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Old April 6th, 2008, 06:30 PM   #1761
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Findlay: Kramer Enterprises Expansion News

Kramer Enterprises expands in Findlay
Management process streamlined through Six Disciplines program
Posted on Toledo Business Journal Website April Edition


Kramer Enterprises, Inc. is a Findlay-based, family-owned business led by Paul Kramer, his wife Pam Kramer, and their children, Andrea Kramer Fetterman and Rich Kramer. The firm consists of seven separate entities, including three real estate divisions and four operating companies – City Uniforms & Linens (a corporation on its own), City Apparel (a Women’s Business Enterprise-certified organization run by Pam Kramer and Kramer Fetterman), and two dry-cleaning companies located in Findlay and Jackson, Michigan.

Over the past seven months, Kramer Enterprises has not only endured a devastating flood, but it has also continued to invest in northwest Ohio with the construction of a $2.5 million expansion.

August’s flood [as well as recent flooding earlier this year] caused little damage to Kramer’s dry-cleaning store and five-acre City Uniforms & Linens facility. “If you look at the overall picture, the facilities weren’t damaged, but people couldn’t get in or out,” Kramer Fetterman stated. “So we were a couple days behind.”

Additionally, a City Apparel software upgrade designed to enhance technology and selling capabilities was put on hold until last month.

However, the company’s 15,000 square foot headquarters, located on the north side of the Findlay Inn & Conference Center, suffered significantly from the flooding. More than four feet of water rendered the building unusable and forced personnel to escape through a back door.

“The good news is that our team has always been prepared for a flood,” stated Paul Kramer. “We knew we were in a low place and we practiced [removing essential items before the rain came].”

The week before the flood, Kramer, his family, and his staff moved warehouse and technology materials as well as 14 office members to suites in a hotel along I-75.

“The big damage was the separation of office staff, living out of boxes, and communication problems with connectivity,” explained Kramer Fetterman, director of corporate image consulting for City Apparel.

Paul Kramer added, “For me, the biggest problem is finding a place to meet [with staff].” He and Kramer Fetterman are currently working out of their respective homes while the company continues to get back to pre-flood operations. “It’s impossible for me to operate the way I’m accustomed to operating.”

According to Kramer, the damaged building, which the company rents, is empty and will not be repaired. The firm is now focusing on its 24,000 square foot expansion at City Uniforms & Linens, which was being planned before the flood but was moved up, timing-wise, once the devastation occurred.

“We were overcrowded in our office and ready to make a move, but kind of sitting on a fence,” he stated. “We were probably a year or two away from doing [the expansion], and the question was whether to do this whole thing or not.” But, after the flood, the company was practically forced to move forward with the expansion immediately.

The addition will mirror the current building. Approximately 10,000 square feet of the expansion will be used for warehousing, 8,000 square feet will be used for additional production, and about 6,000 square feet will be constructed into an office and break room. The break room will include a significant amount of glass that will look out into an outdoor wooded area, also designed for employee use. The top floor is going to become a warehouse for garments on hangers. All sewing equipment, currently downstairs, will be moved upstairs. “It’s going to be fed by conveyers so people won’t [have to] move,” Paul Kramer stated. “The garments will come and go from work stations. It’s going to be a really nice setup.”

Additionally, the embroidering station, which is currently tucked into a corner of the facility, will be given more room and new embroidering equipment will be added as well. The new warehousing space will serve City Uniforms & Linen for its warehouse needs and City Apparel will strive to grow in its fulfillment business.

The existing space will also be renovated in order to flow into the new building and feel like one facility. “When we’re done, we’re not going to have a new building and an old building. Everything is going to look the same,” Paul Kramer explained. High ceilings and decorative lighting is designed to liven up the building as well.

The project architect is RCM Architects and the general contractor is Alavada (ACI Construction Company, Inc.). First Federal Bank and the SBA are providing financial assistance for the expansion as well.

Kramer is also investing a significant amount of money into new equipment. For example, a $250,000 system will be used to pre-treat 100% of wastewater before it is sent back to the City. Additionally, the lighting systems will use “green” technology and existing lighting systems will gradually be replaced, too.

“We can reuse water, so it will be a good amount of energy saving,” stated Rich Kramer, City Uniforms & Linen territory manager.

