A few of my friends have been posting this article on Facebook, it is definitely worth a read. Bunch pretty much nails it, I have since forwarded this article to all our city leaders and it is my hope you will do the same. STOP THE DESTRUCTION!
Comments ... #
I agree. Ryan did a great job pointing out the lack of foresight by the city officials. It makes me crazy to think the city would rip out the Washington Street bridge. I'm so tempted to hang a giant "SAVE OUR BRIDGE" banner across it. Maybe that'll get their attention.
If time travel were possible I'd love to go back and see Toledo back in the 50's. Hear so many wonderful stories of downtown.
The architecture downtown is awe inspiring.
So if your white you hate old buildings???????????????
Oh and I guess we can see that Ryan is still alive and unchanged.
You're. Stop tearing down our grammar.
Definitely not the same Ryans.
idinspired is correct. I know Ryan Bunch (article author) in real life, and he is not the TT Ryan we all love so much.
I agree with the cerebral writer of that article.
White people should have renovated the old sports aroma, instead of making room for a new arena in a different downtown location. They should have kept the Mud Hens in Maumee, instead of clearing space in downtown Toledo for a new stadium. These people are terrorists for tearing down the old to make room for the new.
These new developments make downtown Toledo too noisy, which we cannot allow to continue. The downtown of a mid-sized city should be noise-free. So save the old vacant buildings to keep downtown Toledo quiet.
And I agree with the Old West End residents that the glass museum should have never been built because its new design is an eyesore for that area. The scumbag, wealthy white people affiliated with the Toledo Art Museum should have renovated an old building for the new glass museum. It would have made perfect sense.
I hope nobody rediscovers Toledo's Main Street because that area needs to remain unchanged.
When white people destroy old Toledo structures, it causes teenage girls to slash their arms and bums to have bad teeth. If it saves just one arm or one tooth, then it's worth saving an old structure. I assume that renovating an old structure will be done as quickly and as cheaply as the decade-long renovation of the MLK bridge.
It's one thing to tear down a decrepit building to make forward progress (in some cases, anyway), but to remove something because they don't want to paint it anymore is sad.
I actually remember downtown Toledo in the 50's. Guess i'm the only one on the list old enough. It had a certain look, sound and yes, smell. My dad used to take me downtown with him to pick up his pay check. Every once in a while we would stop into Morrow's nut shop or Tiedke's for some small treat. Money was tight and a Hershey bar meant a lot in those days. There was the 5 and 10. The Coney Island Hot dog and Eppes Essen Deli. In the winter it was filthy. Black snow. But the buildings were indeed beautiful.There was the beautiful glow of neon and the marquees of the theaters. When I was a teen I used to trudge through the snow from my Lagrinka neighborhood on foot all the way downtown at Christmas time just to window shop. Lasalles was the place where the well heeled shopped.Gentlemen with money bought their duds at B.R. Bakers. There was the seedy side too. The bars on Jackson street and the Gayety and Town Hall theater. Most people don't know that Gypsy Rose Lee did her first strip at the Gayety. Rose LaRose who owned the Town Hall and later the Esquire was a friend of mine. In those days when you walked into a downtown business, you were met with a warm greeting and unbelievable customer service. Never was heard a foulmouthed word in public especially from a lady or by a man in the presence of a lady. I remember the trolley tracks on Water street. Ah yes. If only I could time travel.
I remember downtown in the late 50's and early 60's, I was a teen and took my brothers downtown on the bus (Community what?) to see 25c movies at the Rivoli and the Palace. We would go to Woolworths for lunch, 99c for a hamburg and fries. $2 for a whole Saturday morning adventure, bus fare included. Wydowmaker, remember the block that they closed off for a pedestrian area, was that by the theatres? Used to take a taxi (!) with my aunt to shop at Tiedtke's and get cherry pie in the cafeteria, I still remember the smell and the radio booth set up in the corner for Art (fill in the blank, lol, I remember but not well) and the hard-wood creaky floors and the carnival mirrors in the stairway. We went all over town with no cares. One night, I had spent all my money and a stranger, standing in a doorway waiting for a bus, gave me fare for the last bus home, man, did I get in trouble for coming home so late!
