History- Lorain- Going- Going ? Carnegie Library – a lemon?

October 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm 16 comments

Update: I have spoken with the current administration and some council members- there doesn’t seem to be any plans for demolition– however this issue of this building does need to be addressed – what are the plans- can it be renovated for a useful purpose and we need to go on the record stating its worthiness to the community . Unfortunately these old buildings need the TLC and maintenance otherwise we have the 770 Broadway ( Ghoulardis) building going from a viable building to demolition in a few short years.

and who allowed it to sour?

This month’s issue of the Black River Historical Society’s newsletter tells the tale of woe – Click on photos to enlarge
Does the City of Lorain want to tear down the historic Carnegie Library building?

You can find a plethora of information on Dan Brady’s Blog -including the series Then and Now

Part One

Part Two

Part Threehttp://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2011/03/carnegie-library-streator-park-then-now_14.html

In 2011 the city began looking at the selling off of some of its park land :

The city will file a lawsuit to remove deed restrictions that state Lorain can use the building as a library, City Hall or park, said Councilman Myroslaw “Mickey” Silecky, who is chairman of the Building & Lands Committee.

The two-story building, a former Carnegie library, was home to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Currently, the city uses it for storage of office supplies.

This building – once the pride of Lorain whose fellow buildings are a source of pride all over the world – has been left to sour and decay- where as other communities embrace their connection with Andrew Carnegie
Lorain well just another name to add to the list of forgotten pride…….

A Carnegie library is a library built with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929, including some belonging to public and university library systems. 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in Britain and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, the Caribbean, and Fiji.

Once again Lorain, her government, keeps making lemons of her historical worth- even in her marketing concepts her historical worth and attributes are dismissed and are conspicuous by their very absence.

to be continued……………..

Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, blogs, city of lorain, history, Lorain's Magical History Tour. Tags: , , , , , , .

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16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jim Long  |  October 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I completely agree that the Carnegie Library should be preserved if at all possible. The value of Lorain’s historic buildings can never be replaced and must be preserved. The non profits and the city must band together and see what financing we can get to hold on to what is left in the city that reflects our rich history. Here is a perfect example of what needs to be preserved.

    Jim Long/ President of Lorain Growth Corporation.

  • 2. Renee  |  October 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Please go online and look how other communites have treasured their Carnegie Library-Amherst is the closest. Is there an organization statewide or nationwide concerned with the preservation of such structures? How did this building get into this shape in the first place?? Everyday I learn of something else here in Lorain that makes me frown..everyday.

  • 3. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Too often Lorain has left their history too late….. and the buildings are not able to be saved- it goes back to LACK of enforcement of simple building codes and standards for one reason or another.

    also there has been a decided lack of interest in Lorain’s historical culture- all but a few care- it isn’t deemed important from a cultural or even a marketing perspective .

    I know I have harped upon this time and time again….. funnily enough since I wrote about Scottish culture for many years in the print media I know some “Scots” organizations that are not amused as to how we have treated Andrew Carnegies legacy to Lorain 😦

  • 4. aka/mozart  |  October 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    that poor building has been so neglected Loraine…I lost count of how many calls i made re” front window metal guard hanging on one screw..i was really getting upset seeing it just hanging there. Gave total appearance of someone trying to gain access. No one cares..it’s just an ole brick building in the hood right? Damn it all anyhow.

  • 5. Renee  |  October 23, 2012 at 4:44 am

    We call our city the International City however some of the customs of the nations whose cultures represented here aren’t evident. Seems that many of the countries whose nationalities make up Lorain treasure their original architecture and antique structures. Renee

  • 6. Gary Fischer  |  October 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    A number of years ago an arsonist set fire to the building. At that time the Parks Director Steve Bailey moved ahead and using the insurance money was able to renovate the building and repair the fire damage to the structure. work included repairing the beautiful stained and leaded glass windows as well as much of the interior woodwork. i have been pondering the use of the building and it would be a great location for the historical society as well as meeting space and spae for other organizations such as the Lorain International, and the Sports Hall of Fame. this buildign should be embraced and reused. Other communities have continued their uses as libraries and museums. Why can’t we seem to make those things work here?

