Fifty-four thousand souls, which to me always means "Fargo sized." Wikipedia's entry is written with an unaccustomed authorial voice:

In August 1967, at the peak of Elyria's population, Midway Mall was opened. It changed the local economy by attracting local businesses from the town center or causing so much competition they went out of business. Industrial restructuring meant that good jobs left the area, and poverty increased. Three major car plant closings in the area lead to economic stagnation and joblessness in the 1970s and 1980s that affected numerous communities. The region was nicknamed "the Rustbelt," suggesting the decline of its former industries.

Hard times and new ideas have hit Elyria as the 2000s and 2010s rolled on, as industries such as Bendix, Riddell, and 3M are taking their business elsewhere, outside the city.

We wish them luck. Let's see what downtown looks like.

“Maybe we shouldn’t build this one out of oil-soaked timbers like the last four.”

Is there any name less impressive?

When you apply your paint with a firehose:



He was a prosperous car dealer and local capitalist of no small accomplishments.

“It’s my most brilliant optical illusion ever. By angling the window down, it appears that the entire second and third floor project outward like a bay window.”


FOE, and you know what that means by now.

What the woody space once looked like, who knows - but we can guess from the nice terra-cotta around it.


W. T. Grant, the fabled and ill-fated variety store.





Don’t think Shane had the scratch to do the facade justice once he took it over.


Lovely way to frame an old bank:



You know how I feel about trees downtown - best used sparingly - but this is a nice job, shady and civilized.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s a more interesting brick facade underneath.



The seldom-lamented school of punchcard architecture.


Oh, this hurts. The one in the middle is the Henry Mussey block; he sold stone. The others are called THE CENTURY.



The buildings on the end have the middle portion surrounded! The ground floor attempts to tie them together, and screws up the proportions and balance. Clone-stamp-tool arches - and those poor little projecting bays set in deep niches.



THE Century. The new one.

Architectural depravity of the sort you only got in the 70s and early 80s. Tin-eared, tone-deaf, arrogant, faddish.


Looks like the rest of the building isn’t exactly overflowing with tenants, either.

“You met my brother? He’s up the street. Wears brown.”



The first few decades of the 20th century deposited buildings like this all over the country. They varied by a few stories, the amount of decoration, the cornice, but they were all this building.



And that’s good!

Nice visual representation of a city that intends to thrive and grow:


Another one of those peculiar temples that’s jacked up on blocks, but there were classical precedents for this.


That’s a rather uninspired effort.



But when ornamental encrustation had become baroque, something like this was a sign of clean clear times to come.


Finally, a bank of smaller proportions.



I’d say it was the Cutler National Bank, but who’d get the reference?