MOUNT VERNON — Louise Alexander has lived nearly 91 years in the shadows of southside landmarks like old and new Columbia Elementary Schools, the PPG glassworks and the Cleveland, Akron and Columbus Railroad Depot. Born in 1922, she has seen many changes, few more dramatic than the transformation of gnarly gravel pits, the PPG site and a century-old railroad station into Ariel-Foundation Park.
Her present home is near the simple cabin on Madison Avenue where she was raised. As the Alexander family grew to four children, her father bought a retired one-room schoolhouse at auction, dismantled it and used the materials to build an addition. The cabin, along with several nearby homes that hold fond memories for Louise, will come down during the ambitious park project. She laments the price of progress, but ultimately approves.
“It’s going to hurt,” Mrs. Alexander said. “I was born there, and I can’t even guess how often I sat and watched the trains. But I think the park is a wonderful thing. At my age I may not be around to see it finished, but it’s beautiful all the same.”
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