Yes that was down by the theaters.They had a pedestrian mall there briefly. Remember the late night weather broadcast(weather the weather) on WTOL from in front of the Commodore Perry? Us kids would sneak downtown or our parents would haul us down so we could try to get in front of the camera for our 3 seconds of fame. Community Traction LOL. And Art's name will come to me. Was it Jim Rudes that did the weather? TV stations shut down at midnight. They would play the national anthem and that was it until about 8am the next day. Remember the inside of the stately Toledo Trust bank. Beautiful woodwork and gleaming brass. I have seen places in downtown few have seen or even knew existed. My dad worked for a gentleman named Guy Snell who ran a private security service. Mr. Snell serviced many of the downtown banks and office buildings with a night time security patrol. Dad worked for him covering on his days off. When I was out of school I used to accompany dad on his patrols. I have been through the extensive underground tunnels, basements and backrooms of most of the old downtown buildings that most Toledoans never even knew existed. Remember when elevators had "elevator operators"?
I'm old enough to have worked downtown from 1953-59. It was a buzz with people, stores, restaurants, (remember Grace Smiths) and if you wanted you could take in a movie.
I lived out in the country, Trilby area, and we had to take the Holland Sylvania bus to go to West Toledo or downtown. Community Traction was city owned and only went to the edge of the city.
Then came the malls and downtown started to deteriorate. Free parking was the big draw and the demise of Toledo's downtown began. Also malls were opened longer hours than the businesses in the downtown area. All the malls that opened in the 50's and 60's were outside the city limits at that time..
You couldn't wait to see the windows the Friday after Thanksgiving. That was the beginning of the Christmas season and the windows were beautiful.
I think I would have liked to go back to around 1900. Can you imagine walking into a place like this in Toledo?:
You've got me reminiscing about shopping downtown...Sears & Roebuck used to be on Summit and Jefferson. In the basement was the hardware department. I still have a tool I bought there- vise grip pliers. On Jefferson & St. Clair was the Edison Hotel, which had a restaurant that had very good food. The old Greyhound Bus Depot used to be where the Fiberglass Tower not stands. Other downtown hotels were: Fort Meigs, Waldorf, Milner, Michigan, Belle. Sure, the Commodore Perry and Secor were the largest in size. ACE_FACE, Thanks for the photo of the lobby of the Secor; did you notice the brass cuspidors (spitoons) by a couple of those easy chairs?
Also recall being taken to Cedar Point by the SS Put-in Bay, a coal-burning steamer built in 1910 in Duluth. It departed the Adams Street dock at 6:00 AM.
Wasn't it Frank Venner who did Weather in the Weather? Never went down there, but it was cool to watch, if I stayed up that late, lol. I DO remember the TT Bank building because that was our bus stop to go back to the OWE! We used to play around the big columns in front waiting for the bus! Remember when the bus signs had the numbers of the buses that stopped there? lol.
good ol Free Press: http://www.toledofreepress.com/2008/06/20/remembering-the-old-school-weathermen/
That is awesome. We are nothing without out history.
its good to have more people join the fight to save our city. there have been a loyal crew of people trying to reverse the tide for 35 years with precious few victories.
unfortunately, the architecture community, if they see an opportunity to get a commission, will gladly deem a building or a block insignificant. all the open space we had in the downtown and near downtown and in the last ten years we still tear down 25 or more operating buildings to put up a ball field and arena. we create superblock after superblock, shutting off streets, creating vast walls of inactive space and make it difficult to walk and get around town and then wonder why downtown is abandoned.
it is great to write this type of essay but understand that at its heart, our architectural and historical and urban problems are political problems. political expediance... political contributions... politicians calling any building "progress" no matter what the effects are on adjacent areas.
there are well known principles of city planning and we continue to violate them on a regular basis and our urban neighborhoods pay the price. no other city has the "trifecta" of the convention center, arena, and baseball stadium next to each other... because every other city recognizes that you do not place three large institutions right next to each other.
we tear down the original haughton elevator offices and factory in the warehouse district to put up carports?! carports are the evil opposite of urban. we tear down our industrial history for carports?!
at erie and lafayette, the renovation of the willis day warehouse is nice, but it ignores the fact that the erie canal once ran along the diagnol back wall - that right of way has been abandoned for yet another surface parking lot.
