The Monclova Historical Foundation and local volunteers are planning to restore an aging post office that is one of the few old buildings remaining in Monclova Township, the fastest-growing suburban area around Toledo.
The building on Monclova Road across from the Monclova Community Center became vacant in the 1960s when a new post office was constructed. Duane Kerscher, Sr., one of the owners of the old post office property, recently agreed to donate the building to the historical foundation on the condition that the building be moved.
"We've been eyeing this building for restoration for several years," said township trustee Brian Craig, who works with the historical foundation. "We have had a couple of new people volunteer time and materials, so we decided to spring into action."
The township's board of zoning appeals agreed last week to grant a zoning variance allowing the old post office to be relocated next to the Monclova Community Center.
The community center, run by the historical foundation, is just across the street from the post office's current location.
The wooden frame and roof of the post office are badly decayed, so volunteers are planning to get blueprints of the building, take it apart block by cement block, and put it back together at the new site.
"It's going to be a labor-intensive project that we anticipate doing with a lot of volunteers," said Roger Lemle, a historical foundation board member.
Peggy Brown, a longtime township resident, is leading the recent push to renovate the building.
She said several residents who work in the construction trade have agreed to donate materials and expertise.
To finish the project, volunteers will need to raise money from the community for supplies, she said.
Just replacing the windows will cost about $2,500.
Bill Strayer, president of the historical foundation, said he is optimistic that area residents
will chip in to save the building.
"We'll get it restored one way or another," he said.
The post office was built in 1900, according to Lucas County real estate records.
It was owned for many years by Claire Metzger, a piano-playing postmistress who used to give music lessons at the post office in her free time.
"The post office is a little landmark building for our tiny town," Ms. Brown said. "The area is building up fast into suburbia, and to preserve some of the old buildings adds interest and value to the community."