Posts tagged ‘Charleston Village’
2002- You had just completed the 1st year of foundation courses at Cleveland Institute of Art. That Summer- a time of excitement in this family – getting ready for Nikki’s Christmas wedding. Once again I volunteered you for one of my community projects – your words still ring in my memory.
-” Mum if I was a mechanic would you volunteer me- Yes, I replied if you were a good mechanic”
MainstreetLorain( Now Lorain Growth Corp) had purchased a shed- it was going to sit on the ‘ mile long pier” welcoming the boaters, tourists and fisher folk, to be filled with welcoming information of what to do and where to do it in Lorain. John Houser, the MainstreetLorain Director, wanted a mural on both sides of he shed so it could be seen coming and going and a “free hand cursive “Welcome” .
Oh how you grumbled and I believe swore more than once at me – the surface was rough, hard to paint, there were grooves galore the heat didn’t help , the conditions lacking .
Mum this isn’t easy to paint this thing- why don’t you just stain it and put up a sign , I am sure there are plenty of photos of the lighthouse”
and so it went our back and forth.
The “Lighthouse Shed” eventually moved from the mile long pier to Black River Landing – It had weathered and a window added
The shed sat there season after season , becoming even more weathered and worn
but you weren’t interested when I would send them to you –
” Not my best work mum!- I don’t know why I let you talk me into doing these things for you”
The shed faded from memory, especially when we received the dreaded “cancer” news.
It was just a few weeks after your death- I didn’t go anywhere , withdrew from the world, the grief too much to deal with , let alone meet up with “people”. However , I was expressly asked by a dear friend to attend a meeting at the Port Authority. I sat in back of the meeting looking everywhere but at those faces- so full of compassion for me- I dare not meet their eyes….. and there my gaze fell, as I looked out the window, on that damned shed – still there! The snow circled danced with her partner, the all prevailing wind,blurring the little painted lighthouse, and yet bringing those summer days to the fore.
– how is it possible ?I thought – the shed still there facing the elements but you – you were gone. Why???
I fled the meeting in tears , hopefully without causing alarm to others knowing I would not find any answer.
I stayed away – from festivals- from life and the shed went back into memory. Then, once more I had to attend an event at the “landings”. The poor old shed looked worn and dull but Gavin and Braedyn were impressed when they saw the lighthouse was painted by Uncle Chris. And so another opportunity for you to become tangible in their little lives, to share another story of Chris told to little bright faces. .
Two years later a phone call-
Would Charleston Village Society like the donation of the “Lighthouse Shed ” for Settler’s Watch- great for keeping stuff in it?
I said yes, knowing I couldn’t bear to think of it ending up on a dump somewhere . And so the shed arrived to be placed behind the grapevines- my romantic notion – from a distance and if you squint your eyes this old weather-beaten shed looked eerily like an old settler’s cabin.
The shed certainly doesn’t look out-of-place. BUT the murals , well the rocks and lake were gone on the one side, the seagulls had lost their wings and the lighthouse itself faded into a mere shadow of itself all details gone -just an outline of what was once. –.
I knew I could call upon artists I know to redo the murals but I just couldn’t do that- I couldn’t bear your work and those memories to be painted over by anyone else. I had to do it but as my old art teacher informed me time and time again in school –
“Loraine you couldn’t even draw unemployment”
I decided I would “paint” not by numbers but by colours – fill in the lines, do what I could with your work to guide me . How bloody hard was that?
Tears streaming down my cheeks, blotting out the picture before me, trying to hold back the sobs that wanted to escape the confines of my heart. The wood had become even rougher in those 13 years of seasons, I would apply the paint only to have only half of each stroke adhere. I cursed the surface wondering if you were laughing at getting your own back. It took many mornings – it wasn’t the heat or the job itself which took so long it was the dealing with the raw emotions that attacked me as I worked. I could only stand up to that emotional maelstrom for so long.
Then came the bigger problem- the lake and rocks which had disappeared totally from the one side. How the hell was I going to paint rocks, waves , spray and the changing colours of the lake? I am not an artist, as I said . I went to the internet, pulled up “how to paint rocks and water”. I took a deep breath and began terrified I would mess the whole thing up. It doesn’t look too bad although I am sure you would be shaking your head at my endeavours .
