Archive for July, 2014

Elyria Court House debacle- the Final Judgement

sklightPart One – The Background

Part Two – A History

Part Three- The Rhetoric of Right

As I entered the building, following Karen Davis-County Facilities Director, my thoughts turned quickly from my trepidation at entering the bowels of a supposed “pit” – a smelly, dank and dire place with mould and slime dripping on heads, rat droppings and certain risks to my health – to dismay as I saw what had happened to this once grand old lady.

The vivid pictures in my mind of decay, as described by Tim Lubbe and the darling of the media attorney, Chandra, as they had sent photographers willy – nilly around the building showing the disgraceful conditions.

You can view photographs of the “troubled areas” in this article in the Chronicle Telegram

Commissioner says old Lorain County Courthouse not so terrible Filed on June 26, 2014 by Brad Dicken

You see the Adult Probation Department want to move from the court-house to a nice clean floor in another building . They were using the photos as evidence for their argument to vacate.

Lubbe said workers deserve to work in a healthy and secure workplace. Lubbe said if commissioners insist they stay at the courthouse, the court will comply, but it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make repairs.

He said problems include water and raw sewage leaking from the third floor into second-floor rooms where employees work. Lubbe said the lobby accommodates about a dozen people, but 100 come through on a regular basis, making it unsafe

I asked Ms. Davis to take me through all the areas complained about, photographed and written about in “legal ease letters from Chandra ( after all I, the taxpayer was paying for these epistles). To her credit, Ms. Davis made no comment as we toured the building from top to bottom.


YES! it is disgraceful but not because of unseen rat droppings, or mould and slime dripping on heads. What was disgraceful is the fact a once beautiful, ornate and powerful building has essentially been assaulted. I was greeted by a rabbit warren of cut up offices, walls thrown up to make cubby hole offices- with no regard to atheistic or the buildings mechanics let alone historical significance

The only significant renovation after the seventies was the installation of a court in the basement when a new judgeship was ordered in Lorain county. The rest, as you view it now was worked in and around everything that happened prior. And none of us were here for the court installation in the lower level

Doorways blocked in and cut down from their wonderful imposing heights to fit in the new standard door heights. A glimpse now and then of what had been special

The building is just chopped up to the point where we can’t do good work here,” Cwalina said. “We just can’t.”

Long , once elegant hallways, now cut up into cubicles, archways blocked in , walled up to make another “office space” , floors covered in the industrial carpeting ,
floor tileres

walls covered in textured wallpaper- all adding to the “sponge effect” of grabbing odours and bacteria , holding fast. That, coupled with the trapped air, air only recirculated in summer with air-conditioning and winter with heat. No gentle breezes wafted through open windows.

As I walked though one area, there was a definite odor. This area was one of the area where everything had been closed off and not one bit of “fresh air” circulated. The odour wasn’t gas or mould but BODY ODOUR of the many who passed through the area . The building has BO! It needs an airing!

The feeling of sickness in my stomach came not from the smell of gas but the odoriferous lack of design, care and disgraceful treatment of this once proud house of justice by those that “improved” . The people of design in past decades , the decorators who painted over her body had prostituted her for their own ends. They had ripped from her innards any worthiness and covered over the beautiful wood work with purple based brown paint.

Did anyone speak for the victim as she was sliced and diced? Did not one person in all those decades of abuse ever say NO? Was there one among those who said “this is wrong- we are destroying our own historical worth- we the gatekeepers of law and government- did no one advocate as they lowered her ceiling covering up the artisans craft of centuries?

July2014 032res

Ah and NOW they complain she isn’t good enough for a third world country . Those who have painted over her remaining doors, painted her walls so the bricks can no longer breathe, trapping in her 10 inch walls the very moisture they now complain about. They have laid rubber and plastic on floors that used to breathe and glow with the fragrance of beeswax. Every so often peeking out from the “mediocre modernization” a glimpse of what used to be .

The room where the gym resides – where men and presumably women work up a sweat , as they workout on gym mats ( always such a pleasant smell – gym floor mats), punch the bag and lift the weights. No longer do breezes, carried by the outside trees, enter the room to erase the stink of man.

A room full of old clothes, presumably handed out to those clients in need , clients of the Probation Dept. One has to ask could not those items be dispensed through another agency as the stench of old shoes mingled with the musty odor of the rest of the contents? It certainly added to the odors.