Paul Kramer added, “We’ve been in the reuse business for a long time.” For example, the company uses a $1 million, 40-foot long tunnel washer that uses a conveyer system to save water and human energy. Additionally, the plant will be installing new conveyer systems for use with its existing conveyer operation. An $80,000 washer extractor and $150,000 in conveyer technology are included in the project plans.

Once the project is complete, the facility will have close to 80 employees.

“A lot of neat opportunities are coming out of this,” Paul Kramer continued.

In order to help strengthen the company as it grows in size, Kramer Enterprises has also used the resources of Six Disciplines, a business excellence program and Kramer customer.

“Six Disciplines has been a very strong partner for us,” Kramer Fetterman stated. It has “basically streamlined our whole management process and made sure everyone’s a bit more connected with the end goal.”

Rich Kramer added, “It has created a lot of opportunities for us. It’s a good selling point to let people know that you’re focused and you have a plan.”

For Paul Kramer, Six Disciplines is a succession tool to train the next generation that will be running his business. He stated, “Rich was coming in the door, [and I wondered] how I would give him my 30+ years of information, Andrea’s 10 years of information, and Pam’s 30+ years of information.”

Six Disciplines also assisted Kramer in organizing its staff and creating a feedback system for personnel. Kramer now has quarterly “engage the team” meetings and a 10-year vision for the company.

“I think people are truly engaged,” Paul Kramer continued. “Our productivity has gone up, people are focused, they are asking us good questions, and they are asking us how [the expansion and growth are] going to impact them… It has really been an excellent team building tool.”

Kramer Fetterman added that the Six Disciplines approach has also allowed Kramer Enterprises to create a platform for communication and an open forum between the boss and personnel.

Kramer has now been working with Six Disciplines for a year and a half. It has helped Kramer find “ways to involve the whole organization,” Paul Kramer stated. “Not only our internal organization, but our external customers that hear about our [partnership] with Six Disciplines and see our plan and what we communicate to them about our mission statement, etc.… I’ve got the great leadership of Eric Kurjan (president and owner of Six Disciplines) helping.”

“I’m really pumped up,” Paul Kramer concluded. “Sales create opportunity, and opportunity creates more jobs. And that’s what we’re all about.”
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Old April 6th, 2008, 11:38 PM   #1762
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market-rate and subsidized single family homes or brownstone-like developments

That's what I would want for the apartment project area around I-75. I want something urban and not wasteful. There's nothing worse than the suburban apartment projects right in the middle of the city. Every city in the Midwest has them, and I pray to God Toledo doesn't build any more of them.

Brownstones would be awesome, and use the land most wisely.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #1763
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Findlay: River Place Development Update

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #1764
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Nebraska-King Roads Roundabout Development

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #1765
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Springfield Township: Super Cinema UPDATE

WHEW! Thank goodness they will be relocating the "Art" & independent films to other theatres.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #1766
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Dorr Street Senior Village Development

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 01:50 AM   #1767
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FINDLAY — City officials say a $90 million office, retail, residential, and recreational development planned at what once was a dump is the optimum way to clean up the contaminated site, get it back on the tax rolls, and boost the local economy.


wow, way to go Findlay. Looks like a great infill project.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 04:25 AM   #1768
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Warehouse District Development Update

Downtown Toledo Block to Get Facelift
$4 1/2 Million Project Planned
Posted on WSPD Newsradio 1370 website 4-9-2008


A downtown Toledo block is about to get a $4 1/2 million dollar facelift. Newstalk 1370 WSPD's Kevin Milliken has the details. WSPD has learned two 100-year old buildings near Monroe and Erie sold last month to a Toledo developer for $300,000. Plan commission documents show ALK Enterprises is proposing to renovate a vacant building and an old warehouse into market-rate apartments and retail space. The developer is asking for a zoning change and plan approval Thursday.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 02:54 PM   #1769
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That's absolutely fantastic. The more people we get living downtown, the more likely retail and entertainment will soon follow.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 08:49 PM   #1770
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Will those market rate apartments be condos for sale or apartments for rent?