The shed had turned for the most part a deep grey, rather than trying to power wash and bring it back we have decided to stain. And so two little boys were drafted to help stain “Uncle Chris’ Lighthouse Shed”
It became a “family affair” with your dad staining the “higher up” sections.
We ran out of paint- the old wood soaked up the stain- more was going to have to be applied, another day-
A trip over to Nog’s, where Nana had some chocolates and a chance to feed your fish. We love you Chris – not forgotten as life continues to weather us.
Still stuck in 1991 –
I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or cry when I read what I had said in 1991 . I loved living in an “urban setting” where the homes in the neighborhood were not the typical slab homes or the new cookie cutter neighborhoods of the USA.
Maybe because I had lived in a London suburb where I would daily walk to the tube station , shop on the local high street, attend functions within the community- all without that car. I was used to that way of living . How bloody naïve was I to think I was going to find that continuing in Lorain on Broadway.
BUT we, the Charleston Village idiots ( as we had been called on more that one occasion) thought we could help bring back that feeling of Broadway that had been lost .
I was told Broadway in Lorain was at one time reminiscent of the “High Streets” from whence I came.
In 1991 I could do quite a few of those errands- I can no longer do most of them – can’t go to the drug store, shopping????? Luckily I can still go to the Palace- although I have to say the last time I went, Saturday the 20th, upon exiting, we were met by a drunk slumped in a doorway- such a friendly welcoming ambiance.
By 1990 we were “INVOLVED WITH BROADWAY” The City Of Lorain recognized a healthy safe neighborhood brought foot traffic downtown- They held yet another meeting , to which the Village Idiots were invited
We went and the upshot of those meetings as featured in our May 1990 Newsletter
“Community should have a clear vision of what it wants to become”
I am not sure our “current downtown buildings” fit the vision we had.
But we tried, we got on the bandwagon – after all a bad downtown reflects negatively on the neighborhood and vice versa.
“We’re also excited over the Charleston Village’s grass roots organization which is banding homeowners together to improve the community-
Yes, even the Morning Journal got involved and would feature a home in Charleston Village every week in its real-estate section:
Oh we tried – Charleston Village reached out and we opened our homes for a the Ohio Preservation Statewide Preservation Conference ( a progressive dinner in each home). They came they saw and they were impressed.
I doubt they would have the same thoughts now a quarter of a century later. That lovely Renaissance Inn mentioned in their articles – look at it now
I could go on.
Downtown Lorain Growth Association – became Mainstreet Lorain 1995/6 ( not then affiliated with the Main Street Program- that came later). Charleston Village was one of the founding members of that new organization and had a seat on its board. Later Mainstreet Lorain did become a MAIN STEET Organization the first in Northern Ohio ( 2000)
Yours truly, ( when times got tough and we didn’t have enough in the kitty to pay for a Director) was the “volunteer” Director for 7 months of Mainstreet Lorain until we saved enough with memberships and grants to pay for another Director. It was during that time (2002) Mainstreet Lorain did not have its contract renewed with the Main Street program. We eventually changed the name to Lorain Growth Corporation http://www.loraingrowth.com/
which is still part of the downtown today.
Oh we cleaned Broadway with the Lorain Litter Council, started the Lorain Arts Council, promoted its events, decorated windows of terrible eyesores of buildings, actually charged people to join us in searching for the Black Pearl as we searched along Broadway and each merchant’s premises , had car shows on Thursday nights- ending up at Scorchers. We worked with the Port and the usage of the land given ( now known as Black River Landing), yes and so much more !
Yes! we have been around the Broadway block for decades and watched the “vision” go “dark”
“60 percent of downtown Lorain empty; hopes of rezoning as entertainment district to breathe new life”
‘It looks like a ghost town’
I admit not having given completely up on Broadway , as a blogger, I have had my say of late.
That particular post brought me into combative mode with a member of the Downtown Review Board – remember the one that was put in place to promote preservation in 1987 OH! yes we were there too.
