Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Empty Space

While driving the other day I was struck by the number of stores that were out of business and the vacant lots I saw.  Last year Toledo bowlers got their last chance for a final gutter ball at Imperial Lanes, but you'd never know it now.

Imperial Lanes
5505 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43615

Imperial Lanes R.I.P.

Across the street Local 20 is somehow contributing to the economy.

Local 20 On Strike

I find a certain irony in the bulldozed site of Imperial Lanes and the blue collar strike across the street.  Imperial Lanes was bought out by Promedica for four and a half million.  Prior to that the business was said to have been failing, but I tend to think that the owners were waiting for the price of the land to increase in value sufficiently enough to sell.  Still, the lot is empty.

Further on down Reynolds road I found another vacant lot.  I have no idea what used to be here, but I'm guessing that business tanked along with the old Southwyck mall.  I have no idea what anyone would use the property for.

Empty on South Reynolds

Green Space

Contact Information

There are no labor strikes or closed businesses across the street from this vacant lot.  Somewhat heartening is the arrival of a new business, proving that the Toledo economy is not dead.

Massage - New Girls!

I may be getting jaded in my old age.  This could well be a legitimate massage spa, with licensed massage therapists and connections to many local doctors, hospitals and the like.  But I doubt it.

Just a short way down the road is the mother of all vacant lots - Southwyck Mall.

Southwyck Mall Entrance

Fire Sale

Southwyck Mall - R.I.P.

Welcome to Southwyck Mall!

This is another area that will likely remain undeveloped for a long while.  What the hell would anyone build here?  Pointing my nose back to Sylvania I eventually passed this corner.

Whiteford & Alexis

The South East corner lot used to be Lay's Gas Station.  If a customer bought gas the windshield was washed, the oil and battery checked and the tire pressure was checked upon the customer's request, all courtesy of the ace pump jockey, Rick Lay.  If your car broke down, there were two garage bays and several mechanics who would put you back on the street right away.  Lay's also had a towing service, which was nice.  Now there's nothing but a vacant building there.

Lay's Gas Station

Lease Information

Across the street from Lay's was a two story building that housed a bar with a sawdust floor on one side (East, if memory serves) and Mister G's Pizza on the other side.  Mister G had the best pizza and subs in Sylvania, and the drinks at the bar were very reasonable.

Mister G's Pizza - R.I.P.

I suppose this is an example of progress at its finest, however... when Lay's was in business every gas station in town could afford one or more young men (girls were a real rarity) to come out and wait on customers in all kinds of weather.  That's a thing of the past that will never return, and more's the pity.

No comments: