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Lorain is a city of 64,000 people (2019) 30 miles west of Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. A former industrial center for shipbuilding, auto manufacturing, and steel, like other Rust Belt cities, the city faces population decline and urban decay.


The city sits on the shore of Lake Erie, at the mouth of the Black River. The city is Ohio's tenth largest city, the third largest in Greater Cleveland, and the largest in Lorain County by population.


The city began as an unincorporated village, Charleston, in 1834. It was incorporated as a village under the name Lorain in 1874 and became a city in 1896.

The 1924 Lorain–Sandusky tornado hit the city on June 28, 1924. The tornado formed over the Sandusky Bay during the late afternoon hours and hit Sandusky, where it killed eight people and destroyed 100 homes and 25 businesses. After moving east over Lake Erie for several miles, the tornado then struck Lorain, killing 72. Among the dead were 15 people inside a collapsed theater, which makes it the worst tornado-related death toll from a single building in Ohio. Eight people were also killed inside the Bath House near the location where the tornado came onshore.

The city's economy has focused on heavy industry. Major industrial operations included the American Shipbuilding Lorain Yard on the City's east side, the Ford Motor Company Lorain Assembly Plant on the City's west side, and the steel production sector on the City's south side, NW consisting of the United States Steel and Republic Steel companies.

The American Shipbuilding Lorain Yard closed in 1983,urging more than 1,500 people out of work. The Ford Lorain Assembly Plant ceased production operations in 2005. In March 2020, US Steel idled its Lorain mill indefinitely, laying off 250 workers. At its peak in 1982, it had employed 8,600 people.

Get in[edit]

The City of Lorain is located on Erie Ave (Route 6 east/west) and Broadway (Route 57 north/south).

Amherst is south of Lorain, Vermilion to the west of Lorain and Sheffield Lake is to the east.

The easiest way driving into Lorain from the west is to take Exit 10 from Route 2 and head north into Lorain — about a 10-minute drive. From the East, take Exit 151 from Route 2 and head due west on Route 611 (Colorado Ave) into Lorain — also about 10 minutes.

Get around[edit]


  • Black River Historical Society, 309 West 5th St, +1 440 245-2563.
  • 1 Charles Berry Bridge. Charles Berry Bridge (Q5075577) on Wikidata Charles Berry Bridge on Wikipedia
  • 2 Lorain West Breakwater Light (Lorain Lighthouse). Lorain West Breakwater Light (Q6678743) on Wikidata Lorain West Breakwater Light on Wikipedia
  • Lorain International Festival. Every year, as part of the festival, there is a pageant of princesses who each represent their heritage.


The Black River runs through Lorain
A replica of the Niña passing through Lorain
  • Lakeview Beach, 1800 West Eire Ave, +1 440 458-5121.
  • Century Beach, East Erie & Massachusetts, +1 440 244-9000.
  • Great Lakes Kayaking, 1355 Black River Parkway, +1 440 396-5887.
  • Three lil Birds Charters, 485 California Avenue E Dock, Slip 4, +1 440-823-5116. Fishing (walleye) charters.
  • Lorain Harbor. Warm water attracts waterfowl throughout the year. The breakwater and jetties can reveal great blue and black-crowned herons, as well as purple sandpipers. To East Pier, take Route 6 to Arizona Avenue north 500 feet to parking. To Municipal Pier, take Route 6 to Oberlin Avenue north 1,000 feet to parking.
  • Rebman Recreation, 5300 Oberlin Ave, +1 440 282-6761.
  • Lorain Underground Railroad Station, 100 Black River Landing. Reflective Garden and Monument commemorating the Underground Railroad which led slaves to freedom.
  • 1 Lorain Palace Theatre, 617 Broadway, +1 440 245-2323. A "Movie Palace" in 1928, this restored Gothic theatre showcases drama, music, movies. Lorain Palace Theatre (Q6678741) on Wikidata Lorain Palace Theatre on Wikipedia
  • Harrison Cultural Community Centre, 1922 Hamilton Ave., +1 440 244-0359. Community resource site focusing on African American heritage, tutoring and mentoring youth.
  • Stocker Arts Center, 1005 North Abbe Rd (Lorain County Community College), +1 440 366-7105. Performing and visual arts.



  • Beachcliff Diner, 2405 West Erie Ave, +1 440 244-2030.
  • Diso's Bistro at All Nations, 4286 Oberlin Ave, +1 440 282-1195.
  • Fligner's Market, 1854 Broadway, +1 440 244-5173.
  • Jackalope Lakeside, 301 Lakeside Ave., +1 440 288-2051. Lorain's casual restaurant with a fine dining menu situated on the shores of Lake Erie overlooking the Lorain Lighthouse. Great steaks, seafood, pasta, and more.




Go next[edit]

A drawbridge in Lorain.
Routes through Lorain
SanduskyVermilion  W  E  Sheffield LakeCleveland
END  N  S  AmherstAshland

This city travel guide to Lorain is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.