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.

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