City Hall and Civic Center


Senior Citizens to be Honored; Announce Lakewood Seal Winners


Senior citizens who erected foundations on which today's Lakewood rests will be saluted at the cornerstone laying of the Lakewood Civic Center and Municipal Administration building at 2 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 7th. The youth of Lakewood, on whose sound judgment the future of the city depends, will also be represented at the event which will take place on stands erected in front of the rapidly rising $2,750,000 edifice on Detroit opposite Alameda.

Music by the 110 - piece Lakewood High School band directed by Richard Strang will open Sunday afternoon's brief one-hour ceremony after which Rev. Wilson Kilgore, pastor of Lakewood Presbyterian church is to offer the Invocation. Immediately following a welcoming address by Mayor Frank P. Celeste, ten senior citizens named by Lakewood Golden Age and other organizations as being among oldest residents of the community will be introduced and honored by Mayor Celeste with fitting tribute.

Announcement will follow of winners in the competition aimed at producing an official Lakewood seal which is to be used as an emblem in the decorative scheme of the new structure. The contest, open to all public and parochial school children, closed Monday and Lakewood Kiwanis and Lakewood Rotary clubs have each donated $30 for prizes. The winner in each deivision will receive $20. All three winners will be honored at the ceremony. Contest judges will be Mrs. Margaret Wenzler, president of Lakewood Art League; Anthony Ross, president of Lakewood Historical society and Edward Henning, assistant curator of Education at Cleveland Museum of Art.

Delivering Sunday's main dedicatory address will be Louis B. Seltzer, editor of The Press and veteran Lakewoodite. The actual Cornerstone Laying ceremony is to follow Editor Seltzer's speech after which there will be additional music by the LHS band. Pronouncement of the Benediction will be made by Father Leo A. Warth of St. Clement's Catholic church. The ceremonies are to conclude with singing by the assembled throng of 'America the Beautiful.'

Senior citizens to be honored and organizations they represent are as follows: Lakewood Golden Age club, George C. Means, 15516 Detroit and Mrs. Anna B. Mattmueller, 1514 Blossom Park; New Goals club, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Jarvis, 1432 Westwood; Borrowed Time club, Harry A. King, 1479 Arthur and Kit Carson, 1661 Wagar; Lincoln Three Score club, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Mayer, 1377 Manor Park; Lakewood Woman's club Mrs. Allen C. Zackman, 2076 Elmwood; Mrs. A.S. Ledyard, 1587 Woodward; Mrs. W.E. Ward, 1436 Belle and Mrs. W.M. Cunningham, 1489 Robinwood.


Work 85% Completed; Moving Day Nears for City Workers


With Lakewood's new Civic Center and Municipal Administration building at Detroit and Alameda about 85 per cent completed, construction crews are racing the calendar to conclude work by Oct. 1st on the structure - the first new municipal building in Lakewood history and one that is already regarded as the ultimate symbol of Operation Lakewood-in-action.

Mayor Frank P. Celeste told The Post yesterday he expects formal dedication of the modern $1,700,000 edifice will take place about the first week of October. Meanwhile, with 'moving day' looming ever closer for some 150 municipal employees, including police department, Mayor Celeste and his department heads have commenced conferring on ways of making transfer of departments to the new building with a minimum of waste motion.

"The administration is planning to have all departments - police, court, council and administration - moved into new quarters by Oct. 1 to enable us to efficiently, properly and economically operate the different functions of government all under one roof as at early a date as feasible." Transfer of departmental files, documents and records by a local mover should not consume more than two days, the Mayor estimated. This task will be accomplished sometime during the last week of September, he said.


Underscoring the fact that the new Civic Center-Municipal Administration building is the first new municipal structure in all Lakewood history, Mayor Celeste yesterday suggested that the official dedication might very well be augmented by a city-wide celebration in which all groups and organizations would join.

"The community should rally round all efforts planned to properly dedicate this new symbol of faith and confidence in Lakewood," Mayor Celeste said, adding: "Our town's many and varied organizations have an excellent opportunity this fall to really demonstrate the true spirit of Lakewood by beginning now to plan a fitting celebration commemorating the event."

