in March 2015, Maggard Razors opened business operations in the first floor of Clark Memorial Hall
Clark Memorial assesses for $175,000
Unfortunately, the building ended up assessing for $175,000 – far less than we had hoped, and we had to adjust our offer. The offer was accepted by Mr. Solmonson.
As part of the agreement, we also purchased the salon business in a separate transaction. We immediately began the steps to close the salon. We gave all the stylists 1 month of free rent while they searched for places to relocate. Luckily all of the stylists managed to relocate within that month.
We closed on Clark Memorial Hall on March 25, 2015.
Mr. Solmonson is open to offers
In late 2014, the owner of Clark Memorial Hall, Ken Solmonson, walked into our small business (Maggard Razors) on Maiden Lane, inquiring if we might be interested in renting a portion of the first floor. We were on the verge of hiring our 6th employee, and had over 1500 products in the store – and operating in only 900SF. We were out of space! I told Ken that I wasn’t interested in renting only a portion of his first floor – because I needed more space than that to justify moving our store. I also told him that I’d be more interested in purchasing the building. This sparked a period of research and investigation, and I hired a lawyer to help out with the legalese. Eventually, we submitted a formal offer for the building, with a large number of contingencies.
Photo credit: Jim Allen (July, 2014)
Sanborn Fire Map
In 1888, the building was included in the printed October 1888 Sanborn Fire map of Adrian.
The first floor is already marked “Tobac. Off” Next door to the north there are a variety of businesses occupying the Armory Block building, including an undertaker, a dining hall, and the Adrian Times newspaper.
Find the full collection of 1888 Sanborn map images here: https://www.loc.gov/resource/g4114am.g039001888
Historical Society Calendar
In 1986, the Lenawee County Historical Museum commissioned Pamela C. Bacon to draw 12 prominent Lenwee County buildings for a 1987 calendar.
This drawing of Clark Memorial Hall was done in the late 2000s, after Amedai salon was opened (in 2007) by Ken Solmonson. It was used for the production of postcards.
Of note is the wreaths that Mr. Solmonson put up around the 3 stained glass windows. These wreaths remained on the building until 2016 – nearly 10 years. I couldn’t wait to get them off!
A photo from 1992 depicts the slowly deteriorating condition of Clark Memorial Hall.
The dormer windows on the mansard roof have been replaced with plywood, and the finial is missing on the right. The building has been painted numerous times at this point.
A Notable Building
There are nearly as many drawings of Clark Memorial Hall as there were photographs taken over the years. In this drawing, part of a series that an artist drew of prominent downtown Adrian buildings, you can see what appears to be a retail store on the first floor. I’ve been told at one point a dress shop was open in Clark Memorial Hall. Although I’m unsure of the date, 1960-1972 is a period I’m assuming this was drawn (unverified)
Clark Memorial Hall changes hands again
in 1998, Earl Solmonson retires and sells his business to his son, Ken Solmonson. In 2001, Ken purchases the building from his father.
IOOF Sells Clark Memorial Hall
Due to the membership dropping, Adrian IOOF Lodge #8 members made the decision to list the building for sale. After several months, eventually they agreed to sell the building to Earl Solmonson, their first floor business tenant.
The IOOF then leased the second floor of the adjoined building to the north from Solmonson and continued to hold meetings, in a much smaller space.
The large meeting hall was converted into additional retail space. Wallpaper books and carpet tile samples filled the space that the Odd Fellows had met in for 96 years.