Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New developments in United Way building saga

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?


Tim Higgins said...


Now the murky becomes more clear, more onerous, and more odorous. Threats that are more than veiled, interference in the efforts of an organization to stay downtown instead of deserting it for greener pastrue, and media collusion. It is exactly this mentality that has made downtown Toledo what it is today, mostly empty.

Frank said...

When is the next mayoral elections?? Could they please hurry up so we can get Carty out of office and begin to do the correct things to bring jobs, businesses and other important items into Toledo. By doing so, we will not have to worry about a mayor that thinks he is the Czar of Toledo and make poor judgements that make him, not the city, look good (or bad) in the world's eyes.
Such a display of arrogance and political bullying is not what we need in today's economy.
It seems with each day and decision, we are getting closer to being a communist city.

Carol said...

Once again our illustrious mayor can't stop his mouth from writing a check that ... oh never mind.

The United Way need only comply with building codes in order to construct a new building. The purchase of a lot, the bidding of the project, the color of the carpets ... are none of the city's business!! Why can't the administration realize that they are interfering with a private transaction?

And just who the heck does Carty think he is with those veiled threats? Does he not realize that crap like that invariably comes back to bite him in the butt? Geesh!

Robin said...

That is just weird... So, at Southwyck an "inspector" sees mold on the windows and they have to seal up Wards. And they were already sealed up from the main part of the mall. It ends up that it wasn't mold, but dirt. There is actually mold in the United Way building, where people are actually exposed to it every day and Carty doesn't care? Geez...

Why does John Robinson Block even care about this building? From what I understand, the guy doesn't live in Toledo... He doesn't even live in Ohio!

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