As we walked out into the corridor once more, another entranceway was bricked up- on the other side was a huge panel and a storage room which maintained the original integrity of the brickwork and wooden floor and surprise – here at least there was no smell of “progress” some dust but no decay and bacteria assaulted the nostrils


Did those who came after the architect and builders in 1881 have no inkling as to why buildings were designed and built they way they were? There was a purpose and a method in their madness as they built their buildings to last and make a statement .The high ceilings allowed for heat to escape upwards in the summer – those have been lowered and covered over with acoustic tile now trapping the air , heat and germs.

July2014 071

The thick walls retained heat in winter and stopped summer heat. The walls breathed – no longer- they are covered and suffocating under paper and layers of paint. The improvements of the decades are “killing” the building slowly.

Hardwood floors, for the winter warmth and cooling tiles in areas where water could splash and coolness were needed. Doorways and windows designed and placed strategically to bring in cross breezes to air out the building. All these have been bastardized shrunk down and closed permanently.

Buildings are more than the sum of their individual components. The design, materials, type of construction, size, shape, site orientation, surrounding landscape, and climate all play a role in how buildings perform. Historic building construction methods and materials often maximized natural sources of heat, light and ventilation to respond to local climatic conditions
Operable windows, interior courtyards, clerestories, skylights, rooftop ventilators, cupolas, and other features that provide natural ventilation and light can reduce energy consumption


Thick masonry walls typical of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries have inherent thermal characteristics that keep the buildings cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Walls with substantial mass have the advantage of high thermal inertia, which reduces the rate of heat transfer through the wall. For instance, a wall with high thermal inertia, subjected to solar radiation for an hour, will absorb the heat at its outside surface, but slowly transfer it to the interior over a period as long as six hours

We finally came to the famous “feces toilet”- the doorway padlocked the toilets wrapped in plastic.

ED NOTE you can see photos of Tim Lubbe’s complaints here

Obviously, since those pictures were taken “clean up” and repairs have been accomplished. Dampness and or leaks will cause the intricate plaster work on these lovely old buildings to deteriorate and decay. That is a problem of lack of maintenance or leaks not detected.

Most of the pictures in the Lubbe album are due to failing plaster and paint and the bastardization of added heating and electrical systems over the decades with no regard to the integrity of the structure
July2014 044.

Back to the toilets, which in the photos are a disgrace.
-the door is locked now ( and obviously the toilets are now cleaned and secured ( there is no running water in that bathroom) – A bathroom that no one apparently knew was being used- well except by the people using it . As stated, in one of the previous news articles, the Commissioners were unaware the “Probation Dept.” had been moving their ” offices etc’ to that floor –

and the door was unlocked – not because of a toilet access – but access needed to the electrical panel and the light which is also housed behind that door.

I wondered who had been using those facilities? Was it the homeless also was mentioned in a Chronicle article- clients of the court-house – workers and WHY didn’t anyone ever call maintenance upon discovery of such human filth?

I could go on and on BUT there is not much point you see although I have come to a conclusion:

Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski

Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski

My judgment in this case – The Demise of Lorain County Court House

E.W. DeChant-J.E. Davidson- O.G. Dunn (circa 1940) –








However, as Judge Burge likes to say the above is “moot” because what little of this edifice’s past glory is left will soon be gone as well- according to an email received on July 30th from Tim Lubbe:


….It is my understanding that the County Commissioners have determined that the Adult Probation Department is to be situated in the old Courthouse. While it is the Court’s position that the costs of remodeling this facility far exceeds the expense of relocating the Adult Probation department to the 5th floor of the Justice Center, nevertheless the Court acknowledges that it is the Commissioners prerogative to spend or misspend money as they deem appropriate.

Additionally, I would note the remodeling to be performed will strictly focus on functionality not historic restoration. In fact, any remaining historical features in the building’s interior will likely not survive this conversion…….

What a sad ending for a grand old lady!
I am so glad I come from a land (England) that recognizes the worthiness of history , the buildings , the craftsmanship of yesteryear. I cannot fathom the thinking of those that dismiss so lightly their own history- We are but the caretakers………. but most do not care……….

