Thursday, October 19, 2017

Lorain Slums Article - October 12, 1963

Over the years, I’ve driven by the John F. Kennedy Plaza in Central Lorain countless times, and often wondered what was there before the low rent public housing was built. The story below, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on October 12, 1963, tells the story.

It’s interesting how the area was designated as a slum, and thus had to go to make way for the new housing development. (I wonder how much of Lorain in 2017 is actually worse than what was unacceptable and “shocking" in 1963?)


Will Soon Disappear
Slums Given Last Look By Officials

A number of city, county and state officials got their first look at shocking slum conditions in the heart  of Lorain – which soon will be a thing of the past.

Fortunately, for many, it will be their last since the block, between 17th and 18th streets, will soon be razed and a new Golden Age Housing Center built.

The tour, conducted by Ronald W. Ashley, Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority director, took in the 28 parcels of property and revealed some deplorable conditions.

Attending the tour were Dr. I. C. Riggin, city health department director; Joseph Brunotts, president of the Central Lorain Businessman's Association; George Lanzendorfer, Central Bank Co. official; Robert Oleen, Red Cross representative; Maurice Brown, state representative; J. Norman Thompson, county commissioner; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Mitchell, American Legion representatives; Thomas J. Urban, Democratic mayoralty candidate; Mrs. Rose Coleman and Mrs. Ruth Brooks, Lorain Women's Civic League representatives; and Malcolm D. Hartley, editorial page editor of The Journal.

Construction of the Golden Age Housing units is expected to start by Dec. 1, Ashley said. Appropriation cases are expected to be cleaned up in the next two or three weeks, he said.

Thirty-two of the units will be located in single-story buildings, while 144 of the units are to be in a high-rise section. The building will be the highest structure in Lorain.

There will be 27 efficiency, 144 one-bedroom, 4 two-bedroom and one caretaker unit.

The LMHA complex will include a 10-story, 95-foot high-rise apartment and a series of low-level units. Total cost is $2.2 million.

Courtesy of Google Maps, here's an aerial view of the complex today.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Bicycle Bill” Schetter Article – October 1975

Here's a great "Bill Scrivo's People" feature that ran in the Lorain Journal on October 5, 1975. It profiles "Bicycle Bill" Schetter, the well-remembered man behind the Schwinn store in the Oberlin Avenue shopping strip where Willow Hardware was located.

I've featured Mr. Schetter a few times on this blog, including this post spotlighting a 1971 article.

I’ve mentioned before on the blog that my high school pal Scott Welko liked to tinker with bikes (this was before we were old enough to drive). We would take them apart, paint them, etc., necessitating many trips to Bicycle Bill’s store. I remember Bill’s pretty sister Rachel (mentioned in the article) working there at the time, and she was a little intimidating to a couple of goofy high school kids like us.
Today, Rachel and her husband Ted own and manage Bicycle Bill’s in Vermilion. Here’s the link to their company website, as well as its Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Anchor Lodge: from Hotel to Senior Home – October 1963

In view of the sad fate of the other 1950s motels along Lorain's West Erie Avenue (U.S. Route 6), it's impressive as well as fortunate that Anchor Lodge was able to make a successful transition from hotel to a rehabilitation center/assisted living residence for seniors. (Here’s the link to its website.)

How did it make the transition? The process started back in October 1963, which is explained in the article below. It ran in the Lorain Journal on October 30, 1963.

First Senior Citizens' Unit
Completed At Anchor Lodge


Completion of the first unit of a projected $250,000 residence for senior citizens was announced today by Miss Kathy Nolan, director of Anchor Lodge On Lake Erie, 3756 W. Lake Road.

The senior citizens' home, accenting group living, has been developed from the Anchor Lodge Motel, which was bought and remodeled by James Simon, Cleveland business man and real estate subdivider.

Miss Nolan said $60,000 already has been spent to remodel the motel and incorporate kitchen and dining facilities.

An additional wing is planned which will increase the number of rooms from 26 to 65.

The lodge will continue for the present to be used as a motel, as well as a home for senior citizens.

According to Miss Nolan, Simon bought Anchor Lodge with the "aim of making it a place where I'd like to spend my own retirement years."

He lives here part time and plans to bring his family and reside at the lodge permanently.

Miss Nolan, a former teacher and once associated with the Lorain YMCA, has an educational degree and is completing work on a master's degree in sociology at Oberlin College.

Special "group living" accommodations include a lobby with fireplace and snack bar, dining facilities, a remodeled lounge with a lakefront view and color TV, and a special room which is being fitted out for library and reading room.

The lodge has a lake shore frontage lending itself to picnic and recreation facilities.

Planned for next year are terraces providing easy access to the beach and a dock.

