Vacancy looms for another building

The owner of the vacant East Junior High School – a building originally known as Columbian High School – announced Friday he hopes reuse of the structure would be a part of the renaissance of downtown Tiffin.

The owner, Andrew Kalnow, who owns East Tower LLC, which has deed to the property, suggested the building be considered as a location for a possible city-county justice center. It turns out county commissioners had considered that option, but find it lacking.

Nonetheless, preservation of the building is a laudable goal. The school was modeled after architecture at the 1893 world’s fair in Chicago, which was a Columbian exposition celebrating Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas – hence the school’s name.

But there is another building to be concerned about, too.

When courtrooms in Seneca County find a new home – regardless of where – another historic structure could become idle: the original Carnegie library that now houses the probate and juvenile courts.

That building dates to 1913, and will fare better in its second century if it finds a new purpose.

Perhaps county officials already have thoughts of how the Tudor-style building could be reused. If not, it’s not too early for interested parties to marshal resources and explore potential ways to make use of the old library.

As we have seen, vacancy rarely is kind to the venerable building stock in Tiffin.