place and had hot meals at dinner time."

But it was the Skylite bar, two doors south of 333, that left a big impression on Scott.
"The Skylite was a decent bar with about four or five regulars, my grandfather included. All the barmaids were like family to everyone, and especially kept an eye out for me as a youngster.
“The owners were Milt and Fran Del Monte, and Mr. Lerner. From what I could gather by sight, it had a sign saying formerly Kramer’s and was probably one of the booming places in better days. The exterior had been updated with a brick front and aluminum door and aluminum sealed picture windows.”
Scott is right about the bar previously being known as Kramer’s. Its last listing in the city directory by that name was in the 1960 edition.
1962 Lorain City Directory listing
Scott has vivid memories of the inside of the Skylite.
"The interior had a lunch counter installed in the early sixties to replace the tiny one by the bathrooms and the pool table under the namesake Skylite,” he explained. "It was originally a domed steel framing with wire reinforced glass, light filtered by multicolored ceiling panels. That and a small portable fountain were the only upgrades besides its earlier painted over embossed scenic wall panels beside the old straight back booths. Behind the booths, pool table and bathroom was a hallway to the back door through an old open storage to the right and a closed in area left.
"I had heard that this was probably one of the city’s first bowling alleys, and that it or another bar may have been the home of Andorka’s first bowling lanes. The Skylite and the regulars like Red Mercurio, Eddy Olson, Jo Torma, Betty Buga, Carl Greiss and others who were friends of my grandfather, and second family to me. This was a time and a place, though not at its best, that was safe; they protected their own." 
Scott shared an example of the kindness and generosity of one of the Skylite owners.
"The old man Mr. Lerner, when he left, said I was always to have free fountain 7 Up, a nice gesture to remember him, and think of us in good hands as he retired.”
The Skylite especially triggers warm memories of Scott's grandfather.
Scott noted, "“He was the kindest and most respectful person in my life that let me be with him to escape my not fitting in well.”
Spending time at the pool table taught Scott about life.
"I learned to shoot pool pretty well and not to judge or insult people, but to many times be a gentleman when others were not – with terms of ‘please' and ‘thanks' and yes and no, Ma'am or Sir."
"I got to be pretty good at pool by 13 and even beat my grandfather a few times,” he confessed. "One night I was off the table as Red and Eddy were going to play nine ball. I was told I couldn’t play, because they were playing for money, a $2 each pot. So I put in my two bucks and after getting the eight and nine in, two games in a row, they'd had enough. Sorry I spoiled their fun, but I just wanted to play.”

Looking back, Scott realizes that the Skylite was the backdrop for a special time in his life. He observed, “These times with these good folks are a nice reminder of my grandfather, my youth and a different time in Lorain."
Special thanks to Scott for sharing his memories.
1977 Lorain City Directory listing

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Marathon and L-K for Amherst – May 1968

I admired the architectural rendering of the proposed Marathon Oil service station shown in this small article that ran in the Lorain Journal on May 30, 1968. The station was being planned for Amherst at the corner of Leavitt Road and Cooper-Foster Road.

What's interesting is that the illustration includes the new L-K Restaurant to be built just to the south of the gas station on Leavitt. I had completely forgotten about that particular restaurant and the once ubiquitous L-K chain.

Mr. Cleo Ludwig and Robert Kibbey founded their Ohio-based restaurant chain in either the late 1930s or early 40s, with the first one in Marion, Ohio.

Here’s an undated postcard showing an L-K Restaurant in Marion, Ohio.

At one time, there were more than 150 outlets, with as many as 90 in the Buckeye State. Many of my older readers remember eating at one.

Here’s a link to an article about the mid-80s sale of the restaurant chain.