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    My cynical answer to your question Gary about making these things work here is that the majority of Lorainites and corporations just don’t give a bugger about the history of anything before the steel mill….. and to be honest anyone elses cultrual history unless it is their own….. sorry but Lorain is a “hypenated city”

  • 8. Renee  |  October 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I thought that maybe the location of the building might have something to do with the lack of interest or upkeep-thinking that if it were on a main cooridor in the city it might make a difference??? I think I might have just answered myself on that thought though-might NOT make a difference. Renee

  • 9. Diane Wargo Medina  |  October 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Again this city over all of these years with useless laws that never go into affect and time eats away the buildings and time never forgives…..It is easier to ignore them then to actually do something ..by the time the light bulb turns on, all of the Oh Oh’s and what could have are now to late…then the easier and more cheaper way is to tear them down, and leave empty, then the next greedy developer comes in with a half ass idea, and hey lets put more crap in our city to suck us alive till this city is dead!!!! Then in years to come the younger generation will say hey what happened to the city’s once beauty and character in the buildings…all gone cause it was to late, cause we let in the garbage that rents…the landlords who are useless and the buildings get run down, it is a never ending cycle in this town…pretty soon we will be gluing everything…ha ha just like the cemetery I work on, useless, unforgiving , greedy people who let our history be buried, broken, and here I am gluing the past back together!!! Wake up people, I do not think that when these beautiful buildings were erected did they think this town would turn bad, not in all areas but a great deal of them..just really look around you will see what I mean!!! You do not see it in every town that surrounds us.. get your glasses on and look..it is easier for the city to inspect the houses and nit pick on stupid stuff, and when your report the bigger things, it is ignored.When I moved to my area everybody owned..now 17 years later it is a different story, a very sad story

  • 10. Lisa  |  October 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    If Braddock PA can save their Carnegie Library – the very first one built – then we ought to be able to save ours, dammit!
    It would make a nice office for a local architect, too, Gary.

  • 11. aka/mozart  |  October 24, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Lisa..here is another bit of info on Braddock PA. I talked with mr Fetterman a few years back, as i was trying to arrange for him to come to lorain, and have a townhall type of meeting. He is such an awesome mayor..he has on his body tattoos off all the dates where he had homocides in his city…as not to forget. He helps kids get their GED’s and takes home practically peanuts for a paycheck. He is a man with a vision…he has done great things. He has inspired me from time to time to do better. How proud his citizens must be of him…no agendas for this Mayor,,,just to do right by his people…i still have his phone number…should we call him again…lol….

    From Colbert pleas to jeans commercials, John Fetterman will try to do whatever he can to turn around the struggling steel town that Andrew Carnegie made famous.


    From Colbert pleas to jeans commercials, John Fetterman—a speaker at The Daily Beast’s upcoming Reboot America conference—will try to do whatever he can to turn around the struggling steel town that Andrew Carnegie made famous. Plus, read the transcript of The Daily Beast’s live chat with Mayor Fetterman.

    John Fetterman looks like a guy who would rather steal something than sell something. Weighing 300 pounds, with tattoos reaching up each arm and a goatee to make Rasputin jealous, he sports a Lex Luthor dome atop his mountainous 6-foot-8-inch frame.

    But as a salesman, he’s actually quite a natural, restlessly promoting a product that doesn’t look any prettier than he does.

    Fetterman is the mayor of Braddock, a steel town southeast of Pittsburgh, 10 miles upstream from the mouth of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania’s Mon Valley. In case you doubt its mangy appearance, Fetterman has put pictures online: bricked-up storefronts, apartments filled with trash, homes with their guts ripped out. The place is falling apart, and it’s been that way for decades, sinking from its height as a key cog of World War II industrial might—1940s population, 20,000—to its current decayed state, home to less than 3,000 people and without even a decent place to get lunch.

    Fetterman was first elected in 2005—by one vote. He was re-elected far more handily last year, in recognition of his efforts, which have generated widespread notice because of his passion, and the creativity he couples with it. He’ll go on The Colbert Report to pass the hat, begging the television host to open a museum dedicated to himself in Braddock. Fetterman will welcome Levi Strauss & Company into town to film commercials and encourage them to use residents as models for their advertising campaign. He’ll bang the drum for clean-energy jobs in front of Congress, hoping that investments could revitalize his adopted home.

