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Freight house saved for now... - Children of the Rust Belt
In the shadow of the watertower
Freight house saved for now...
I went to the City Council meeting Tuesday evening. The public was invited to speak about saving the freight house or turning it over to private management. So many people showed up that they had to move the meeting. I had walked there, and figured there was a big enough turnout, so I opted not to go to the meeting; it is covered in the newspaper articles.

Strange what is not in the papers so far, facts are still coming in but:
The city closed the building because they had someone inspected it and it was declared unsafe. Because it needed so much work, the city wants to pursue turning it over to a private investor. Happily, at the close of the City Council meeting, it sounds like the city is going to keep it.

It could be, that over 80 people showed up in support of saving the freight house.

And it could be that somebody pointed out that electrical contractors had been driving very heavy man-lifts inside the building for several week while they did electrical work – and they didn’t go through the supposedly unsafe floor.

It could be, that somebody hired and independent building inspector who inspected the building and found it not in as bad shape as the city was telling us. His report may have been given to a few city council members who decided “not to talk about it at the meeting.” Hmmm?

I see the Freight House as a great multi-use public space that should not be privatized. As one of the closest homeowners to the building I watch from my porch as it becomes: a market, a dance hall, a Mardi Gras party, a senior center, a place for weddings. All in all, it suits they town well just as it is.
7 comments or Leave a comment
kxfx From: kxfx Date: September 9th, 2004 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
damned livejournal not posting my comment!
I never thought of the Freight House as a venue for a wedding. Sounds like I could have an entirely Depot Town wedding...flowers from Enchanted Florist, reception at Frenchies. Let's hope those elements are still in place a few years from now.
I don't think I've ever been to the Freight House, but I drive by on my way home from class (on the few occasions when I don't walk). I need to start going to the farmer's market there...when does that go on?
rustboy From: rustboy Date: September 9th, 2004 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)


The market is open Wed am and Sat am from 8 or 9 till at least two. Not huge but a great way to get fresh veggies and such. I usually go spend all my the money I have in my pocket. (usually not much)Over time you can meet some nice people.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 9th, 2004 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Market

A great report, Patrick--thanks for posting it. Sounds like the market at least will continue for the moment? At least for the rest of this season, I hope. --ypsidixit
rustboy From: rustboy Date: September 9th, 2004 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Market


Let us hope it continues. Perhaps even more folks like will learn about it and use it.

I think you passed me on Cross Street last night.

That chrome headpiece is tres chic.

kxfx From: kxfx Date: September 12th, 2004 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Market

Thanks for the info. I'ma go get some veggies and such on the way home from class Wednesday...super-sweet!
rustboy From: rustboy Date: September 13th, 2004 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Market

Tell your friends, we want to support our little market as best we can. Hopefully it can grow back to what it used to be.

PS. I heard that steel band playing across the street again. Sure is strange, I wanted to go up and watch...
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 2nd, 2004 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
From Lesley Chace, Friends of the Ypsi Freighthouse

There's a lot of speculation and sketchy information out there about what's happening with the Freighthouse and the Market. We hope to get updates out soon in the news and through e-mail. Anyone wanting to be included in e-mail updates, please send your e-mail address to lizdmg@yahoo.com.

For the record, the Farmers Market is OPEN Wed and Saturday 8:00 - 2:00. I was there this morning and got great seasonal raspberries and a taste of some delicious cider! There are also lots of veggies, pumpkins, mums and various other seasonal goodies. The market may be small, but there is a good selection.

The status of the building is a whole 'nother story. I won't dwell on how/why we got to this point, but rather on the fact that the building is closed and needs help. I (and others) have been meeting weekly with city staff to try to hash out where we stand, what questions we have, and what needs to be done with the building in order to get it open again. The city's insurance company has pulled part of their coverage, and won't put it back until some things are fixed. We've had a structural engineer in there, and it looks like it will cost $30,000 - $40,000 to get the drawings and specs and do the work that the insurance company is requiring. This includes replacing a floor beam, shoring up the foundation where the mortar is weak or crumbling, checking the roof for water damage, and fortifying the walls (don't ask me how - I'm not an engineer!). All of this has to be done within historical preservation guidelines and blessed by the State Historical Preservation Office. It's a great opportunity to get the building fixed up to where it will be attractive once again for a variety of uses. But it means it won't be open for some time, probably. It is still unclear how much money the City has to put towards it, but it is at least $16,000. The Friends have $26,000. So we have enough to do what needs to be done, but we also need to plan for future maintenance and improvements. The Friends will be hosting community meetings with professional facilitators to do some strategic planning and start taking action towards a long term sustainable plan for the Freighthouse. We need all the creative thinkers we can find who are interested in preserving the building and all of its community uses. If you'd like to be involved, send me an e-mail at ledsbeaken@aol.com. Thanks!
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