Yes, Cathy Dye – a whole series on my blog where she was the subject matter – the mother of the owner of 418 Broadway which has its problems
It is my opinion( based upon her emails etc. ) that Mrs. Dye tried to use coercion and intimidation of City of Lorain officials in order to get what she wanted re her son’s building via her position of the Design Review Board , took vindictive action using the Design Review Board moniker and the Lorain Building Dept. It is also my opinion her son’s building, which has been well documented as to its problems, IS one of the problem buildings on Broadway.
A Morning Journal article recently had some quotes as to what was needed on Broadway :
ERRRRRRRRR where have I heard this before –
Lorain also has a neighborhood of single-family houses immediately west of downtown, so incentives and training could help residents living just a few blocks from Broadway.
• Enforce property and zoning codes.
When run-down properties hurt the values of nearby properties, cities have to force property owners to act, Siegler said.
OH yes! I remember same thing they said in the LAST CENTURY and to add insult to injury Cathy Dye is quoted :
Dye said Lorain should require Broadway building owners to keep the historic and picturesque facades, but give them more freedom to modify the interiors and rear sections of buildings to create usable spaces
ED NOTE– sorry but patience has worn thin – a quarter of century of the same rhetoric becomes numbing!!!
Lorain and other cities need a shared vision and a process of gradual action to implement that, Brachman said. She called the approach “strategic incrementalism.”
Revitalization “isn’t going to happen overnight,” she said. “It’s an incremental process.”
OVERNIGHT??????? we have been waiting and working on this for decades! Same old clap trap and so much yada yada yada and regurgitated ideas. And the newspaper decided to go to the “problem people” for the solutions …..now that at least was a was a novel approach………………
So Charleston Village how did we do when it comes down to revitalizing Broadway ?
a resounding FAIL!!!!
Twenty eight years- what I could have accomplished in twenty – eight years, time energy money spent elsewhere– I could’ve moved- walked away- from this house I call home.
I could have spent my energy nagging my husband to take those other job offers out of Ohio, even out of the country. I didn’t – I loved this house, although now in hindsight, I am sure I would have found something elsewhere that I would have loved. It didn’t happen because I, and a few others, have clung onto the fact that a neighborhood could be saved – these old houses by Ohio history standards are worthy .
Looking at the early records of this Charleston Village Society – I realized we are failures! We have been flogging that dead horse to no avail. Twenty eight years and the mission statement decided upon so naively as to the doable of just a few blocks . So much talk …………
Our mission , was to preserve the neighborhood, promote the history , to make this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood one of pride, to hold landlords and out of town landlords accountable- to toughen up the accountability with regard to building inspections.
We started with committee meetings, talking to City Council and Administrations , Community Development – and Mayor Olejko:
Ah the way back machine ..
“Residents last night (10/1/91) told a committee , which is formulating a model on how to spend federal and state housing funds….” Morning Journal
and a quarter century later –
1991– Morning Journal 24 years earlier
But Several Landlords said not all landlords are out of town hustlers looking to hold onto dilapidated housing for profit….
That statement is certainly correct….some of those landlords held on to those dilapidated properties were Lorainites… and old slum lords never die their properties just fade away OR DO THEY??
Landlords, they pretty much own the housing stock in this Ward 2 of Lorain and yes they are making money what was known as Section 8 housing now known as a much more affable name – Housing Choice ( Vouchers)
“housing choice vouchers alone pump 1.4 MILLION A MONTH
into Lorain County but The City of Lorain gets 64% of that money EVERY MONTH or approximately $900,000.00 PER MONTH COMES INTO THE CITY OF LORAIN-!!!
How about that BIG Business for you – lucrative one would say and that is just the “private” landlords and LLC’s .
Vouchers Per Zip Code
Amherst 44001 1.1%
Avon 44011 4.0%
Avon Lake 44012 0.6%
Col Station 44028 0.1%
Elyria 44035 23.2%
N Ridgeville 44039 1.1%
Grafton 44044 0.2%
LaGrange 44050 0.3%
Lorain 44052 32.5%
Lorain 44053 10.4%
Lorain 44055 21.3%
Sheffield 44054 1.5%
Oberlin 44074 1.5%
Vermilion 44089 1.3%
Wellington 44090 0.9%
but The City of Lorain gets 64% of that money EVERY MONTH or approximately $900,000.00 PER MONTH COMES INTO THE CITY OF LORAIN-!!!
THAT was just 10 months ago!
“”Right now ( 1991) you’re giving Lorain away a house at a time , a piece at a time and no one seems to care”
well some of us did care – for all the good it seems to have done ! We have failed in our mission for owner occupied homes and landlord accountability .. these were the stats two years ago and they have changed because we know have South Carolina on the list… more about that later
** All data gathered from Lorain County Auditors site, Ohio Secretary of State June 29th 2013 “Clarification” the only LLC shown below are those that are not under known names – such as Spitzer, Veard, religious communities, funeral homes etc.
The number of LLC’s tracked totaled “197” OWNING PROPERTY IN LORAIN.
THEY OWN APPROXIMATELY 2,289 PROPERTIES / PARCELS BETWEEN THEM
” 193” TRACKED BACK TO “OWNER PLACE OF RESIDENCE”
“146” OUTSIDE LORAIN LLC. ETC OR “75.64 %” percent of ownership is outside Lorain
47 LORAIN OWNED LLC ETC. or 24.35 %
******Breakdown is as follows (OUTSIDE OWNERSHIP) PROPERTIES CAN RANGE FROM 1 PARCEL TO over 100 AT THE TOP END)
AMHERST = 30 REG. LLC = 15.5 %
ELYRIA = 12 REG. LLC = 6.2 5%
WESTLAKE = 11 REG. LLC = 5.7%
AVON = 10 REG. LLC = 5.2 %
AVON LAKE =7 REG.LLC= 3.6 %
NORTH RIDGEVILLE = 7 REG.LLC=3.6 %
SHEFFILED LAKE/VILLAGE= 6 REG.LLC= 3.1%
CLEVELAND = 5 REG.LLC= 2.5%
VERMILION = 5 REG.LLC =2.5%
COLUMBUS = 3 REG.LLC = 1.55%
CALIFORNIA= 3 REG.LLC= 1.55% NOTE AT LEAST ONE CALIFORNIA OWNER HAS 58 PROPERTIES
PENNSYLVANIA= 3 REG.LLC = 1.55%
HURON- 2 REG.LLC = 1.03 %
WELLINGTON= 2 REG.LLC = 1.03%
LAKEWOOD= 2 REG LLC. = 1.03 %
FLORIDA = 2 REG.LLC= 1.03%
BEECHWOOD= 2 REG LLC= 1.03%
NORTH OLMSTEAD = 2 REG.LLC = 1.03%
MEDINA= 2 REG.LLC = 1.03%
GRAFTON= 2 REG.LLC = 1.035
AURORA= 2 REG.LLC= 1.03%
BAYVILLAGE= 2 REG.LLC= 1.03%
CANADA = 2 REG. LLC =1.03% (NOTE: ONE IS FOR A TRAILER PARK)
BRECKSVILLE, COLORADO, TEXAS, AKRON, ARIZONA , TOLEDO, KENT, UNION TOWN, CHAGRIN FALLS, MARSHALVILLE, ROCKY RIVER, MILAN, NORTH ROYALTON, AKEMAN, CHAGRIN FALLS, NEWARK OH, LICHFIELD , STONGSVILLE, SEVEN HILLS, BRUNSWICK , ST. MARY’S, OBERLIN 1 REG LLC
To be continued……………..
The Lorain Dudes and Pride in Lorain- Growing year by year
Settlers’ Watch dedicated August 2009– follow link for the videos of the ceremony- Mark Teleha
The story of Settlers’ Watch – Mark Teleha
Admiral King Tribute Site dedication September 18th 2011
follow the links for the dedication Mark Teleha
Eric Barnes Heroes Walk – ( Phase One) November 11 – 2012
follow link for the videos of the ceremony Mark Teleha
It takes as lot of work and pride to take this site from this
to what it is today . A pride that grows and continues – The Lorain Dude
Pride Day 2010 Settlers’ Watch https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/lorain-dude-discovers-pride-and-settlers-watch/
Photo Lisa Miller
Pride Day 2011 https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/a-pride-full-day-settlers-watch-2011/
Pride Day 2012
Pride Day 2013
That year found the Lorain Dude having a family helper – the other Lorain Dude.
Pride Day 2014– the Lorain Dudes were kept home by mum due to the terrible weather but that didn’t stop the faithful
And now a collage of sorts from Pride Day Settlers’ Watch, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and Admiral King Tribute Site
Screen Shot – Rotary – Dina Ferrer
Photos by Lisa Miller
Lorain Dudes back to work
Link to Lisa Portfolio of Pride
The area , thanks to Charleston Village Volunteers, Lorain Rotary, The City of Lorain looks cared for , beautiful and unique.
We would be remiss if we didn’t thank Mr. and Mrs. Perez of 6th Street and the Girl Scouts for the sign and V space for the Charleston Village sign – Thank you so much !!!
And finally another sunset – Settlers Watch- Lisa Miller
A few weeks ago, I was interviewed for Lorain County’s PULSE Magazine by Kristen Hampshire. The experience was one of sheer pleasure, the professionalism with which Kristen handled the interview, made very difficult because I tend to ramble and give the “back story” before answering the question. The fact checking by the editorial staff, the photographer- Laura Watilo Blake, who was constrained by my boundaries.
The article Buried History leads off with the General Gillmore Portrait – unwanted , and the story that led to the 12 part series on this blog.
The cover , pronounced, Lorain’s little known identity of Treasure Town. I wonder how many in the county see Lorain and her buried treasure?
Kristen asked: ( paraphrasing)
Why do I embark on the history of Lorain, why is it important to you and yet like the portrait
inconsequential to most in this community?
I had been thinking about that very fact for a few days before the interview. Why do I care along with a handful of others ( even those that should care were unimpressed , didn’t even find the portrait worthy of a 1st look)? Why do a very few people get excited when uncovering Lorain’s stories but the majority of her 64,000 residents really aren’t bothered?
I believe, in my case, my penchant for theatre and years spent acting out the written word, the stories told , the donning of the character , the “fleshing out ” of that character as you read the script- the cold reading tells you the way of portrayal is part of the reason.
Kristen wrote :
” As Ritchey passes neighbors’ homes, she thinks about the people who have lived there. She sees the original plat of Charleston Village, and when she walks through Lakeview Park
she imagines the 21,000 grape vines once planted there……….”
The article continues but the gist of the piece will tell you – I imagine the way things were when I look at one of Lorain’s falling down and abuse of historical properties, the mega rental units in what once was a beautiful family home.
I can see the life before , the characters flesh out in my mind . I can see and hear Captain Wilford , his arm around his wife that night as the huge pleasure craft the The Alberta, came at the John Osborne cutting through the fog that night and into the wooden three-masted steamer .
Fannie Wilford’s terror can only be imagined as she stood with her husband, her children asleep below decks, a cruel ending to such a lovely day as the steel-clad Alberta towering above the little freighter bore down upon the hapless couple ……
The Alberta according to The Cleveland News Leader July 30th 1884 said of the Alberta. ‘This huge steel monster, during the few months she has been afloat has become the terror of the lakes. Proud of her reputation as one of the fastest side-wheel steamers on fresh water, she (Alberta) has been run in an extraordinarily reckless manner. “
“Tom! That boats going right through us!”
Very Quietly Captain Wilford answered
“I KNOW IT”
Behind the Waterfront (Bertram B Lewis)
“ Steam rushed from the freighter’s crushed boilers, the air was filled with shouts of seaman and those screams from those who had been sprayed by scalding water.”(Lewis) ……The steward, Mr. Austin (the same man who just hours before has held Sunday school services) rescued Addie and rushed her through the scalding steam holding his arm across his face and keeping the little girls face close to him. He handed her up to the deck of the Alberta and went back through the steam for the mangled and scalded sailors below”(HFMC)
I read this and like so many other actresses and actors, I flesh them out in my mind – they become more than print on a yellowing page, they become real! I take on their fear, their pain , their story- how would I portray my part. Is that why, as I look at the portrait of General Gillmore , reading his reports during the Civil War, I see the characters, I see the times in which they lived- they become people once more not just faded photos? The letters written by the same Fanny Gillmore – ( Wilford) who stood on a deck with her husband that night- the letters of life….
