Keil-Hipp: Warehouse District: 125 years in the makingWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
For a neighborhood that has existed for more than 125 years, 10 years seems like a blip.
Part of what I lovingly accept in my role as Toledo Warehouse District Association president is that I am just a caretaker of something that has existed long before me and will exist long after me.
That being said, I am mighty proud of what our little volunteer association has accomplished in 10 years’ time, and more significantly, what the Warehouse District has become in the past 10 years.
The best part of the renovation of the Warehouse District is precisely that it took 10 years to get here. Each building was restored one at a time, by a committed owner with a dream. Slowly and steadily, building by building, was the Warehouse District rebuilt. This careful pace and individual commitment are two important ingredients for long-term success.
As you walk the streets, you are energized by the colors and creativity that flow out of these buildings. Restaurants, offices, lofts, and art galleries all call the Warehouse District home. Now, blocks of buildings have been renovated and repurposed. Twenty-first century businesses operating in 19th century buildings — what a wonderful blend of modernism and history.
By no means are we done. More projects are in the works: Hensville, the Berdan Building, Erie Street Market, Foundry Square. These renovations are all catalyst projects; they will spur even more energy and excitement in the Warehouse District.
The history of the Warehouse District is unduplicated. To know that the floors we walk on were built and walked on by people 100 years before us gives us pause. Our lives have depth and meaning when we realize we are just stewards of this great neighborhood, and our legacy is caring for these buildings and passing them on to the next generation.
Diane Keil-Hipp is president of the Toledo Warehouse District Association.