Saving Downtown: Why Does It Look Like It Does?

As I drive around the County, I become more and more frustrated. I walk around the downtown areas of the cities that surround Lorain, and I become sad. Do you know why? Walk with me, will you?

Let’s take a look at a few buildings in Norwalk.


Now look at Elyria.

I hope your legs aren’t tired yet.

 Here’s Amherst.



I walked Vermilion’s downtown last night with my kids.




I don’t even want to show you what we’ve got on Broadway, but we all need a collective slap in the face.



Was my sample of downtown Lorain fair? Nope, not by a longshot. Because we’ve got the Duane Building, Art Oehlke’s The 530 Shop, and a number of other beautiful buildings. But. BUT. We still have structures like I pictured above.

I have written certain people in our City. People who have intimate knowledge of programs that might be available. I have asked what can be done to spur some improvement along Broadway. What could motivate or help some of these building owners to improve their properties?

I’ve received no replies, no answers.


If this City is going to bring itself back, besides improving the Housing and Infrastructure, it needs to give a big fat booster shot to its downtown area. Specifically Broadway from West Erie all the way to, at least, the West 14th Street area. We need facelifts and we need businesses in these properties, not buildings used to store stuff.

What can the City do? What can the organizations that work with the City do?

What can City Council do to fit the Design Review Board with some teeth, and help it coordinate things with the Building Department, so that things look a little, no, A LOT better along Broadway?

Someone Please Tell Me WHY Our Downtown Looks Like It Does?!