I see Fannie on her front porch, waiting- for who what – everytime I pass her house
And I get angry at the lack of respect. What I do know is their stories are important to Lorain, a town that needs a buried treasure , heroes and romance.
You can access PULSE MAGAZINE on line
( unfortunately this issue- Winter 2014 is not yet uploaded to the site- but you can contact Lorain County Chamber of Commerce . It is free to subscribers.https://www.loraincountychamber.com/
I have covered three of the three examples of the process of Inspections, the Building Dept. and the process so far. These complaints have been filed and commented upon by serving “elected officials” not Joe Blow citizen but people whose job of work is to make their city and ward a better place.
1965 E 28th Street- Mayor Krasienko -2008-2012 documented from 2008 –
3620 Clifton Ave – Councilman Eddie Edwards documented since 2012 https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/dye-abolical-goose-gander-inspection-process-pt-2-lorain/
113 Hamilton Ave- Councilman Dennis Flores
Jul 16, 2014
How did all the Houses and Buildings get in such poor condition? As I said
when the Point of sale issue came before Council, We did not need more tools
in our toolbox, We just needed to use the tools we already had in the box.
You might be interested to know Mr. Lucente, although I support Point of Sale – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/the-nuisance-and-point-of-sale-ordinance-lorain/
these same thoughts were stated at a meeting of a start up of a “block watch” in 2005 ( 10 years ago) by Lorain County Prosecutors Office George Koury and previous Safety Service Director 1996-1999 – when asked about what laws could be passed because of the state of the buildings and homes in the 2nd Ward – He said:
There are ordinances already on the books – they just have to be enforced.
Note that was in the cafeteria room of the Old St. Joe’s Hospital and we know what is happening there today don’t we?
Ironically, at that meeting was Joe Smith who is also running for the position of 2nd Ward Councilman –
Ward Two is and has been the dumping ground, by banks, RSO’s – poor and substandard rentals and abandoned building as well a ghost town of commerce along Broadway.
It is a big job and so goes the 2nd ward so eventually goes the city!
Well, Councilman Lucente, this might give you an answer as this seems to be indicative of the tools in the box“
As mentioned in part three, Mr. Flores, often ,in his emails expressed frustration and concerns as to the timely manner of response by the Building Dept. to his notifications:
One such property 1761 HAMILTON AVE.
On January 25th 2013 _ two years ago Mr. Flores wrote in an email:
“It seems to me that a lot of the work I report falls on deaf-ears…
I’m requesting that a letter be sent notifying the property owner of this nuisance, vacant building.”
Parcel Number: 02-01-006-134-008
Owner Name &
Address: MIHALICK DAVID R & JENNIFER L
6106 GLADYS AVE ELYRIA, OH 44035
Taxes owed : $4,617.23
Since this blog did its own inspection this week February 9th 2015 – not much has changed, as you see , at the front- the shrubbery has grown in front of the windows and the rear of the property ????? – well more than a “don spout” needed here
JANUARY 2015– Click on jpg to enlarge
ONE YEAR AGO-2014
1/24/2014 Requested for rental inspection.
11 MONTHS AGO
3/8/2014 Home is in foreclosure, not rental.
5/20/2014 Cited for high grass.
7/28/2014 Cited for high grass. (NOTE: high grass???? that is it??? will wonders ever cease!!!!)
I saw a note that it was cited on 3/9/2012 and it was sent to court on 3/20/2013. “NOTE” and what if any was the outcome of that ?????
Two years ago sent to court, and here we are TWO YEARS later – timely indeed- another time- another year passes
Is it any wonder why during a council meeting November 2013 discussing the housing in Lorain,Council at Large Dan Given stated:
I’m still going to spin this thing back; the way we’re doing it now is broken,” Given said. “Issuing citations to property owners now, we might as well be writing them on toilet paper.”
And yet 4 working days after the complaint by Kathy Dye the Building Dept was on the job ??? Might want to save some of that toilet paper as “it” hits the fan!!!!!
Once again to be continued……….