Today, while the L-K on Leavitt Road in Amherst is long-gone (a Taco Bell sits at its old location), the Marathon station is still there. Today, however, you’re more likely to get a coffee or snack there as opposed to an oil change.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Passing Scene – May 1968

I wasn’t quite done cleaning up these The Passing Scene comics in Photoshop® when I wrote about the Ahoy Lorain feature earlier in the week. But they’re ready now, so here they are: all four Passing Scene strips that ran in the Lorain Journal back in May 1968 – 50 years ago.

There’s no earth-shattering local news being parodied in the May 4, 1968 edition, but there’s a few innocent gags that would be considered mildly sexist today.
The May 11, 1968 strip includes a caricature of Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes (who looks a bit strange without his signature thick glasses) and a reference to Lorain passing a school bond issue at long last.
The “bridge to nowhere” over State Route 2 makes an appearance in the May 18, 1968 comic. (Hey, my brother mentioned this very comic in a comment he left on that past blog post about the bridge.)
Lorain City Schools and the Ford Plant are the subject of gags in the May 25, 1968 edition. The school gag is pretty appropriate today.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Elyria Sandy’s Opens – May 1962

Fifty-six years ago this month, the first area Sandy’s held its Grand Opening in Elyria the weekend of May 19 and 20, 1962. The ad above ran in the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram on May 18, 1962. (Lorain’s West Side wouldn’t get its own Sandy’s until late June 1965.)

Anyway, the article below from the same edition of the Chronicle-Telegram of May 18, 1962 tells the story of the Elyria store.

Thrift and Swift will open Sunday

The new Thrift and Swift Drive-In restaurant will have its official grand opening Sunday.

The new business, located at 443 Cleveland, is operated by the Thrift and Swift chain, which has 47 other drive-ins in the country.

“Miss Sandy,” a beauty queen, will be in charge of the affair which will feature the Oberlin College Scotch Bagpipers.

“Miss Sandy” is the chain Trademark. The company’s headquarters are in Kewanee, Ill.

The modernistic building is constructed on a lot just east of Olive St. on the south side of Cleveland St. with a frontage of 165 feet. Maximum depth of the lot is 250 feet.

The restaurant’s chief attraction will be its 15-cent hamburger, manager Phil Lunt says. There are three self-serving windows and the drive-in will be open from 11 a. m. to midnight weekdays and until 1 a. m. Fridays and Saturdays.

There is room for 60 cars on the large, asphalt parking lot. The restaurant will employ between 20 and 25 persons.

Ceramic tiling decorates the exterior with Douglas fir pylons supporting the roof. Cooking equipment is all modern.

Andrew Allan, Jr., 807 Washington Ave., was the general contractor for the building.

The chain is operated by the Northeast Ohio Co. of which Robert Meeder, Mansfield, is president. Richard Fowler is secretary-treasurer. Lou Wenger, Mansfield; Henry Huber, Mansfield; Dr. John Dawe, Wooster; Dr.Charles McAlister, Wooster, and Robert Weaver, Mansfield, are board members.

Contractors for the Sandy’s drive-in included Lorain Glass Co. Inc. (all glass & blazing); Swart Signs (pylon sign, all building signs, all neon borders); Walt Kokoski Masonry; Ternes Plastering (waterproof stucco); Nate & Co. (all painting); Don Leuszler Roofing; Herman Ostergaard Plumbing; Novak Electric; W. G. Walker Co. (ceramic tile); Nelson Paving Co.

Today, a CVS pharmacy occupies the former Sandy’s location in Elyria.

(Courtesy Google Maps)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bob Evans to Enter Restaurant Biz – May 1968

The sign in front of the Amherst, Ohio restaurant
Fifty years ago this month, Bob Evans Farms, Inc. finalized its plans to enter the restaurant business. Here’s the story as it appeared in the business pages of the Lorain Journal on Thursday, May 30, 1968.

Popular Ohio Sausage Maker Plans Restaurant Chain

Plans for the entry of Bob Evans Farms, Inc., into the fast-food restaurant business have now been made final and according to Robert Evans, president, the first unit will be built in Chillicothe, with anticipated opening on Sept. 1. A second unit, planned for opening in Columbus in early 1969, is now in the formative stage.

