Michael Miller, editor of the Toledo Free Press, called in to the morning show on WSPD today to give a preview of a story they're developing on the United Way building saga.
According to Miller, the United Way consulted with Mayor Carty Finkbeiner about their plan to demolish the existing building and construct a new one. Carty offered no objection to the plan.
However, Miller said, upon receiving word from John Robinson Block, the publisher of The Blade, Carty switched his position on the demolition and is now opposed to it.
Miller also has a copy of the architectural/engineering report prepared for the United Way board which details all the problems/issues with the building, including mold and elevators and HVAC that are past their projected lifespan. Also, the building, built in 1969, is not compliant with the more recent Americans with Disability Act. The United Way has stated that renovating the building is much more expensive than building a new one, hence the decision of the board.
We all know the editorial board and publisher of the paper have taken strong positions in favor of preservation of buildings. They have also, in the past, supported such efforts with own funds (Valentine Theater). In this case, the practicality of the situation seems to escape them.
What's more important: having the United Way in a cost-efficient building that gives them more funds with which to accomplish their mission - or 'preserving' a 19-year-old structure of steel and brick?