Rental will be on a current basis, according to Miss Nolan. "We want people to stay here as long as they like and because they like it."

Prices, including meals, will range from $10 per day per person down to $%.75, with the average for couples $15 a day. Room furnishings are provided except where guests prefer to bring some of their own.

Anchor Lodge was featured as a “Then & Now” subject here on the blog back in 2010. In 2014, I posted the full-page ad for the Grand Opening of the hotel in 1948 here.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Beautiful Downtown Kipton – Then & Now

I saw this vintage postcard dated 1910 of “North Main St. East Side, Kipton, Ohio” recently on Ebay and decided it would be a good candidate for the “Then & Now” treatment.

It had been a while since I drove through the small blink-and-you-might-miss-it village of a few hundred people anyway. (I wrote about its Civil War monument here.)

I got my shot (below) this past weekend.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when I left Lorain, but of course when I arrived, the sun disappeared for almost a half hour. So I loitered until it came out again, trying not to attract too much attention with my camera so as to avoid being thrown in the calaboose.
As you can see, the railroad right-of-way is now a popular bike path. 
Nearby is the site of the tragic train wreck that took place on April 18, 1891. Here’s a link to an excellent article by Kristin Bauer that ran in the Chronicle at the time of the 125th anniversary of the disaster in 2016.
Incidentally, the back of the vintage postcard – dated August 8, 1910 – was interesting. ‘Mattie’ was writing to her Uncle Frank in Honolulu, Hawaii and told him she was having a week’s vacation and that she was in Kipton. I wonder what she did all week?
I think she should have visited good old Uncle Frank instead.

Friday, October 13, 2017

1960s Ohio State Football Program Covers

To help take your mind off the Cleveland Indians (as well as the Cleveland Browns), remember – you can always root for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

And to close out this week on the blog, here's a nice selection of old Ohio State Football program covers from the 1960s, courtesy of the Ohio State University's Knowledge Bank. They're fun to look at with their vintage views of the campus and stadium. I love the classic simplicity of the designs.

After looking at them, though, I have a few questions. Why do several of the covers have little Brownie-like characters? And more importantly, why is the Ohio State player depicted as an unflattering galoot on the Sept. 27, 1969 cover?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Old Dutch Ad – Oct. 19, 1967

Seeing as I mentioned the Bascule Brewery & Public House yesterday, it's a good time for another post about beer – namely, Old Dutch, my parents’ favorite beer.

My posts about Old Dutch continue to generate new comments years after their original appearance on the blog. So in honor of the long-gone brew’s many fans, here’s another vintage ad found in the pages of the Journal.
My last post noted that the classic label design featuring the elderly couple had been restored in 1966 by International Breweries of Detroit, the brand’s new owners. The ad above – which explores the well-known Old Dutch tagline – ran in the Lorain Journal on October 19, 1967 – 50 years ago this month.

I still like the fact that Old Dutch had such a humble marketing positioning statement: “the Good Beer.”

I would probably drink Old Dutch today if it was still being produced, mainly because of the nostalgia. But until Old Dutch is brought back, I guess I’ll have to stick with Rolling Rock or Black Label. (I realize, of course, that I'm in a tiny minority, in view of the general public's growing preference for artisan beers these days.)

The photo in the 1967 Old Dutch ad is amusing in its depiction of other brands, with words like ‘unbelievable’ or ‘wow’ on their (obviously fake) labels.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Building at 1397 Colorado Avenue

I'm sure that many locals recognize the building above at 1397 Colorado Avenue as the former longtime home of M & M Mower (now known by its new name: Allied Power Equipment). Bascule Brewery & Public House LLC calls it home now (although it's not quite open to the public – yet).

But what business did the building house originally? I took a look at the city directories and phone books at the Lorain Public Library to find out.

The 1397 Colorado Avenue address first appeared in the directories around 1950 as the address for the East Side Fruit Stand, operated by John Fazio. Just as its name implies, the company's business was listed as 'produce.'

Within a few years, the company's focus changed to groceries and carry-out beverages.

1955 Lorain Telephone Company listing
About a year later, the name of the business became Fazio's Self-Serve Market.

Here's the somewhat racy 1956 phone book ad reflecting the name change. At least the ad has a nice rendering of the building.
Sometime around 1962, the company changed hands and became Sidlo's Self Serve Market
The name changed again around 1970 to become East Port Carry Out. This lasted until around 1982 when U.S. Arcade took over the location and briefly operated a game room.
The building's listing became 'vacant' as of the 1983 city directory. By the time of the 1984 edition, the two Marks of M & M Mower – Mark Fuhrman and Mark Balogh – launched their lawn mower repair company there. The business moved to 4050 Colorado Avenue in Sheffield Village a few years ago.
Best of luck to Bascule Brewery & Public House LLC.