Before returning to the Kilbourne Hotel, I explored East Water Street starting at Columbus Avenue and stopping at Wayne Street, after which I turned around and walked back to the Kilbourne Hotel. I took a lot of photographs of the historic buildings as the sun rose above the horizon. These are the ones I was drawn to the most.
I had not yet explored the other areas of Historic Sandusky, but my mind was already drawing parallels with Asbury Park, New Jersey. At least Asbury Park before rapid gentrification and $800,000 two-bedroom condos ruined the skyline. Like Asbury Park, Sandusky was a shore town served by railway and ferry from nearby large cities; New York City in the case of Asbury Park and Toledo and Cleveland in the case of Sandusky. Like Asbury Park, the town fell upon hard times after the railway was shut down. Restaurants and theatres were boarded up, and drug and gun crime took over. Like Asbury Park, the township committee and local businesses have worked hard to revitalise the downtown over the last decade. Almost all of the historic storefronts remain, many with new businesses. If you look closely, you can see the faded remnants of the names of the original businesses that occupied the buildings.
The downtown also reminded me of the cobblestone streets and stone arch buildings in downtown Kingstown, St. Vincent. I don’t know if Kingstown looks the same as I remember. It’s been over 30 years, and much could have changed.
Some of the storefronts were obscured by the cars parked on Water Street.