Elyria Court House debacle- the Final Judgement
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
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
ED NOTE-LORAIN COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR JIM CORDES STATED:
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
The building is just chopped up to the point where we can’t do good work here,” Cwalina said. “We just can’t.”
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?
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.
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 https://www.dropbox.com/sc/ea02qpuxqp24jme/AABBAOKr08J5Z-ktbPxcySpna
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
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:
My judgment in this case – The Demise of Lorain County Court House
– IS TO FIND THE JUSTICES THE COMMISSIONERS OF DECADES PAST
E.W. DeChant-J.E. Davidson- O.G. Dunn (circa 1940) –
GUILTY OF “CONTEMPT” OF THE HISTORICAL WORTH AND LEGACY LEFT TO THEM AS GUARDIANS OF THIS YOUNG COUNTRY’S WORTHINESS AND VALUES!
GUILTY OF ENABLING THE CONTINUED BASTARDIZATION OF AN ICON OF THIS COUNTRY’S AND COUNTY’S HISTORICAL RECORD , AND LEGACY. FAILING TO CORRECT THE ACTS OF DEGRADATION BY THEIR PREDECESSORS AND THEREFORE NOT FIT GUARDIANS OF A NATIONAL HISTORICAL REGISTERED BUILDING .
I FIND THE “JUDGES OF TODAY” –
GUILTY OF WASTING TAXPAYERS MONEY IN THROWING DOWN THE GAUNTLET IN THE FIRST PLACE AND FORCING, THROUGH THE HIRING OF AN ATTORNEY (CHANDRA), MORE MONEY TO BE WASTED BY THE COUNTY.
BOTH PARTIES ARE FOUND
GUILTY OF WASTING THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION’S TIME IN A MATTER THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SETTLED AMONG THE RESPONSIBLE ELECTED OFFICIALS!
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……….
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, hell is other people, history, Legal, media, notorious opponents of exactitude. Tags: Adult Probation Department, County commissioners, Elyria, Elyria Chronicle, Elyria Court House, Historic Building Demise, Judge Betleski, Judge Ewers, Judge Miraldi, Judge Rothgery, Judges Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Lorain County, Lorain County Commissioners, Lorain County Common Pleas, Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi, Lorain County Court, Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Lorain County Courthouse, Probation Department, Tim Lubbe.