Dear Mr. Veard,

While I have to commend you on what you’ve done with the Duane Building,

I’ve got to inquire about your involvement/intentions with the old Gel-Pak building.  The following picture was taken on November 18th, 2006.


The below photo was taken on November 10th, just a few days ago.


While it’s obvious that there are more windows broken, the scary thing is they’re broken FROM THE INSIDE. It’s no secret that access to the building is easy. I’ve seen photos of people’s adventures as they chronicled the break-in, and what the inside looks like.

But this view from the south side of the building is almost an invitation:

And while I’ve seen the back of the structure before, I don’t recall ALL of these windows being broken.

Someone was pretty thorough here:

And I don’t believe this graffiti got there by itself.

I remember how the Duane fire got started. Unless some action is taken soon, this property is liable to suffer the same devastation, especially with colder weather coming.

Just a friendly FYI….

Hat tip to my good friend for the heads-up on the window-writing!!

Editor’s Note: Just got done with this for Black Cloud. I’ll go back tomorrow to see if I can get more of the tree in the pic.

(Click on pic for larger view)


23 thoughts on “Dear Mr. Veard,

  1. Part of the problem, and I hope to God I’m WAY off, is that folks with the $$$ are held to a different standard than us ‘common folk.’

    Maybe TPTB turn a blind eye…maybe they owe an individual a favor….but come on!! This building has been like this for YEARS!!!

    Yo, City Hall!!! Let’s get on the ball!!

  2. well Henery —- you will alwyas be Henery to me 🙂 the perception is certainly there .Foltin administration was certainly “friendly” even to giving away and preparing the public so that Veterans Park could go the way condos

    Why are these things allowed to happen .. even if this is slated for rehab or demolition then the building should be mothballed so it isn’t an eyesore and a hazzard……but we just leave them “sit”

  3. Couple of things come to mind w/ this BLOG;
    1)I thought Mr Veard said while throwing a temper tantrum that he would not be investing any more of his money in our fair City. Perhaps it’s Loraine”s fault that this building has not been rehabbed!(said in jest of course).

    2) I feel safe in saying that there is little inside of the building except the Building it’s self to burn. Unlike the Duane fire there is very limited fire load in the Gel Pack building,coupled w the windows being broken which would promote earlier discovery, I don’t think we will have a major fire here any time soon.

    3)I never thought of a pretty maple tree coupled w a shell of a building would ever be considered “pretty”. Not sure if this was said in jest or not, but..your comment caused me to do a double take. There is a certain artistic quality in the photo..I think “pretty” is pushing it though.

  4. Exactly what I was thinkin’ about! Condos in Veteran’s Park! And the money he put into rehabbing the Duane Building, ownership of the Antler’s…That’s all well and good, but I’m not buying the ‘give’em a pass on the Gel-Pak building.’ And there’s no way anyone can say ‘Wow, I never noticed it!!’

    No. Way.

  5. BC,

    You are correct in that Mr. Veard did say that. However, if he doesn’t want to do anything with this building, he should raze it or sell it to someone that will fix it up. I do know that earlier this year, there was another building immediately north of Gel-Pak that has since been razed. It was fenced off while the demolition equipment was located on the lot. The fencing and equipment are gone now.

    As to the interior makeup, thanks for that info. However, it’s troubling to me that people have so little regard for the law that they will photo-document their expedition of breaking into the building and their tour of its interior.

    I thought the maple against the building was quite a contrast. After your comment, I’ll have to photoshop the color out of the building and see how it turns out.

    For now, I need to get some shut-eye. More later, and thanks all for your comments and doubly-so to Loraine, for linking this on her blog and on the forum!! Thanks Luv!

  6. BC—– well of course Mr. Veard did say that ( I have such power you know 🙂

    It seems I have a great deal of power for an overweight, middle-aged house wife. I can chase Developers screaming “Foul – No Fair the big bad woman attacked me” as they run from our fair city.

    Veard said he hasn’t faced opposition only from council, but criticism from citizen activists, such as downtown resident Loraine Ritchie. Veard said Ritchie has been a critic of his developments.

    ”What is she attacking me for?” Veard said. ”Let her develop downtown Lorain.”

    and here’s the rub


    With that being the case – the only Veard Project NaySay’d by Ms. Ritchey being the Veteran’s Park Condo thing, why would you say just a day later –

    “I’m not selling because I’m mad about the park. Maybe (City Council) did me a favor when they shot it down. Building condos in downtown Lorain is risky business,” Veard said.”

    I am glad to here that there isn’t much left to burn 😉

  7. If it makes you feel any better, the Gel Pac Building is one of three downtown structures that are completely masonary. There is not really anything that can burn. The others are the old Ohio Edison Building by the old post office and the Gardens of Charleston Building.