It seems like all the housing downtown is either subsidized apartments for rent or condos for sale. It makes it hard for someone like me to live there. I am not interested, nor do I have the money to buy a condo, and I do not fit into the government subsidized housing.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 04:41 AM   #1771
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Fiberglas Tower Redevelopment UPDATE!!!

Toledo's Fiberglas Tower inching toward redevelopment
Posted on WTOL 11 website 4-10-2008


TOLEDO -- Activity is heating up to redevelop the Fiberglas Tower. Owens Corning pulled out of the 30-story building in the late 90s.

Recently, conversations have been ongoing with state officials toward creating a public/private partnership to redevelop the tower. On Friday of last week, the Lieutenant governor toured the building with Mayor Finkbeiner and Commissioner Pete Gerkin as well representatives of the Ide company. Ide is the Lansing, Michigan firm who owns the building. They have been pushing for a mixed-use redevelopment project that includes office space, a hotel and retail and residential space.

There are still major hurdles to overcome. Environmental clean-up, elevators, and HVAC among other projects. But progress is being made and conversations among all parties are continuing.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 04:44 AM   #1772
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Marina District Development Update

Another step forward for Marina District
Final plat drawing unanimously approved
By Rob Packard Posted on WNWO 24 website 4-10-2008


In the next few months, you should start seeing the start of construction.

On Thursday, the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commission unanimously approved the final plat drawing for the Marina District along the Maumee river.

The move means developers can start selling ten lots.

The project will be a place where people can live and shop.

"It contains 20-thousand square feet of retail space, neighborhood services type retail and 220 rental units above that retail space," said Sarah Penner, Marina District Project Manager.

The project engineer says the development will mean a "significant" number of jobs.

"A lot of employees, a lot of construction employees, then the next step is with retail employees working in those various retail and commercial buildings," said Mike White, Marina District Project Engineer.

Developer Larry Dillin will start selling lots for this $18-million dollar phase.

Most of the new riverfront drive park should be finished by the end of the year. Landscaping will continue through next spring. The entire project is expected to take 10 to 15 years.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 04:47 AM   #1773
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Marina District Development Update

Construction at the Marina District Begins
Posted on WTVG 13 website 4-10-2008


Today, the Plan Commission unanimously approved the latest and final plot plans for the project; 85 acres of mixed use along the Maumee.

Construction at the Marina District begins within weeks. For more than 50 years, Brenner Marine has sold, serviced, and stored boats along Toledo's downtown waterfront. But the company is now setting sail and moving downriver to another marina.

"Everything but the building itself. We've got to move parts, boats office furniture, everything tools," says Tim Selz of Brenner Marine.

Brenner is the last piece of the puzzle. The old Sports Arena is a pile of rubble. The King Bridge has been widened and strengthened, and the old Brownfield on the east side has been scrubbed clean.

Obviously, the Marina District is forcing this move, but Brenner Marine believes when this project gets underway it will reinvigorate interest in the downtown waterfront, probably inspire new boating as well.

Today, the plan commission unanimously approved the latest and final plot plans for the project; 85 acres of mixed use along the Maumee.

"This is going to allow us to start creating lot, start creating parcels to sell off to developers to start building," explains Sarah Penner, project manager of Dillin Corp.

The first visible construction is along the riverfront with a public park and walkway. The initial phase could begin very soon.

"Riverside Drive and Riverside Park bids are going to come May 6th," says project director Mike White.

By Christmas, the Riverwalk will be more than a rendering but reality. Before any of it begins, one of Toledo's oldest buildings will have raised anchor and shipped a couple miles upriver.

So after more than a decade of rumor and years of preparation, the $320-million Marina District Project is about to take shape. It will take another decade to finish but the work begins in May.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #1774
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Downtown Development News

Fifth Third Bank gift continues to revitalize Downtown
By Christine Senack
Special to Toledo Free Press [email protected]


In early 2001, local leaders of Fifth Third Bank (Northwest Ohio), enthusiastic about the potential of business development in Downtown Toledo, proposed to their Cincinnati-based corporation a

$5 million philanthropic investment in a new ballpark for the Toledo Mud Hens. While some of the funding was to come from bank marketing and sponsorship dollars, the majority of the funding was proposed as a gift from the Fifth Third Foundation.