The Chillicothe operation will be the first fast-food restaurant featuring fresh (Farm Boy) and smoked (Smoky Boy) sausage sandwiches. The two-story building, combining Early American and Midwestern architecture, is designed by Coburn Morgan Business Interiors and is built by Don M. Sussey Co., both of Columbus. The parking area will accommodate approximately 50 cars.

Bob Evans Farm Foods, Inc., is a subsidiary of Bob Evans Farms, Inc., and other officers in addition to Robert Evans are: Robert J. Wood, executive vice president and general manager, and Larry Corbin, operations manager. Advertising for the operation, whose headquarters are at 3776 High St., Columbus, will be handled by Byer & Bowman Advertising Agency, Inc., Columbus. The new company will also manage the restaurant now located on the homestead farm in Rio Grande.

In response to numerous inquiries from interested parties regarding franchising, Evans says: “We are working with consultants, who are now making a survey of the potential franchising aspects of our new venture, and no decisions will be made until the report is completed and studied. Our basic objective in entering the fast-food business is to explained the pork sausage market in general.

“Inasmuch as the Bob Evans Farm Sausage is now one of the leading sellers in its marketing area, it seems a logical step to widen the appeal by making sausage sandwiches readily available to the public at conveniently located fast-food restaurants.

It’s interesting that in its infancy, the Bob Evans restaurant chain saw itself as a fast-food business with the focus on selling sausage sandwiches. Today, it’s hard to think of the after-church brunch favorite as a restaurant selling fast food.

The Farm Boy® mentioned in the article is still on the menu, alongside non-sausage sandwich fare including chicken, ham, pot roast and turkey. But I always order sausage when I visit a Bob Evans Restaurant; just wouldn’t be right not to.

Bob Evans Restaurants has had an outlet on Griswold Road in Elyria since about 1976. The present restaurant at that location is actually a newer version, having replaced the original one sometime in the 1990s.

Here’s the current version of the restaurant as it looked this past weekend. As you can see, the newer building appearance has been simplified from the original, ornate design.

I remember applying for a summer job as a bus boy there either in the summer of '76 or ’77. The person who interviewed me told me that I was going to have to get a haircut if they hired me, and that my hair could not extend below my collar.

Click here to visit the history page on the Bob Evans website.

UPDATE (May 22, 2018)
Longtime contributor Jeremy Reynolds emailed me recently about this post. He wrote,"Was just having dinner at Bob Evans in Amherst when I noticed your blog from earlier this week about the chain. 

"In case you want to add any more info to the post, the Amherst Bob Evans opened up in Sept 1987."

Jeremy even sent me the link to the article in the Amherst News-Times of September 30, 1987 announcing the opening (below).

Thanks, Jeremy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ahoy, Lorain!

As any regular reader of this blog knows, I’ve posted a lot of Gene Patrick’s Passing Scene comic strips from the Lorain Journal over the years. The weekly cartoon first appeared in the Journal in the mid-1960s, and continued right into the 1970s.

And back on this post, I wrote about a similar comic feature by Perry Carter highlighting local happenings that ran in the Elyria Reporter in the late 1890s.

Well, did you know that in the early 1950s, the Lorain Journal had a predecessor to the Passing Scene?

I didn’t either, until I ran across a few of them on vintage microfilm at the library. It was called “Ahoy Lorain” and appeared on the first page of the second section of the paper. I like the fact that the comic’s name plays up Lorain’s nautical heritage.

Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the artist, who signed his name, ‘Krueger.’ I suspect that it was John C. Krueger, a reporter with the Journal at that time.

Here’s the “Ahoy Lorain” comic from Saturday, May 9, 1953. It includes a Bascule Bridge gag and a pretty good looking cartoon horse.
As you can see, "Ahoy Lorain” is a little offbeat in the humor department.

