Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Wagner Palace, at the Junction of Columbus and Hayes Avenues

The road once known as the Columbus and Sandusky Pike, now Route 4, began at the intersection of Columbus and Hayes Avenues in Sandusky, Ohio.  Michael Wagner built a structure at the junction of these two key streets in Sandusky about 1882. He and his family lived on the upper floor, and at the street level was a saloon known as the Wagner Palace. In the book Treasure by the Bay, Ellie Damm describes the architecture of the building, designed in the Second Empire style, with a front tower and arched windows.  

In 1893, Michael Wagner founded the Wagner Quarries, now a part of Lehigh Hanson. This listing for Michael Wagner from the 1902 Sandusky City Directory indicates both of his business ventures.

The Wagner Palace was considered a fine saloon. This picture shows the interior of the business. Note the large fan, ornate ceiling, and mirrored bar.
This postcard image, which was published in the Sandusky Register on February 23, 1909, shows the downed wires in front of the saloon after a severe sleet storm hit the city on February 14, 1909.

By 1910, Anthony Uhl and John Oswald were the proprietors of the business. From about 1912 to 1919, Mr. Uhl was the sole proprietor. After Prohibition, Mr. Uhl served soft drinks at the former saloon.  In the late 1930s, Edward Brindley operated a sandwich shop at the site. For several decades, the building was home to a beauty salon, first as the Vogue Beauty Salon from 1941 to 1961.  For many years in the 1960s and 1970s, the Marge Marie Beauty Salon operated here. Since the mid 1990s, an insurance company has been in business at this location. 

Through the years, many different businesses have been in operation at this prime site, including a bookstore, thrift shop, meat market, and an appliance store. The historical Sandusky City Directories provide the exact years of operation for these businesses. As you drive down Columbus Avenue or Hayes Avenue in Sandusky,  take a few moments to look at this historic building. Many of the fine architectural details remain from its early days, especially the designs above the arched windows and the tower on the northern most point of the building.

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