    When Republican governors like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mark Sanford of South Carolina thumb their noses at federal stimulus money, Fetterman tells anyone that will listen that he’ll take any government help which might pick up a town whose poverty makes Detroit’s worst neighborhood look up-and-coming. He attracted nonprofit and government spending to support summer jobs for area kids and build a community center and playgrounds, and bristles when talking about what could be done with the billions in bailout money received by Wall Street banks.

    The Colbert Report

    Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

    John Fetterman


    Colbert Report Full Episodes

    2010 Election

    March to Keep Fear Alive

    So bad are things in the town where Andrew Carnegie built his first steel mill, that its destruction has become part of is attraction. Fetterman speaks of Braddock’s “malignant beauty.” The post-apocalyptic film, The Road, based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel, was filmed there. And yet the nadir seems difficult to find. Just when things are looking up—The New York Times arrived in January 2009 with the headline, ” Rock Bottom for Decades, but Showing Signs of Life”—the local hospital shuttered, losing one of the area’s last employers.

    Fetterman first came to Braddock in 2001 as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Born across the state in York, he received a public-policy degree from Harvard in 1999 and made a personal investment—turning an old furniture warehouse into a loft-style home. He thinks of reinventing Braddock similarly, trying anything to get creative types to plant roots. He’s invited artists to move into studios, which rent for $100 a month. Sheppard Fairey, famous for his “HOPE” poster of Barack Obama, has stopped by to paste up his work. He nurtures a fuel-recycling company, Fossil Free Fuel, which transforms cars so they can run on vegetable oil.

    Many of the newcomers attend a monthly karaoke night. Creative types can take advantage of buying a house where the average cost is under $4,000.

    “No one moves here just for the property,” says Erik Gustafson, who left his finance job in Chicago and moved to Braddock with his wife Shannon in November 2008. They bought their house for $4,700 and have put $15,000 into renovations. “Property is so low everywhere in this country. You didn’t move to Braddock because you could get a house for $5,000. You move so you can be a part of something larger than yourself and larger than Braddock.”

    Fetterman is not above going on national television and begging for Subway to open up a sandwich shop. Or a Laundromat. Or an ATM. Anything that would make life easier for residents who now have to take a 40-minute bus ride to pick up groceries. Besides, Fetterman says, the newcomers aren’t about to push anyone out of Braddock who hasn’t left already.

    View As Single Page

  • 12. aka/mozart  |  October 24, 2012 at 12:14 am

    i left him a message….:~)

  • 13. Brian  |  October 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Here is my “basic” opinion of the park. Underneath the brush, weeds, and unkept sidewalks and facilities, lies a beautiful piece of green space.

    Same thing holds true for the library. It is a somewhat “distinguished” building that has also fallen into obscurity, like the rest of the park.

    I use the park, often times taking my grandchildren there when they come to visit. In their eyes, the park is a thing of wonder and a beautiful place to play.

    I have an “experiment of public behavior” that I was considering with the park, but didn’t do it this year because I didn’t have the financial means to do at this time, but there is always next year.

    Remember the story of Alice in Wonderland and sometimes magical things do happen…

  • 14. Dr. Tammy  |  October 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    It would be a shame to lose this buidling. I see the temple on Reid ave. and some of the other empty churches could become auction houses and art facilities, but we have to have a group working with city hall to market the city. We have way too many “spllinter” groups working against each other, if they would just get together (young people and older ones) we would be a force to accomplish saving this city! Non-profit status is way to easy to get and I don’t understand why we need over 350 of them in the city of Lorain (I’m not counting those that are affiliated with the schools)! We really can’t continue to nickel and dime the problem.

  • 15. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    The problem with most non profits is that they need operating expenses for directors and buildings and grant writers and those things eat up a budget big time so only a small percentage of income goes toward the actual program then you have all those same non profits going to the same money sources so they are4 in competition with one another …….

    I don’t think the city has any plans to tear down the Carnegie Library but it does need to be rehabbed and stabilzed before like other buildings in this town it starts falling in upon itself.

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October 2012

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