Veteran’s MEMORIAL Park- a neglected disgrace AGAIN!

July 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm 10 comments


Part One:

What is it about this park the citizens , government and even the veterans ( who claim this space, at least by the signage) continually let this oldest park in Lorain, the place from whence Lorain was “born”, become so forlorn time and time again? She has a history, this first and only remaining public green space from “days of settlement) 1807

This little park, who should be taking pride of place in a downtown shows the unhealthy attitude of decay and dereliction with just a few sparks of her former glory just as the buildings of downtown we are exploring.”>

public square

This park the first town square- public meeting place- the living part of Lorain’s history. This park should be like a polished gemstone of culture pride and longevity . She is the icon of how this community struggled from 1807 .

When in 2006 Jon Veard, Sandy Prudoff, Craig Foltin and John Cole wanted to rip her guts out and put up “Condos for Cole” I, along with others, fought for her. At the time Cole’s main argument was she had become a “piss park”.

“On the 7th of September 2006 I wrote – Silent Witness
silent witness

“Nothing but a place for deadbeats and bums!” “ It has outlived its purpose” There is nothing historical about that park!” The city can’t afford to keep it up” It is a “piss park!!Nobody uses it, it is worthless!

So said John Cole and his editorials

It seems the usage of Veteran’s MEMORIAL Park has once again been allowed to deteriorate.

Under the Krasienko Administration I walked through the park with Service Director Gilchist , we were assured the benches would be taken care of , the park always ready for events such as Lorain International- Concerts in the park , Light Up Lorain etc. but the benches and the lighting never did get fixed…WHY???

This pride of historical place was being used as recently as September 2012 as an example of what we didn’t consider a good fit for our downtown with the addition of a Family Dollar store on its east corner-

Can you imagine my chagrin and shame walking the representatives through the park explaining how “their design would not make good planning and design and therefore not a good fit” for this historic park when I saw what they were seeing the benches, the graffiti, the damage , the vagrants who had gathered for their evening slumber party ?

This bench is NOT an example of the ‘SHABBY CHIC” Design
VP4 weathered bench

As for the rather “dangerous” what is left of the light poles VP11 light post 1

well we could turn them into planters I suppose


I was ashamed I had to defend her past glory to these gentleman who obviously were taking into account the neglect and destruction they were seeing as we walked along as I was babbling about history and its worthiness. I could see by their faces they were probably putting me into the same category as John Cole once did. “history bonehead”

I am going to explore how we got to this shameful place – it seems one group or another over the centuries have had “ideas” and we will start with the most recent history and work back

vets sign
The Veterans Council in 2006 wanted to walk away and head on down to Black River Landing . You see they took ownership at one time but in 2006 with wheeling and dealing behind the Foltin curtain said

“no we don’t want the park anymore , Veard will move our monument and you can have the park for condos.”

The Veterans Council at that time seemed to forget they were not the “owners” of that green space; we the community of Lorain , the government of Lorain who were given the responsibility of her but back in the day when Washington Park was renamed ” Veterans Memorial Park” there were “promises made” which we will explore . Are we sitting comfortably – then we will begin……

***1812 recorded Lorain Public Square (According to Lorain County Recorder Judy Nedwick, the park has been a part of the plat of Charleston since 1812. Since that time, the county records show, the park has remained property of the city. Morning Journal Jan 19th 2006

Minutes from City Council at the time of the “dismantling” for Condos for Cole-
Minutes Vets Park City Council June 5th

Given: I received a few emails this week regarding Veterans Park across the street. Residents of Charleston Village still believe the administration or other parties are still involved in conversations to demo the park or sell it off to outside interests. I would like to hear comments on that and also have an explanation on why the fountain has not been turned on.

MAYOR FOLTIN: Did you get the letter I sent to the rest of Council a few weeks ago? It summarized it and I will paraphrase it for the audience. It isn’t in the city’s hands now, there has been no formal proposal brought to us. The Veteran’s Council, if they like what is being worked upon with Mr. Veard, then Mr. Veard at the appropriate time will bring it to this Council for some discussion. Unless I hear anything different from them, it is going to be as it is. I probably will contact the Veterans Council, they meet the third Thursday of the month and after that meeting I will call President Work and see what direction they feel they are heading. If they do not feel it is even worthy to discuss with Mr. Veard and present to Council, then we will come to Council to fix the fountain. There are some pumps broken at a cost of $20,000 and we will move forward with the cost of fixing the pumps, we didn’t want to move forward with that if there was any chance of discussion about switching of Veterans Park.

MR. GIVEN: This Council unanimously made a decision with comments that we would under no circumstances entertain giving that park to Mr. Veard or any developer. It was also clear during that conversation that although we call that park Veterans Park, it is still a city park. If the Veterans choose to pick up their monuments and move them down the road, that would be fine and we would assist them in any form or fashion we could. However, that park would still exist as a city park open as green space for all the public to use. To have any conversation that any plan would be sufficient for us to move forward, I think is misleading to all parties involved especially since this Council voted unanimously to not allow anything to happen to that park.

MRS. TAVENNER: As Chairman of Parks Recreation Committee, a unanimous vote was taken. It is Veterans Park but is also is a city park. We heard the cry from the community and they don’t want that park rezoned, changed, sold, etc. and want it to remain a city park. I think the administration or who ever is working on this should stop it or nix it now. We have spoken and I don’t think this Council will change our stance on this matter.

MR. SCHUSTER: As Vice Chairman, I also support her sentiments and my vote will also be no.

MR. EDWARDS: We took a stand and if he wants to lead the developer down the road it is up to him. If he wants to bring it back to us – it is dead before it even gets started.