July 31, 2014 at 12:15 am 2 comments

The Elyria Court House debacle , tax PAY ers PT3


Part One – The Background

Part Two – A History

In 1940 the County Commissioners decided the dome was unsafe and they took it down BUT they were in the midst of a campaign to have the whole building destroyed and replaced by WPA financed building
In fact, those same commissioners tried time and time again to take down the building..
pdf file of the information here
courthouse info

and here courthouse info2
Heman Ely deeded the land to be used for the purpose of a “permanent court house”. A building that cost $200,00 in 1881 which in today’s money is the equivalent of $4,545,454.55
But it seems over the years this grand dame of Elyria has suffered much at the very hands of those who were her supposed caretakers :
In September 2012 the Toledo Blade
carried the call from Commissioner Tom Williams:


“It’s deteriorating. The grounds are in bad condition,” said first-term Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams. “The building itself has mold in it. It’s just an old building now. I wouldn’t say it’s historic anymore. It’s more of a liability for the county.”

Although two of Lorain County’s three commissioners insist they have no interest in razing the old courthouse, Mr. Williams says something needs to be done to halt the building’s decline, and demolition may be more “cost-effective” than renovation.

And the Judges, well they have made their remarks ( time and time again)
Judges: Put old Lorain County Courthouse on death row
Filed on June 12, 2014 by Brad Dicken

jim M res

ELYRIA — Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi told the county commissioners on Wednesday that he was “appalled” by the state of the old Lorain County Courthouse, which houses the county’s Adult Probation Department.

“What I saw over there wouldn’t be appropriate for a probation department in a Third World country,” Miraldi said.

Miraldi said he and other judges toured the building earlier this week and saw black mold, asbestos, a broken elevator and numerous other problems in the more than century-old building.


Common Pleas Judge John Miraldi, who also took the tour, referred to the old Courthouse as “that pit” and said there were serious air quality problems inside.

NOTE all photos sources Lorain County.

Two Miraldis of the same mind apparently. Ah! the minds of men – and the what were they thinking department?.

First the caretakers of law and government abuse her over the decades by lopping off her head so to speak, denigrated her worth and beauty and then over the years tried to further finish her off by abusing her insides so terribly that she is no longer the once beautiful and proud icon of law and order.

She has become institutionalized with sea grass wallpaper , her beautiful tile work ripped up, hardwood floors covered with industrial carpeting an ersatz icon of faded glory not even good enough for the third world!

And some how this is “her fault”. And the taxpayer is paying to sort out the mess ONCE AGAIN !
Moot’ order over courthouse keys now vacated Filed by Brad Dicken

The commissioners met with their newly hired lawyer Monday in executive session to discuss their options and prepare a reply.

Because Burge has rescinded his court order, there won’t be an immediate need for a hearing, Kalo said. The judge potentially could have held the commissioners in contempt of court for refusing to follow his order.

Commissioner Tom Williams said he wants to end the feud as soon as possible so both sides can stop paying their lawyers.

CHANDRAED NOTE The Judges have Hired Subodh Chandra and the taxpayers have paid out $50,000 retainer fee- expenses of approximately $33,000 so far – is that part of the $50,000 – this taxpayer hasn’t had an answer from Mr. Lubbe Lubberes

County Prosecutor Dennis Will, who normally represents both the commissioners and the judges, has removed his office from involvement in the dispute.

I’m hoping we can open up the lines of communication and try to come up with some agreement instead of taking this to court,” Williams said.


The Court Room that was insideRES

Reprinted with permission
Elyria In Vintage PostcardsBenjamin J and Anne Fische Mancine – Arcadia Publishing on line 888-313-2665 – and Amazon Books


July 30, 2014 at 1:33 am 1 comment

The Elyria Court House debacle , tax PAY ers PT2


Let us look at the history of this once glorious building and how she came into being. Was her promised construction the reason Elyria became the county seat? It seems so!

Heman Ely, the founder of Elyria and leading proponent of establishing Lorain County, offered to donate land adjacent to the park he had given to Elyria. In addition, he offered to donate $2000 toward the construction of a permanent courthouse, to build a jail and sheriff’s residence behind the courthouse, and to build a temporary courthouse to use until the permanent structure was completed.