The handsome brick and stone Civic Center and Municipal Administration building consisting of two floors and basement covers an area of 75,000 square feet. The Civic Center portion on the second floor contains an auditorium and stage and will hold 600 persons. It will seat 400 persons convienently for dinners and banquets. A fully equipped kitchen is still another feature. A basement meeting room will seat an additional 125. These facilities will be available to all Lakewood organizations.

Construction costs of the edifice, Mayor Celeste estimates, will run about $1,700,000 and includes architect's and engineer's fees. Another $50,000 to $100,000 is being spent for new steel fireproof furniture to be installed throughout the building, a new police radio transmission station and pistol range.

The present city hall in Lakewood Park and several city halls which preceded it were all converted residences or altered commercial buildings. Similarly the present Police Building and Council Chamber as well as the Courts Building, all of which are on Warren road, are remodeled structures. The new building, rapidly nearing completion will be the first dedicated entirely to municipal governmental purposes.

The present police station, a converted former telephone exchange, and the building shared by Court and Council, a converted apartment before, will later be torn down to make room for modern office buildings which will rise on the perimeter of the Detroit-Warren shopping center.

Funds for construction of the Civic Center-Muny Building were provided in November, 1957 when the Lakewood electorate passed the $1,750,000 city hall bond issue by a thumping majority vote. "This vote was a dramatic demonstration of the success of Operation Lakewood and the desire of citizens to brighten our city's future," Mayor Celeste said, adding: "Soon all Lakewood citizens will be able to visit the completed structure and view the great achievement which their support has rendered."

The Mayor recalled it was in 1918 that the Robert Rhodes mansion was purchased at a cost of $214,500 for use as Lakewood's City Hall. Today, 41 years later, the dilapidated, 80-year old frame summer house is nearing the end of its existence as a center of governmental administration.

Architects for the new Muny Building are Garfield, Harris, Shaffer, Flynn and Williams and contractor is the Brown Construction Co.


(See Editorial Page)

The men and women who built foundations of today's Lakewood will be honored at cornerstone laying of the Lakewood Civic Center and Municipal Administration building at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7th. At the same time there will be symbolic pledging on the part of the city's youth to keep in tact the community character which has earned Lakewood's eminence as a "city of homes". Plans for the long awaited event, which will take place on stands erected in front of the rapidly rising $2,750,000 edifice on Detroit Avenue opposite Alameda, were nearing completion this week with Mayor Frank P. Celeste reportedly centering all possible effort on securing the new Lakewood Symphonic band to headline the program.

Mayor Celeste this week addressed communications to various Lakewood organizations composed entirely or largely of senior citizens asking each group to name the man and a woman who have been residents of the community for the longest period of time to serve as representatives at the cornerstone ceremony where they will be accorded special recognition. The Mayor was particularly anxious that The Post emphasize probability of some groups not receiving formal invitations and urged officers of such organizations to get in touch with City Hall as soon as convenient so that oversights may be remedied.

A notable youth activity inspired by the approaching ceremony is a competition aimed at producing an official Lakewood seal which will be used as an emblem in the decorative scheme of the new structure and will be made generally available. Lack of an official city emblem to incorporate in the Civic Center design and consequent search revealed the fact that there never has been such a seal in existence.

The only stipulation as regards seal ideas is that designs be within a circle of any size. The contest is open to all public and parochical school children of Lakewood.

There will be separate contests for children through the sixth grade, for children from the seventh through the ninth grade, and for high school students. There will be a winner in each division; from these three one official seal of the city of Lakewood will be chosen and inscribed in some appropriate place within the Civic Administration Building.

Lakewood Kiwanis and Lakewood Rotary clubs have each donated $30 for prizes. The winner in each division will receive $20. All three winners will be honored at the Cornerstone Ceremony.

Judges for the contest are Mrs. Margaret Wenzler, president of the Lakewood Art League; Anthony Ross, president of the Lakewood Historical Society; and Edward Henning; assistant curator of Education at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Entries can be submitted to Phillip Ranney in the Mayor's office from now until 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 1.