  8. Brian when my comment comes out of moderation 🙂 I have mentioned my relief as to that fact that it is unlikely to burn ; and when you follow the link to wom 207 there is also a lovely picture of Gelpak in Scotts article 🙂 one of the reasons I am in moderation is the links I think …. gosh I forgot what a lot of time and effort and work went into that fiasco .makes me tired all over again……

  9. I will stick w/ my original artistic comment vrs pretty. Maybe even stunning. Either way, upon further examination, I realized that it makes a neat picture and that it is not a maple tree.I look forward to seeing the photoshopped version.

    Ty, Brian couldn’t remember if it was heavy timber construction or masonary. Regardless,I am confident that there would be no repeat of the Duane Building.

    Loraine, I for one am glad that Veterans park is still Veterans Park!

  10. So am I and if you go back over to that woman , thanks to your “jesting” 🙂 I was able to use the Veard Front page comment on the Driving of Developers from town to enhance my argument about the headlines we remeber etc. so thanks .and when Henery wakes up the “rest of the story ” 🙂

  11. Also although I am relieved as to arson and fires not being of great concern ….there are other safety concerns with this building. Buildings such as this pose more than a fire hazzard….it is an unsecured property and open to all sorts of nefarious behaviour and other dangers… Loraine

  12. Sorry, I’m back and the comment is out of moderation. Seems all the busy-stuff happens when I get some sleep. Danged shift rotation!!

    Anyway, thanks all for the structural composition confirmation. It’s good to know that it won’t burn, but the fact that it is unsecured concerns me. And as I said before, it blows my mind that people would photograph themselves ‘breaking in’. It’s like all these reports of thieves videotaping a break-in or vandalism, and then they get caught and the police have the video as evidence. (Scratch head and ask, ‘Are they NUTS?’)

  13. Saw those pictures … know it looks really good inside …..loved the pillars it certainly looks better on the inside than out .. my mind is working over time as to what a great “arts place this could be ….and yeah I agree not the smartest thing to do documenting breaking and entering ….. wonder how long those pictures wil be up now 🙂

  14. If Mr. Veard isn’t too angry with me for doing this, I’d be more than open to doing a tour of the building with him, and doing an article on his intentions/designs for the future of this building…..

    Just thinkin’ out loud.

  15. Why should he be angry? He is a big boy a professional property developer … he drives past that building everyday .he can see with his developers eye what is needed. .he has a copy of the Staubach report
    and agreed with it !

    Get rid of the Urban Decay this is definitely decaying-
    Clean up the entranceways and gateways to downtown this is a gateway
    Fix the existing commercial and building facades on Broadway visible from Broadway
    Get rid of the eyesores
    Camouflage the existing industry on the river and lake front
    HAVE A TIME LINE for completion, a plan and how it will be financed

    this building meets 6 or the 10 recommendations in the Staubach report

    Sorry but as I say he is a big boy and a developer how would he feel if that building was next to one of his developments and owned by someonelse….

    The other thing I see is that actually the inside looks pretty decent so if the outside had been secured and the windows fixed or mothballed in the last three years his building would have benefitted.

  16. Good point.
    Good points!
    As a developer, if that was next to something I owned, I’d have been quite vocal. But it is off the beaten track, and the surrounding businesses don’t really draw foot traffic.
    The inside does lend itself to something artsy (for us photographer-types), with the multi-colored columns. With the size, this would be an interesting place to do an indoor flea market-type place. Large enough to divvy up space, and multi-floors to separate crafts and food and etc. Curious as to elevators for disabled access….
    Just something that popped into my head as I was writing.

  17. I think Brian mentioned to me that the elevator was big enough to drive a truck into 🙂

    Now just give me the money and I would develop it “artists in residence” live where you work ( funding available for that actually) maybe it is an historic building ( grant monies available) especially reycling … top floor eatery views of lake……….

    even with those great columns already the idea of primary colors …day care .think of the indoor space for the kids…. on that floor

    police substation …. indoor /outdoor market …….
    stop me people I may have a think tank breakdown…..

  18. The comical thing about the Gel Pac building and real life is that I was actually in COURT yesterday for the third time because my home allegedly doesn’t meet the standards of the property maintenance codes.

    As a warning to John Q Public out there. You better keep your mouths shut or you could end up becoming the target of the housing gestappo!

    I just loved being told by the Housing Inspector yesterday that I was the guy taking pictures of houses all around the city and I did nothing but complain. Let that serve as a WARNING TO OTHERS, shut your mouths or you will be spanked!

  19. Maybe the Housing Inspector should do his job a little more thoroughly so that I don’t have any properties to photograph.

    And in regards to your phone message of a few days ago, yes, I’m interested.

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