Mayor Carty Finkbeiner expressed his desire yesterday to see the Madison Building preserved.
The mayor was reacting to a recommendation last week by a consultant hired by Downtown Toledo, Inc., who suggested that the city-owned building at Madison Avenue and Huron Street be razed because it would be too costly to renovate.
The consultant said the structure could be replaced with a five-story apartment complex.
The mayor said he disagreed with the vision of urban designer Cy Paumier. The mayor said he believes the historic building should be saved because it is unique and because it is a symbol of what downtown used to be and can be again.
The Madison Building actually comprises two buildings: the Nasby Building, built in 1891 and considered to be the city's first skyscraper, and the Wayne Building, constructed in 1924 as a bank. The Nasby Building was named for Petroleum V. Nasby, a fictional character created by David Ross Locke, a former Blade editor.
The mayor said he supports Mr. Paumier's vision of downtown dwellings and improved streetscapes, but wants to find a location on Madison Avenue other than the Nasby and Wayne buildings for the development.
“One suggestion - the corner of Erie and Madison, where another surface parking lot sits beckoning a condo/apartment/retail complex with open arms,” he said.
“Both of these buildings - important parts of Toledo's heritage - should, like the LaSalle Apartments and Water Street Station, be preserved and rehabilitated,” the mayor said.
He commended Downtown Toledo, Inc., for its vision of what the downtown can be. “The concept of public spaces, a sense of place, featuring improved infrastructure, trees and flowers, green space, statues, and fountains is one we should and must seek for our downtown,” the mayor said.