Some of it is completely baffling to me, such as the bit about the cigar hand-outs. I think it has something to do with 1953 being the Year of the Snake in the Chinese Zodiac. The engineer with a train for a head is bizarre as well; I guess he’s standing at attention while being inspected.

Here's another edition of the strip, from July 11, 1953.
Krueger was a very talented cartoonist; he conveyed a lot of emotions in his little characters. He's also a witty disciple of the 'pun' school of humor.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Lorain Creamery Ad – May 11, 1968

Although it was downright cold this weekend, it was pretty hot a few weeks ago. As a result, I’ve already paid one visit to K Cream Parlour on West Erie Avenue this season.
Well, another Lorain ice cream parlor is the subject of today's post: the Lorain Creamery’s. Its upcoming grand opening is mentioned in the ad above, which ran in the Lorain Journal on May 11, 1968.

A mid-70s phone book ad
“The Parlor” mentioned in the ad must have eventually become Old English Parlour, which didn’t show up in the city directories with its own listing until the mid-1970s.

Anyway, the ad also features a rendering of the Lorain Creamery building, as well as the cute farm boy and cow ad mascots for All Star Dairies. (I explained the connection between the All Star Dairy Association and Lorain Creamery here in a past post.)

Lorain Creamery has been one of my most written-about topics on this blog.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Story Behind the Buildings – Part 5

Believe it or not, I never intended to spend the whole week on the Honecker Building and its neighboring structures.  But I had no idea that longtime contributor Rick Kurish was working between the scenes to help make this series more historically accurate and complete.

In an email to me, Rick wrote, "Very interesting series of blogs on the Honecker Building. I thought I would see if I could find the actual construction date of the building, and managed to find the information in the August 1907 issue of The Ohio Architect and Builder trade magazine. 

"The brief notice (below) indicates that Isaac Honecker would be erecting a four story building at the corner of Broadway and Franklin Street (now 5th Street), with construction to start in the spring of 1908."

The building is also mentioned in the January 22, 1910 edition of the Engineering Record, Building Record and Sanitary Engineer. It notes, "Lorain, O. – H. E. Ford, of Lorain, it is stated, has about completed plans for the 3- story brick and stone building which is to be erected at 5th St. and B'way for Isaac Honecker at a cost of $25,000."

So who was Isaac Honecker? Rick has the answer.

"Isaac Honecker was William’s older brother. He was born in 1855 and was eight years older than William. He was a successful businessman in Lorain, and by 1903 he was President of the Lorain Lumber and Manufacturing Company and President of the Citizens Saving Bank of Lorain."

"He remained President of the Lorain Lumber Company until his death in July 1924. He was killed in an accident with a Nickel Plate train near Vermilion. A very brief notice (below) appeared in the Circleville Herald of July 8, 1924."

"Perhaps Isaac and William combined to finance the Honecker Building, but it appears that Isaac was the front man. Whatever the financial arrangement, the William Honecker Drug Store occupied a portion of the building for an extended period.

"I have also attached an overhead shot (below) taken August 1953, which shows the Honecker Building and the rather messy hodgepodge of other buildings with comprise the block. 

"Anyway, if you were walking down Broadway 110 years ago today, you would probably see the building under construction. Let’s hope that after the current scheduled renovation it will be good for another 110 years!”  

So thanks to Rick we know that Isaac Honecker was the man behind the construction of the Honecker Building. 

It's great that the two brothers provided Lorain with a building that is still attractive and of use to the community decades after its original purpose had concluded.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Story Behind the Buildings – Part 4

A plastic owl glares down from his perch on the Honecker Building
Knowing that 436-440 Broadway will soon be history, and that 444-448 Broadway was going to undergo big changes, I couldn’t resist poking around the premises with my camera.

Soon these addresses – once connected to well-known Lorain’s businesses – will be no more.

438 Broadway mailboxes
The 446 Broadway address may survive the renovation of the Honecker Building