Edmund West signed a Declaration of Trust (Feb. 14th 1823) that when Ohio organized Lorain County he would convey land Heman Ely had given him (back on 22 February 1822) to the Lorain County commissioners. Ebenezer Lane, on another receipt dated 14 February 1823, stated that he was given a deed between Heman Ely and Henry Brown for lots 1-2 and 6-7 to cover a bond to raise $3000 for Lorain County court buildings.

You can find more of the Heman Ely story here :

It was a big thing back in the days of this new country, now forming its own government apart and distanced from England; they knew full well the importance of “law”- “justice”
and “accountability”. This United States was founded upon the rules of law.

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 51 (1788)

It was important the edifices built for government and the judiciary were of an imposing, solid-and impressive design as they were the icons of the ideals of democracy. This new country and her laws had to be seen as stable and long-lasting. The architecture of the day was the “marketing ” to the population of stability, a government for the people etc. the populace needed reassurance this government of the United States of America would be seen to last and be successful, the bricks and mortar of the new government were a way of reassurance to the population.

Photo Source

1828 The first permanent county courthouse was begun in the public square. It was red brick with a bell cupola and fireplaces in each room. Heman Ely donated land and money for this building

But in
1881- A new County Courthouse was finished and was the largest and most elegant building in Elyria. It was built of local Amherst sandstone.

Elyria Court House  with  cupola

Elyria Court House with cupola

One can imagine the pride Elyrians must have felt watching this wonderful edifice rising from the ground – majestic , purposeful and making a statement of “law” “democracy” and “success” carved out of a wilderness.

Apparently an architect was hired- Elijah E Meyers


Elijah E. Myers (December 22, 1832, Philadelphia – March 5, 1909, Detroit) was a leading architect of government buildings in the latter half of the 19th century, and the only architect to design the capitol buildings of three U.S. states, the Michigan State Capitol, the Texas State Capitol, and the Colorado State Capitol

The years passed, discussion in 1937 came into play as to the deteriorating metal structures on top of the court house. Therefore , man in their wisdom, decided sometime in 1943 to take off the beautiful dome and with it Lady Justice

Lady Justice is seen as a blindfolded woman in a toga holding a sword in one hand and a balance (or scales) in the other. She is seen as the epitome of fairness and moral force, and is usually intended as the icon of Judicial Systems. In Roman mythology, she is known as Justitia. In Greek mythology, she’s known as Themis (the goddess of divine order) and her daughter, Dike (who carries scales). In Egyptian mythology, she’s known as Maat, and later, Isis. The Greek goddess Nemesis, as the goddess of vengeance, was the goddess who carried the sword, and the Roman goddess Fortuna (which means “fate”) was the goddess who was blindfolded. As an amalgam of all of these symbols, Lady Justice represents a goddess of divine order who balances fate and vengeance, and collectively represents justice internationally.

It was probably more cost-effective to “remove” than refurbish- Step one in the decline of “reason- perpetuity and pride.

However, in 1975, even without her “top”, Lorain County Court House was deemed still significant enough to be added to the National Historic Register in 1975.


Lady Justice has apparently disappeared from her court house and the court house has been left to a sad fate at the hands of “justices”

to be continued……….

July 28, 2014 at 5:11 pm 1 comment

The Elyria Court House debacle , tax PAY ers

Playing catch up the best coverage of the hand bags at dawn or gavels galore between the tenant ” Lorain County Common Pleas” and the landlord Lorain County Commissioners can be found in the Elyria Chronicle and Brad Dicken by Line

Judges: Put old Lorain County Courthouse on death row

Commissioners, judges engaged in deadlock over building access

Evan Goodenow also filed a story for the Chronicle

Commissioners say plan to move Probation Department too costly
But it was the article by Lisa Roberson of the Chronicle that sent this “that woman” off on her own perspective of the taxpayer who will end up paying the “lawyers for both sides now “

Lorain County judges hire legal counsel in probation department dispute
My take found here on the judiciary jousting of 2014

On July 18th, since things had gone quite quiet I sent an email to Tim Lubbe the “spokesperson for the judges and the probation dept”
for just how much money had been spent by them on Chandra , the attorney He had seemingly done his usual PR in the media opening volley –
Chandra is very good at that media manipulation tact, been there done that and seen it before.

Not wanting to take anyone else’s perspective whether it was the judges take or the commissioners take – I decided – since it had gone quiet- to see for myself.