we have a ban on surface parking lots... we have a ban on demolition of buildings downtown... unless anyone wants to do otherwise and then the pols cave and authorize the further destruction of our city... and you can be sure they expect those developers to contribute to their campaign warchest.
and now the washington street bridge is in the cross hairs - herwat and crothers ought to know better and their friends, the architects at the toledo design center, ought to be making sure they get the message... but power speaks and i suspect the bridge is already a fait accomplis.
the full range of things that get bitched and moaned about here are not going to be solved with the cast of characters that have been in place for essentially 30 years or more. total novices could not get worse results - look at it critically - the pols are really the only ones who have made out through all this turmoil - and we hold none of them to account.
our greatest chance to break this cycle thus far was wilkowski and he, a democrat with a great family name and who tirelessly worked for obama's election could not get elected in this democrat town because, i believe, he is too honest to be controlled by certain forces.
for all of the sentiment agreeing with ryan's post and the logic and intellectual honesty of its aim, it is going to take a ground swell with an organization... an organization with leadership outside of those currently in control... otherwise it will quickly be co-opted and corrupted. it will take clarity of intent and purpose and persistance.
anyone up for that?
I really enjoy these historical threads. I have scoured the internet searching for black and white photos, videos, drawings, and artwork that pertains to the area’s history. I never came across Shorpy.com, so I guess this is a proper time to ask for help from the historical types on here. What resources have you found for historical photos of the area? I know the Toledo Blade should be a good resource, but not sure how cooperative they are.
The reason I ask is because this summer I will be doing a Virtual Tour of our Historical Downtowns in the area. What I want to do is add historical photos to the Virtual Tour that will pop up in the scene that represents that photo. A sort of Now and Then tour, celebrating our History. If you know of people that have old photos, ask them if they mind having them scanned to be used in this project. I am doing this on my own so there is NO $ for the project, but I will gladly give credit (photos labeled “photo courtesy of”) to those that participate.
Another interest of mine is actual day to day life (grocery shopping: how far to drive/walk, what stores do you remember), special events (dance halls, festivals, fairs), and what folks did for entertainment before TV’s with 200 channels, Computers, The Internet, Video Games, Smart Phones, Twitter, Facebook, Malls. You folks do go down memory lane pretty often, but as far as I can tell, there isn’t a collection of these posts. If you folks don’t mind, if a historical topic comes up, please label it HISTORY Related so the threads can be kept in the History part of this forum.
I honestly think kids must think that back in the day people must have slept ALL DAY LONG, because there was obviously NOTHING to get out of bed for like there is today!
I hate to say it, but as long as this nation allows its government to borrow its way into prosperity (or should I say next election), I think we are headed straight back to those times.
A few years ago, it was possible to view some old Toledo photos on the library's website. Maybe that's still possible, but the old links to the photos no longer work.
I'm sure most are familiar with the Toledo history books published in recent years.
One book is titled "Historic photos of Toledo - Collection of photographs covering the history of Toledo, Ohio between 1870 and 2000" by Gregory M. Miller
Comment in 2007 thread about a book titled "East Toledo at Work: A History of Business & Industry of East Toledo."
In 1950, there were 650 firms doing business in East Toledo, many of them industrial companies. They paid working wages for hard working men and women. Today, there are 300 companies, the lowest number since the turn of the Twentieth Century.
Those who grew up in the 1950s will enjoy the many photos of corner gas stations and convenient stores. Naturally, there’s a photo of Cal Gettings’ Sunoco station at Starr and Dearborn, which in the late 1980s was the oldest continually operated Sunoco station in the country. And, you’ll remember taking your date to the Tivoli Theatre or the Frostop Root Beer Drive-In.
The book is the first planned effort to celebrate the 200 th anniversary of East Toledo, Michaels says. Peter and Robert Navarre settled here in 1807.
With reference to Frank Venner, yes he did the weather reports for Channel 13, which was then located at 140 N. Huron St. Besides that, he was a good sports announcer and did commercials for Athletic Supply Co. They sold those button-down sweaters that came in various colors and they could sew on a letter patch which was the initial of your college or High School. Those sweaters had a strange name that I still cannot explain..."Baby Shaker".
