Our tour of commercial Oberlin has by no means been complete. There is a great deal of history yet to be uncovered. We are far from knowing the full story on every inventoried building. In addition, the former commercial areas of North Main and the north side of East College were not included because all the former building have been demolished–inventories are not done on demolished buildings. But as I hope you learned tonight there are rich and important stories behind the facades of our modern downtown. The buildings themselves are an important part of Oberlin’s past, they teach us about scale, materials, vehicular movement and pedestrian accessibility. They can help us to think about what is pleasing to look at and live with, and they are valuable in and of themselves. Their historic integrity is a quality we need to think about and decide if we want to keep.


All slides taken by Doren Harley, May, 1999. All views are original photographs taken by Doren Harley. Source is identified for all slides that are copies of originals.