Founded in 1948, Fifth Third Bank was the first financial institution in the United States to establish a charitable foundation. Its mission is to make strategic grants that build a better tomorrow in the communities served by the bank. Karen Fraker, senior vice president of marketing, said, “The project was supported by the foundation because of the impact the ballpark would have on Downtown revitalization.”

“The investment Fifth Third Bank made in Fifth Third Field has been successful beyond our dreams,” said Robert W. LaClair, president and CEO. “Downtown is where we live as a business. We wanted to see Downtown prosper and we still do. The growth in the warehouse district has been the proof that we did the right thing for Downtown revitalization.”

With the arena under way, LaClair said he believes it can only get better.

Outside the fence at Fifth Third Field, the impact of the gift is strongly felt and appreciated six years after the first opening day. Ann Albright opened a Swan Creek Candle Company retail store a block away from the main gate and credits Fifth Third Bank in her decision to do so.

“I never would have done it had Fifth Third not participated with the ballpark. Period,” she said.

Since then, Albright has moved her distribution and Internet store operations into Downtown, reasoning, “If they can make that kind of investment, why can't I?”

Downtown business owner Gary Resnick of LaSalle Cleaners said, “We are all winners because of this. Fifth Third Field has brought many people from the outlying areas and given me great exposure to people who never came Downtown before.”

LaSalle Cleaners has been based in Downtown Toledo for 75 years. Resnick also serves on the Downtown Toledo Improvement District board and said he believes the impact of Fifth Third Bank's gift is clearly visible.

“Anyone who has come out to a Mud Hens game understands how important it is,” he said. “It is a very positive thing.”

Within the past year, several businesses have made the decision to move into the Downtown Warehouse District surrounding Fifth Third Field. Ken Wood moved Martin+Wood Appraisal Group into a renovated building on St. Clair Street. Wood said he believes Fifth Third's philanthropic investment into Downtown “transformed the Warehouse District into an exciting and entertaining place where people work, live, shop and have fun.”

A business in the process of moving from Sylvania to Downtown Toledo, where they will build a 4,500-square-foot showroom, is the Dreamscape Group, an upscale home remodeling company. Andy Parish and his business partner, Matt Genot, are passionate about the development of Downtown.

“If it was not for Fifth Third's commitment to Downtown, we would not be moving here,” Parrish said. “Ten years ago, Downtown was nothing like it is today. In 10 more years it will be incredible.”
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Old April 11th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #1775
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Downtown Development News

Fifth Third Bank gift continues to revitalize Downtown
By Christine Senack
Special to Toledo Free Press [email protected]


In early 2001, local leaders of Fifth Third Bank (Northwest Ohio), enthusiastic about the potential of business development in Downtown Toledo, proposed to their Cincinnati-based corporation a

$5 million philanthropic investment in a new ballpark for the Toledo Mud Hens. While some of the funding was to come from bank marketing and sponsorship dollars, the majority of the funding was proposed as a gift from the Fifth Third Foundation.

Founded in 1948, Fifth Third Bank was the first financial institution in the United States to establish a charitable foundation. Its mission is to make strategic grants that build a better tomorrow in the communities served by the bank. Karen Fraker, senior vice president of marketing, said, “The project was supported by the foundation because of the impact the ballpark would have on Downtown revitalization.”

“The investment Fifth Third Bank made in Fifth Third Field has been successful beyond our dreams,” said Robert W. LaClair, president and CEO. “Downtown is where we live as a business. We wanted to see Downtown prosper and we still do. The growth in the warehouse district has been the proof that we did the right thing for Downtown revitalization.”

With the arena under way, LaClair said he believes it can only get better.

Outside the fence at Fifth Third Field, the impact of the gift is strongly felt and appreciated six years after the first opening day. Ann Albright opened a Swan Creek Candle Company retail store a block away from the main gate and credits Fifth Third Bank in her decision to do so.

“I never would have done it had Fifth Third not participated with the ballpark. Period,” she said.

Since then, Albright has moved her distribution and Internet store operations into Downtown, reasoning, “If they can make that kind of investment, why can't I?”

Downtown business owner Gary Resnick of LaSalle Cleaners said, “We are all winners because of this. Fifth Third Field has brought many people from the outlying areas and given me great exposure to people who never came Downtown before.”

