Swaney and IOOF building were built sometime
between the years of 1904 and 1908 and was occupied by Holzabach
& Hruby Clothing store located on the northwest corner of
Park and Main. PO1.223a
North Main Street looking toward intersection
of Park Avenue and the west side of South Main Street. Frame building
at left of center was the Harris House, sold by the Harris heirs
to the Niles Trust Co. in 1920 for the construction of the Niles
Bank Building. The Swaney block is next on the right. The IOOF
building housed Backenstos Jewelry, Wells Fargo and Singer Sewing
Large building in right foreground is the Wagstaff
building, occupied by Niles Plumbing and Heating and Niles Electric
Co. It was torn down when the Memorial was erected.
The Knights of Pythias members in front of the
Wagstaff building, which stood north of the Swaney building on
the west side of North Main Street. (Where the
McKinley Memorial stands now.) PO1.1963
legal snag is keeping the buildings standing.
The plan to demolish the last two buildings which share a city
block with the William McKinley Memorial and Library has hit a
snag according to Leonard Holloway, President of the
Board of Trustees of the National McKinley Birthplace Association.
The title for the Bollotin Building, 2
North Main Street, is tied up in litigation, blocking the association’s
efforts to buy the three-story building for $20,000 and tear it
down this spring, Holloway explained. “It’s been a
screwed-up mess, I’ll tell you that,” he sighed.
The association had also planned to demolish
the adjoining building, which the Niles chapter of the International
Order of Odd Fellows donated to the McKinley Birthplace organization
in October 1987. The Odd Fellows rented the first floor of the
building to two businesses and used the second and third floors.
The building was damaged by fire on November 8, 1985.
Holloway explained he believed the McKinley Birthplace
Association had a valid deal to buy the Bollotin Building from
Jerry Bollotin, 74, who currently resides in New York
City, but had occasionally occupied the structure since 1984.
However, it turns out Bollotin somehow arranged for the purchase
of the building nearly five years ago using funds from his deceased
sister’s estate and does not hold sole title to it. Property
records obtained from the Trumbull County Recorder’s office
show the owner of record is “The Estate of Sarah Bollotin,”
Jerry Bollotin’s sister. The building was purchased on June
1, 1984 from Carole A. Prinz of Hillsborough County, Fla. according
to the deed for $22,828.99.
The tax card in the County Auditor’s Office
reveals the land and building were valued at one time at $49,800,
but a penciled notation adds, no leasing-building condemned.
The Bollotin Building was also damaged by the November 1987 fire.
The 1989 tax value of the building is listed at $39,000 The building
was built in 1903 and renovated in 1980, the tax card adds. Jerry
Bollotin’s name does not appear anywhere on the deed or
tax card. Sarah Bollotin is listed on the county property records
as “deceased” apparently having died sometime before
the transaction was consummated.
Holloway said the tangled issue now lies in the
hands of several New York City lawyers and he has no idea when
it might be resolved. “it’s been a heck of a rigamarole.”
The last occupant of the Bollotin Building was
C.E. Davis Advertising. City officials allowed the business to
remain in the building after it was condemned while another location
was sought. However, the advertising firm moved out in late 1985
after Bollotin pasted two signs in the hallway outside the offices.
“Danger–Slow-release cyanide, stay out of the cellar.
Fumigating against rats both two and four legged. “Will
be back in 10 days,” one sign read. The other said, “Danger–10,000
volts. Come in for the shock of your life.”
The last occupants of the Odd Fellows Building
were a restaurant, Charley’s Chew-Chew, and G&S Keys
and Crafts. The restaurant-owners retired, while G&S moved
to 219 East Park Avenue.
The two buildings now occupy the southeast corner
of a block shared with the McKinley Memorial and bounded by Main
Street, West Park Avenue, Arlington Avenue and Church Street.
The Birthplace Association plans to landscape the land after tearing
down the two vacant buildings. The Association accepted bids for
the project several months ago, but Holloway said the bids won’t
be opened until the legal wrangling is completed.
This article appeared in the Daily Times March
10, 1989 written by Jim Flick