I made arrangements as a “taxpayer” to take the tour. Of course as luck would have it the day scheduled also happened to be the day another ” legal fisticuffs ” took off . By noon that day ( Friday the 25th of July) was the deadline and my appointment was for 11:00 am.

Photo source United Artists

Photo source United Artists

I wondered after reading all the articles of mould , asbestos , strange smells would I need hazmat gear to enter and now the added worry of being caught in the High Noon deadline as an innocent taxpayer.

County commissioners said Thursday they will defy a court order issued by Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge requiring them to turn over the keys to all doors on the second floor of the old Lorain County Courthouse by noon today.

It was therefore with some trepidation I returned to the Elyria Court House, I say returned because 20 years ago I was there on jury duty. ( please note they never asked me back 😉

I sat on the bench watching the foot traffic , the day was one of those sparkling feel good weather days. If I concentrated on the building itself, ignoring the sounds of the traffic, as the church bells rang out the hour I could almost imagine what it must have been like for those who had walked this way in an earlier time. Perhaps, they too had rested under the trees on a summer day when this once beautiful edifice was the pride of a new government and not carrion to be fought over

Elyria Court House  with  cupola

Elyria Court House with cupola

To be continued

July 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm 2 comments

History Demo’ed- Another Rehabbed -Pt3

Part One – The Demo

Part Two – The “history” of the rehab

Along with two of the Charleston Village board members, I toured the start of the rehab of the house “now known” as the Coleman House or 1031 W. 4th Street.

I must admit I was feeling excited to see the inside of this century home- what delights of a bygone era would we see? I had been down this path before with the Captain Wilford House just up and around the corner from the Coleman home – they would have been neighbors- 416 Washington

The Wilford House still maintains a great deal of its historical integrity – from the days of commerce and community from the last century.
wilford house

One of the pieces missing from the front portico are the twin anchors above the entrance .
twin anchors wh (2) Those anchors , I believe had special significance to the Wilford family and to Captain Wilford , the original anchors lay at the bottom of Lake Superior
twin anchors on the bow of his boat the John M Osborn

john M Osborn
Photo Source
“All of the older captains used to take their families sailing with them frequently. Captain Wilford chose to take aboard his wife Fannie ( of the Civil War letters fame)
fanny gilmore  wilford
and his two daughters, Cora and Adelaide on his vessel, a three mast wooden steamer John M. Osborn that summer in 1884.
and the archiving of the shipwreck thanks to the State of MICHIGAN and the GREAT LAKES SHIP WRECK MUSEUM- who recognize the worth of the story and the captains of the Great Lakes

However, such is not the case here in Lorain or even in the State of Ohio ( just another old rental) – Yes ! Captain Wilford’s once beautiful home is now a rental with an RSO living in the carriage house and divided up once again to get the most “income from her”.

BUT a few years ago Charleston Village had the opportunity to take a walk through at least the down stairs of the home . Interior shots of Wilford Parlor courtesy Dave Cotton

wilfnow and then


wilford interior

I am hoping since the recent Zillow ad
for the house states it has beautiful woodwork what we saw that day is still the case

Back to the neighboring Coleman Property!

NOTE:The Lorain County Port Authority in conjunction with the Lorain County Community Development Department are rehabbing the property using Neighborhood Stabilization Program III (NSP3) funds.

However as we entered Frank Coleman’s home our expectations of woodwork , hardwood floors, elegant staircases and hopes were crushed as we continued the tour. There wasn’t much left and what was left had been covered up with more of the cheap as chips paneling no such beautiful flooring, not such wonderful trim just the bastardization of 50 and 70’s modernizing and the “rental flip and flop. The once spindle staircase covered in and over as they divided the house into two ( more money for the landlord one would assume) a door cut into her side as an entrance for the
top floor” like some terrible wound to her original architecture. Traditional windows replaced to modernize her in the 60’s and 70’s – her front porch taken away and replaced with fake pillars of plywood and paint all in the name of what???
pillars and scar

Coleman collage
Photos courtesy of Lorain County Community Development
The county does not have the luxury of “history left” to work with – they are going to have to go through mend and make do to bring this old house back to a family home

The historical architecture and guidelines gone now for the most part- An entranceway reminiscent of those days of pride perhaps,


scars removed from her outside – a door to nowhere replaced with an attractive window ? This will be a family home once again with the added luxury of a very nice guest suite in the rear. A home saved- an investment in Lorain’s oldest neighborhood.

