They say a good building can take on many lives. But in many post-industrial spaces across the country, it’s often easier to forgo creativity for efficiency. The historic structures of Toledo are no exception. Over the last century, many beautiful buildings of this port city have been demolished, allowed to fall into disrepair, whose costs of maintenance far outweighs its capital potential. Yet on the waterfront block of Fort Industry Square, along its quaint facades of varying heights and styles, something quietly transformative is happening.
The 1950s and 1960s were Dorr Street’s golden era. Once considered Toledo’s “Black downtown,” it housed a majority of the city’s Black community and was an important commercial and community hub. The February 3, 1992 Black History edition of The Toledo Journal recalled the street as a place where people young and old got together on the weekend and where families would go shopping, go to the movies, go bowling and attend church. All types of stores and shops decorated the streets, a colorful and lively setting for its residents.
Midstory is a 501(c)(3) non-profit thinkhub that progresses the narrative of the Midwest by incubating bright, diverse and interdisciplinary thinkers to exchange ideas and envision the future of our region through multimedia storytelling and solutions-oriented research since its founding in 2018.
As an educational media organization, we inform, interpret and inspire in and for the Midwest and believe that our region’s challenges can be our greatest asset to drive renewed interest and human capital into post-industrial cities.