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.

The Bargain Barn isn’t a store thriving downtowns like to tout as typical. But they are.

Is there any name less impressive?

I am reasonably certain this has been amusing teens since 1957


Another hopeful metal facade:


I say “hopeful” because they were still investing in downtown’s appearance - I mean, what was the option? No one was thinking a Wal-Mart would come along and suck the life out of the place. You spruced up and modernized. Make people feel as if their town still had some juice.

Of all the OUMB, this Modern Bank, presented out of Obligation, is the U-est I’ve seen in months. It may be the ugliest, period.


There’s not a single thing about that facade that stood the test of time, and by “test of time” I mean “later that day, after completion.”


Technically, it’s on it, sir


The off-center ground floor is a little unnerving, as is the size of the door that led upstairs. You had to enter sideways, it seems

Palimpsest with window-highlight phallus and lightly-bricked-up windows

“I don’t know what came over me, but I couldn’t stop. I just couldn’t. I’d add something and then it looked like it needed something else, so I’d add something else -


“I don’t know what came over me, but I couldn’t stop. I just couldn’t. I’d add something and then it looked like it needed something else, so I’d add something else -



“And the top is so bad I had them cover it up. I’ll never design another building until I kick this addition to amphetemines.”

“See, I wasn’t doing so much speed when I designed this one.”


Charming little historical station, but it looks like it did a Kool-Aid Man and just ohhhh-yeahed out of the side of that building:


We fed 47 pictures of post-modern faux-classical bank buildings to a computer, and this is what the AI designed”


When one of the conjoined twins decides to get a facelift



Any guesses what this is?



In 1857, the Mechanics Bank of St Louis was established at Washington and Van Buren Streets. It was considered the most expensive bank building in western Missouri. However, it would close just four years later when Warsaw was devastated by General Fremont’s troops in 1861. It stood empty until 1912 when it was bought by the Benton County court and converted into a jail, which is still used today.

That’s about as perfect a mid-century Nearer-my-God-to-Mies church as you’ll ever find.



And, as we often say here in conclusion, that’s a good thing!