I know the county will bring this old lady back to a home, and one with up to code windows, plumbing, wiring etc. I just hope they will go the extra yard and make her atheistically pleasing as well- we will see in Part 4 which will be the post on her unveiling

To be continued…………

July 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm 4 comments

History Demo ‘ed -Another Rehabbed- Pt2.

PART ONE The Demo!
heneryhamiltonPhoto Mark Teleha

The Gow House ( which ironically enough) remained in the Gow family until its demise- sitting empty and forlorn for decades- was on the corner of 4th and Hamilton. 4th Street was not always 4th street it was once named “DUANE Street” and at the end of and opposite to is the Duane Building- another historical structure that was rehabbed
duane In 1908 or there about Lorain ( known for changing names – Black River Township- Charleston Village – Lorain) street names also underwent a revamp .

A little east of the Gow House on the opposite side of the street another of Lorain’s professional people built his home – – the address was 231 Duane Street.( circa 1903) His name was Frank Coleman and in the 1898-99 phone directory he had an office at 203 Broadway. There is no longer an office a 203 Broadway or indeed his later office at 426 Broadway or for that matter a trail for 356 or 360 Broadway

old mapres
Lorain Map circa 1874
but you can imagine an enterprising young man, as so many others did in this neighborhood, building his home within walking distance from his place of work.
In fact, he made the Lorain’s Prominent Lawyers listing in the 1903 Lorain. Ohio by George H. Teague


Frank and his wife Agnes lived in his home on Duane ( now 1031 4th Street) until he moved in 1937 ( his wife Agnes was no longer recorded -assumption is – she had passed)It looks like Frank ended up owning two lots 187 – and 188
Colemna tax mapres
His home was sold on after 1936 ( probably after his wife passed.) to one Isadore Baer.

In any case he moved alone in 1937 to 918 Washington Ave. This is interesting, because as with his previous home history, 1031 West 4th Street –
Landlord – Ed Watling ( foreclosure???) -and then First Federal Savings and Loan ( again on my street)
this home too followed a pattern becoming all to familiar in this neighborhood.

and now we have at last the Lorain County Land Re-utilization Corp rehabbing Frank’s 110 year old home.

But 918 Washington Ave. his new domicile seemingly repeats the history of the older homes we see dumped and devalued every day – in more ways than one: What started as a piece of “old house history” has taken me once again on the dumped and devalued road of this neighborhood. .

NOTE: Readers take a good look at this photo ( you may want to come back to it later and compare to 1031)
918 Washingtonres
As with Frank’s family home on Duane/4th – his next home (918 Washington) also went the way of home ownership- to rentals and landlords and banks and “ losing in value”.

For instance this 918 Washington property once again is a poster child of what happens when ‘banks apparently make poor business choices” WE end up losing in these older neighborhoods, deemed historic by the state, if not the city, as neighborhood property values fall due to the “sale prices “ of the homes

NOTE bear with me the following is a little confusing

In 7/11/2011- 918 Washington (0201004114016 ) the next house Frank Coleman lived was recently part of a deal with three other properties

918 history of saleres

1014 Long Avenue- 2055 E 29th Street -434 9th Street purchased by First Federal Savings and Loan Assoc Lorain ( there is that name again) the sale price listed $106.000 for those properties to REHABS TO RENTALS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LLC North Ridgeville agent and principle – Scott A. Russell
6486 Ridgeview Blvd.N. Ridgeville, OH 44039- this LLC is apparently still active according to the State of Ohio.

NOTE: However, I did some further checking on the 4 parcels that were worth apparently $106,000. to First Federal Savings and Loan Association Lorain and found-
918 Washington was sold for 10,500
1014 Long sold for $5,000
434 9th sold for $15,900
2005 E 29th- $8,500

So, if my math is correct, after the sale of all four properties First Federal Savings and Loan took a loss of $66,100 dollars and recouped just $39,900 – a loss of 60%-on the dealings with REHABS TO RENTALS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LLC. That isn’t exactly screaming healthy business practices to me but what do I know , even the price of milk going up effects this “investor” in Lorain.