Another sportscaster for Channel 13 was Bob Evans, who announced wrestling matches from the Toledo Sports Arena across the river.
13 News Reports were hosted by Jim Ubelhart, a swave, gentleman with profound college demeanor who was on WSPD-AM for many years.
Not to start a controvery about the auto industry, but my first car was a '56 Chevrolet Model 210, Bought it at Lownsbury Chevrolet on Front St. Cost $2,100.
Ace Face - that photo of the hotel secor... what's with all the people in it that you can see right thru?? G-g-g-g-ghosts??
billy, that would probably be because the photographer would have left the exposure open for a much longer time than most modern photography. This would have prolly been due to low light in the lobby... or some other reason. The "ghosts" you see are persons who would have been sitting and a moment later got up and walked away... all while the photo was being taken.
Nana, are you thinking of Art Barrie? We never missed Frank Venner's Friday night weathercasts from the Commodore Perry. My dad taught at DeVilbiss starting around 1961 and he used to get the occasional shout-out from the DeVilbiss kids who hung out. My brothers and sister and I used to get a kick out of it. My parents used to take us to Tiedtke's on Saturday mornings. What a store! My grandma was a serious shopper and she started taking me with her with I was around 4. She used to come to Toledo to shop downtown in the 50s and early 60s and always took me with her. She was always dressed to the nines - hat, dress coat, white gloves, heels, and a touch of rouge. Dressing up to shop in downtown Toledo was appropriate in those days. We always had lunch at Smith's Cafeteria. Grandma would have turned 115 this year and I still miss my best shopping buddy.
Thanks for reminding me. It was Frank Venner not Jim Rudes.As the years go by the faces are still clear but the names get confused. Has anyone besides me ever had the chance to walk around in some of the underground spaces downtown? You know those steel grates on the sidewalks? Some of them were for lowering freight down into the basements below the buildings. Some were access points for the steam tunnels from the old steam plant. My dad took me down with him into the lower areas beneath several of the larger buildings on his patrol rounds. Really spooky places. What amazes me is the craftsmanship
on the inside and outside of these old structures. The woodwork was beautiful. The stone work rivals some of the work my wife and I saw in Italy. I don't know if there is anyone around today that can do that quality of work any more.
You can still access the historic photos on the library website. Go to www.toledolibrary.org, and in the drop-down menu labeled "books and information," there's a tag for historic photos. You can search by keyword or address. They have a lot of photos from Toledo, and Lucas county, and some from surrounding counties. I have even stumbled upon odd photos from places nowhere near here (I think Kansas City was one of them...)
The only bad thing is that they are sort of poorly cataloged. The photos are not titled, as such. They are listed by keyword. So, if you type in "bowling alley," you'll get photos of bowling alleys in Toledo...some of the photos give the name of the bowling alley; others only show a picture with other keywords, such as the address, or "bar," "neon sign," "art deco," etc. See for yourself.
Still, an awesome tool, and a great way to waste an entire afternoon...! I suspect random searches on this tool could be the basis for an entire series of TT historical posts...
Nope. Not reading the rest.
I forced my way through it after reading that epic opening line. Bunch needs to realize he can make a point without needing to sound like a 12 year old who just learned some new bad words.
The greatest irony of it all is that Toledo.com's offices are located in the centerpiece of disposable urban sprawl that is Levis Commons. Do they expect "A Plea for Preservation" to be taken seriously when it comes from a drywall tower built in a former cornfield?
Refrigerators in 50' had very small (ice cube tray size) freezers. So you went shopping frequently for meat. It was a treat to bring home a pint of ice cream as a treat for supper.
My mother walked to grocery store with us 3 kids as no one I knew had two cars.
We also walked to drug store and doctor.
Stores closed early except for Friday night, 7 p.m. Nothing was open on Sunday due to blue laws in Ohio. That was in effect till after Franklin Park Mall was built.
It was a good time to be a kid. Couldn't get in trouble as the whole community watched out for each other.
I liked the article and agree with most of the sentiments. However, why did he have to inject a race based, political agenda into the story?
As someone pointed out elsewhere, Donna Owens and Phil Hawkey were the ones who saved the Lasalle buidling from the wrecking ball and they were both blue-eyed devils.