MR. GIVEN: To end this conversation, since Council is stating we will not allow the park to not exist, I would like to hear the Mayor’s position on how he will get that fountain running. It is my understanding it is not a fountain issue, it is a waterline issue.

MAYOR FOLTIN: It is a plumbing issue. I believe there is money in the Parkland Trust and I think we discussed it last year. I do want to at least give the respect to our Veterans Council and ask if that is in fact their choice. If they want me to present the case to you, I respect the Veterans Council for all they do in this community and I would do that for them. Before we go forward and fix the fountain, I will make another contact with the Veterans Council and if they feel strongly they would like this proposal to come before you and have them plead their case, I will do so. However, if they are content and do no foresee that happening, I will fix the fountain.


MR. GIVEN: Mr. Foltin, I think one thing you need to take back to the Veterans Council is that City Council does not agree with the dismantling of that park. That was Washington Avenue Park prior to calling it Veterans Park and putting in the fountain. If the Veterans wish to have their park somewhere else, that is fine and we will try to assist them in their endeavors. However, Washington Park in its current fashion will continue to exist under the auspices of City Council. If you are going to take anything back to them, you should take that back.
MR. EDWARDS: I ask that the Mayor get his repairs for the fountain to Council so we can look at that. It is still our park regardless if the Veterans move out or not and we must repair it.
MAYOR FOLTIN: I think everyone is in agreement they want the fountain fixed and it is under $25,000 threshold and money is appropriated in the Parkland Trust. Let me talk with the Veterans Council and we will get right on that if they do not want to pursue.

MR. GIVEN: I don’t understand your rationale but will let it go since I do not feel I can clear that up with you this evening. About the fountain, it is my understanding it is not the park or the pump, it is the waterline. If that is the case, I don’t think we should pull money from Parkland Trust, it is a utility function. Before we fix it, this Council would like an unbiased view of what the cause of the problem is.

MR. MILLER: The $20,000 was a quote from a local plumber to subcontract out the work. We reviewed the blueprints with the water distribution department. The problem is on the wall closest to the Antlers and West Erie. About 12 feet down is plumbing and it has settled down and come apart from the outer joints and is leaking. In order to repair it, it looks as if we need to remove an entire section of that concrete, dig down, raise the plumbing up, and redo it. I hope that we can pick up that wall, put it back, and do it in-house. I don’t know if we can and may end up subcontracting it out. I hope that the $20,000 is a good price but I wish to be clear on what the problem is and we will obviously do it the best and most economical way we can.

Moved by Mr. Given, supported by Mr. Schuster and Mrs. Tavenner, to authorize the Clerk to forward a copy of these minutes to the Veterans Council to allow them to better understand City Council’s position on Veterans Park. Motion carried.

ED Note – it WAS the water line…….
“Planned Blight”???????by the Foltin Administration


AHHHHHHH the Fountain in its 3rd reincarnation….

To be continued…..

Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Charleston Village, city of lorain, history, Lest we forget, Lorain's Magical History Tour, notorious opponents of exactitude. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

The Design Review Board- The Process-AND Veteran’s MEMORIAL Park- the Name Game

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jim long  |  July 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Amazing, it is no wonder why the city is in the shape it is. Just plain lack of interest in improving the city. I wonder where the citizen negativity comes from??

  • 2. thatwoman  |  July 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Jim citizens have to have ownership in a place – we no longer have a middle class in the 44052 – upper poor at best….. if you are transient what do people care how the park looks or the benches are rotten ( that is unless you want to sleep on them- then you might have issues…….. for instance the so called “middle class” that is left in Lorain.don’t go to school for the most part in Lorain… they don’t shop in Lorain they get on 2 and drive out of Lorain on the westside developments they don’t come down here they don’t even see what has happened continually to that park for decades .. they only come down for fireworks….or got to Black River landing they “drive by…..

    — East side well those to go the other way ….. nope the negativity comes from the fact that we as a city didn’t care when our historic architecture was “allowed to rot” along Broadway – when banks dumped .. and even what could be enforced wasn’t ……and now we are the “picture of depression” we created……. Lorain’s art ???

  • 3. Lisa  |  July 16, 2013 at 2:51 am

    You’re right, Lorine, and when they come down for Light Up Lorain, usually there is snow cover and everything looks so pretty with the lights and snow that nobody realizes what’s really underneath. I have to admit that the walking tour I took of VP this weekend is the most time I have ever spent there. I still didn’t see it all, as there was a man sleeping in a shady corner by the big monument. (The same guy who had been walking around by the big monument when I pulled up and I thought he was in the fountain.) It also looked as though someone (something?) had recently slept (or maybe just laid? lain? got laid? lol) in one of the ornamental grass beds on the west side of the park. That was the saddest park I’ve been to. What an odd vibe for a park to have.

  • 4. Lisa  |  July 16, 2013 at 2:52 am

    I kan spel Loraine…sorry 🙂

  • 9. Gary Fischer  |  July 30, 2013 at 2:08 am

    the sad part is that the history of our city is no longer taught as it once was. As a Lorain City School student we were taught the history of Lorain in depth. We read Wicken’s version of the early history and it was a required part of the curriculum. I know that many things that were taught have been eliminated because of various additional mandated programs that are required. Unfortunately the history of the community that the students live in has been either eliminated or truncated. This coupled with our transient resident population leads to a lack of Ownership that we see in many areas of the community. ALL studies and recommendations regarding revitalization and livability of communities indicate the sense of Ownership and the importance of the public amenities such as parks.

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July 2013

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