Back to Frank
Frank Coleman then moved on to 1031 9th Street in 19391031 9th And yet another “sale loss drop dump- this his 3rd home was not a First Federal house for sale- commodity this time it was AMTRUST BANK A doing the honors and another LLC picking at the dying carcass of “homes”
10319th history

2005 property sold for $70,000 dollars bank got it back for $28,000 in 2008 and 20 days later sold it for 13,500 to Brian Fuller who transferred it to his LLC NEW AGE REAL ESTATE LLC ( owning 6 properties)( Avon Lake)

Frank Coleman seemingly did not move offices much always in the 300 block of Broadway. In 1942 the last we have found to date on Frank he had moved to 306 9th Street

This home has been owned by Baker Homes of Vermilion since 2005 but considering it is another “century home” ending up as another rental can the tale be much different???? If you want to know more a trip to the recorder’s office and look up OR Volume 1220- Page 142. I would bet you will find a similar history!

But back to Frank’s original home and the “rehabbing of this old lady. She has suffered through the years modernization of the 50’s and 70’s and turned from a single family dwelling to a triplex rental. She even had to suffer the ignominious treatment of having her beautiful solid wood carved doors

( what was left of them- there seemed to be a lot of doorways with no doors) – having the outside surface covered with cheap crappy plywood – stained to look like wood) – what were they thinking?????? ) and even worse yet 1960″s paneling put over the outside of the doors!

1960’s paneling covering the door!

The other side of the door


Our hearts sank as we toured the property, as would Frank Coleman’s had he been around to see what they have done…………

The Lorain County Port Authority in conjunction with the Lorain County Community Development Department are rehabbing the property using Neighborhood Stabilization Program III (NSP3) funds.

July 18, 2014 at 11:15 am 4 comments

History Demo’ed- Another Rehabbed Pt 1

As regular readers of this blog are aware, I threw a fit about what I called the Icon house of Lorain’s deteriorating housing structure . Hamilton Ave and 4th

I was not alone and Dan Brady also had a post about this old house

After years of frustration ,
looking at the deteriorating structure that met my gaze from my den window every morning, something was finally done

Gow House 1034 4th

Gow House 1034 4th

After 38 years, blighted Lorain house to come down
Chronicle Telegram- Evan Goodenow

and the Morning Journal as well as Channel 5 covered the demise.

The former home at 1034 W. Fourth St. became scrap wood, brick, metal and shingles as an excavator knocked down the structure as part of the demolition program of the Lorain County Land Re-utilization Corp., or county land bank.

I did not join the throng that morning in March as the house was demolished. For too long, I had hopes ( in the very beginning) that somehow that house( which was over a century old )could be rehabbed. I sat, as I always do, that March morning with a cup of coffee and watched as another “story and home of history “ of Lorain fell in upon herself.


It was bitter-sweet but a necessary evil

photo Dan Brady

photo Dan Brady

So under the auspices of the Lorain County Land Re-utilization Corp – Lorain County Port Authority
whose mission ” Improving Lorain County and Revitalizing Neighborhoods” the eyesore that was once a well-loved and cherished home came down.
1880 map

This old neighborhood herself was once cherished – the “movers and shakers” of their day built “homes” for growing families – close to their businesses and the port which was the highway into Lorain .

Over the years these homes , for the most part, were sold on from those that built a community. The size of them made them ripe for the “rental” business as landlords could divide the large homes into apartments , chop them up making two-three apartments and sometimes more – just look at the number of electric meters on the sides of these old homes.
wilford house
Captain Thomas Wilford House

The people who built such edifices to their success are now no more than crossed out names on a tax map. Unless, their tales are written about by the few “Lorain historians” who care about such events.

Are these old homes and their history all going the way of the wrecking ball on this street in order to revitalize our neighborhood? We have had two go down on one block in recent months 1034 ( the icon house) and 1125 W 4th.

The house at 1125 also was not a candidate for rehabilitation – However, all is not lost as the very same agency ” Lorain County Land Re-utilization Corp – Lorain County Port Authority” now, I am pleased to say, has purchased another of the First Federal Saving and Loans foreclosure properties that we seem to have a plethora of in this neighborhood

Far from tearing down this time they will be rehabbing one of the oldest homes on the block, which is over a century old . A home that survived the tornado without too much damage if not ” latter-day Lorainites and landlords and banks”.

The story – The who what and where in Part Two To Be continued

July 16, 2014 at 8:23 pm 5 comments

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