LaSalle Cleaners has been based in Downtown Toledo for 75 years. Resnick also serves on the Downtown Toledo Improvement District board and said he believes the impact of Fifth Third Bank's gift is clearly visible.

“Anyone who has come out to a Mud Hens game understands how important it is,” he said. “It is a very positive thing.”

Within the past year, several businesses have made the decision to move into the Downtown Warehouse District surrounding Fifth Third Field. Ken Wood moved Martin+Wood Appraisal Group into a renovated building on St. Clair Street. Wood said he believes Fifth Third's philanthropic investment into Downtown “transformed the Warehouse District into an exciting and entertaining place where people work, live, shop and have fun.”

A business in the process of moving from Sylvania to Downtown Toledo, where they will build a 4,500-square-foot showroom, is the Dreamscape Group, an upscale home remodeling company. Andy Parish and his business partner, Matt Genot, are passionate about the development of Downtown.

“If it was not for Fifth Third's commitment to Downtown, we would not be moving here,” Parrish said. “Ten years ago, Downtown was nothing like it is today. In 10 more years it will be incredible.”
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Old April 11th, 2008, 06:08 PM   #1776
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Downtown Developments Update



Posted on the City of Toledo website 4-11-2008:
Once the façade program is completed, the building on 140 North Huron will house the non-profit law firms of Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. The renovation plans will focus on the preservation of the architectural highlights of this 1926 building. Plans include gutting interior to exterior walls, ceilings and floors, as well as form-poured concrete walls, floors and roof and red brick exterior. Usable features, such as stairwell and an elevator shaft will be saved.

The ABLE project will preserve the architectural beauty of the building, while incorporating modern design concepts to ensure a green and environmentally friendly structure in the heart of Downtown Toledo.

This 35,000 square feet building will serve as a regional facility to enhance community services and support for client and community groups and private attorneys.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #1777
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Former Haughton Elevator Redevelopment Update

This is the site where the proposed "scrap-yard" Pull-A-Part company wanted to open up. You can see past posts in regards to story of this thread.

South Toledo Senior Village Proposed
At Former Haughton Elevator Site
Posted on WSPD Newsradio 1370 website on 4-11-2008


An eyesore along the Anthony Wayne Trail may soon be cleared for a senioer village. The owner of South Toledo's former Haughton Elevator site says the rubble there now will be cleaned up by the end of summer. Craig Valentine was successful this week in having the property re-zoned to make way for the senior housing complex, which includes apartments and assisted living. The plan goes before city council next month.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #1778
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Franklin Park Area Development News

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 06:14 PM   #1779
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North Baltimore: CSX Intermodal Development Update

Deleted due to Toledo Blade's request.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 06:20 PM   #1780
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The Oliver House Redevelopment Update

New life at old building
Historic building gets new tenants
Posted on WNWO 24 website 4-12-2008 By Matt Trezza


DOWNTOWN -- A piece of Toledo’s history is a standing a little taller tonight. The Oliver House, one of the city's oldest buildings, has a new tenant. The Oliver House already houses four restaurants, two bars and several apartments. Now, the historic Toledo building also welcomes an art gallery and a theater company. Players of the North Coast Theater performed for an opening day crowd at the Oliver House. The historic complex on Toledo’s waterfront is the newest home to the theater, the Blue Heron Art Gallery and the M.J. Erard Fine Art Gallery. Patricia Appold, one of the building's owners, says it's a dream come true.

"It's a commitment to the arts, which we've wanted to do,” she says.

The Oliver House occupies a unique place in Toledo history, but there was a time it all might have been lost. Since 1859, the Oliver House has been a brewery, a hotel and a publishing house. But before Appold and her husband bought it in 1990, the previous owner planned to tear it down.

"[He] was ill and probably felt the best thing for the building at that point, when he couldn't care for it any more, was demolition,” she says.

Since then, Oliver House has had a renaissance, and the building's new tenants are happy to be a part.

"I would like to be able to help them and give them a venue that's as beautiful and historical as this building,” says Mary Jane Erard, the gallery director.

"I don't think I have words for it,” says theater director, Christine Child, “I could skip, hop, dance!"

The Oliver House is the oldest commercial building in the City of Toledo. The new galleries are free and open to the public.
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