Veterans MEMORIAL Park- Fini?
So we come full circle in 2013- two hundred and one years after the little park was deeded as a park. In part one of this series I touched upon how John Cole and Co stated the “piss park” had outlived her usefulness – Mayor Craig Foltin, John Cole, Jon Veard – Jack LaVirha called up their forces for Condos in the park but unfortunately for them their plans came out before they were ready to go public- the ducks were in the row BUT one little duck quacked too soon!
You see Mr. Veard just happened to come over to the table where Renee Dore and I were sitting at the now “defunct” Pagani’s and quacked! Excerpt from Letter sent by CVSI to Mayor Foltin and the City of Lorain
….[Veard} him mention to two representatives of Charleston Village Executive Board on Jan 6th his “plan” as we were eating lunch in a very public place. There was no mention of the need for discretion, if anything the impression given was one of the plans for the park being a “done deal” and that all obstacles such as the Gilmore family restriction was and I quote “not a problem, I have been assured that isn’t an issue any more”.
I believe he was truly shocked when his plan did not meet with favor in our eyes. According to Mr. Veard, “you are the first ones that don’t like it” we were then informed, during that conversation, that other public officials, and non profits had been made aware of the plan to put condos in the “Veterans Park”, such as some members of the Lorain Port Authority, “ the veterans are on board”, the city, including Mayor Foltin and yourself (Sandy Prudoff), as well as the editor of the Morning Journal, John Cole.
Checking further, later that day, I could not find any of our elected council representatives that were so informed. Unfortunately the perception of the “inner circle” (Plain Dealer March 6th 2005)Found here
Foltin Cole and Casino
has raised its head once again. This was especially worrying to us after being promised “No surprises!!” by your Chief Planner, Don Romancak not an hour previously during our meeting with ERA.I can only assume, he too, was unaware of the proposed plan that will indeed impact greatly upon our community and neighborhood.
This plan by a private developer does NOT fall into the category of “business” between two private entities but from a “public usage” and “public” land for PRIVATE development. Therefore we maintain the public has the right to be informed through our elected representatives of ANY plans to privatize PUBLIC USAGE LAND prior to being discussed and dissected by a select few in order to find favorable and expedient passage through City Council. We firmly believe this situation merits more input in the initial stages by our elected representatives
It was a hard battle for those of us who cared about worthiness of her history , the romance of her , the fact that maybe she had outlived her use to the Lorain Veterans Council,( circa 2006) whose 1980’s committee had been given direct “design” of this park and the money to implement such design and then walked away only to return once a year apparently. Some of us were insulted , ridiculed on the front pages of the Morning Journal and in letters to the Editor – “village idiots and boneheads of history” were two of the most used 🙂 I was personally accused on the front page of said Morning Journal of driving Developer Jon Veard from town hmmmmmmm?
You can find links to the unfolding media story here story here ”
New home eyed for veterans park
Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2006
”It’s still premature,” Foltin said. ”(Veard) still has a lot of hurdles to get over before we figure out what can and cannot be done with the (Veterans Memorial Park) land.”
Developer unveils plan for new veterans park
Mayor Craig Foltin has said the future of the project depends on the veterans. He said the park, which is owned by the city, belongs to the veterans and only they can decide what to do with the proposal.
Veterans want written proposal for new park
Published: Friday, February 17, 2006
published 21st February 2006
Veterans Park will likely stay put
Lorain’s City Council shouldn’t be so quick to reject downtown condos (John Cole)
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2006
But how can city leaders trumpet the need to save the park, when they have stood by and let it become such a vandalized dump? Lorain’s veterans barely use it anymore because it’s so seedy and because all the ceremonial action in Lorain these days is at Black River Landing.
Veard got the idea for his project after learning that the veterans didn’t use Veterans Memorial Park, holding all but one annual ceremony at Black River Landing instead.The town’s veterans organizations took an interest in Veard’s proposal for the same reasons, though they were still seeking more details in writing when City Council pulled the plug.
The Chronicle Telegram
Condos planned at vets’ park site by Shawn Foucher by Shawn Foucher
The Chronicle-Telegram document found here
“We’re going to present it to the Veterans’ Council, and we’ll have a discussion about it. Naturally some of them will be opposed, but we’ll knock the hell out of their arguments
ED NOTE: As an aside the meeting held with the Lorain Port Authority during this time Jack LaVirha was asked ( and I have the tape of that meeting ) what happened to the previous honor roll monument ( pictured???) at that meeting which also included Warren Finkel ( also now deceased – the architect of Lorain City Hall ) Jack LaVriha stated it was in his garage!
Thanks to city council and the community the little park was saved and the area from becoming more (imho) design by desperation and bad urban planning.
Photos Scott Bakalar
Lorain Lions Club, The skateboarders of the day and Girl Scouts cleaning and getting the park back into shape 2006
August of that year found members of the community – Lorain Lions Club- volunteers from CVSI, BRHS , Girl Scouts, skateboarders getting the park back into shape . ( some groups though were conspicuous by their absence ) You can find the article from WOM Blog here
LIFE RETURNS TO A MEMORIAL PARK
In 2007 this community held the Bicentennial Celebration and just as the settlement that became Lorain so the celebrations radiated out from the park to involve all of Lorain. (Note: not publicized or covered by the Morning Journal thanks to the direction of Mr. Cole 😉 Dignitaries graced her stage and people once again enjoyed the camaraderie under her trees. All photos found here
We are now back in the present, the park has seen 50 Mayors walk into various buildings surrounding her boundaries in the 206 years she has served as a public square and 201 since she has been a deeded park. She has outlasted all the buildings, she has stood as a testament to a settlement on the Black River from those burned out and a brave pioneering spirit of 1776 . She has been ravaged by man but not my time !
Today , I received two announcement of community events in August in the park, people sitting on those chipped concrete steps, near the light poles of shame and those “benches honoring lives lost ”
So what now? Does anyone have any information as to the “official naming of Lorain Memorial Park- 1966 officially became Veterans Memorial Park???
Who will see her significance and worth? ANYONE???????
Entry filed under: blogs, Charleston Village, city of lorain, commentary, hell is other people, history, Lest we forget. Tags: Charleston Village, City of Lorain, cole and co, craig foltin, disgraceful, gilmore family, local politics, Lorain, Veteran's Memorial Park, Veterans Memorial Park Lorain, Vets Council Lorain, waste not want not.