Preservationists seek info on guard shack

SALEM – City preservationists are looking for information about the former parking lot guard shack located next to the Key Bank auto bank on North Broadway Avenue and Second Street.

David Schwartz of the Salem Preservation Society, a group whose purpose is to preserve historic structures and their place in history, said plans call for using the building’s story to help promote its history in downtown Salem, possibly during the Salem Super Cruise this summer.

For those who may or may not remember, the parking lot was owned by the former First National Bank, now Key Bank, and had an attendant who monitored the vehicles to make sure people paid if they were supposed to pay.

Schwartz said he’s been working with Don Barrett of Barrett Financial Group of Kent, who owns the bank buildings, shack and parking lot, in the search of information.

The listed owner of the property according to Columbiana County Auditor records is City Bank Investment Company of Kent, of which Barrett is listed as a partner.

According to the Salem Preservation Society, “many years ago, people would park in this First National Bank-owned parking lot when they came downtown to do their banking and shopping. Only First National Bank customers could park for free after redeeming their parking stub at the bank.”

“All other parking lot patrons would pay a parking fee to the attendant. If you did not pay, the attendant would escort the nonpaying customer and vehicle out of the parking lot,” the press release said.

The Salem Preservation Society is trying to unearth the history of the guard shack and parking lot, but needs help from former and current residents who may recall how much was charged, who worked there, who supervised the operation, what the attendants wore and how much they were paid per hour.

“Anything that would help us put the story together,” Schwartz said.

Besides recognizing the history, the Salem Preservation Society may possibly use the information to raise funds for a charity, he said.

The researchers are also looking for any photographs of the shack during those days or of the caretakers or attendants.

Anyone with information can contact Schwartz at or at Hibbett Sports, 330-337-7391. Photographs or information can also be sent to the Salem Preservation Society, P.O. Box 1034, Salem, Ohio 44460.