224 Palmer St., Wooster, Ohio

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The concrete block house located at 224 Palmer St. in Wooster, Ohio was likely built between 1893-1895 by Andrew Massaro. It was nicknamed the "Town Hall" of the Little Italy section of Wooster. Photograph by S. Zimmerman

The 2-story concrete block house located at 224 Palmer St. was likely built between 1893-1895 by Andrew Massaro. It may be the earliest example of a house in Wooster in which cast concrete blocks were utilized in the construction of a whole house rather than the typical usage of such blocks in the foundation basement walls. Furthermore, the second story features cast concrete balusters to accent the sandstone sill for the double-hung, narrow windows, with round arch heads above.

The building was originally built to be both a place of business and a residence. The 1896 Wooster City Directory shows that Andrew Massaro & Son operated a grocery store on the first floor and the family lived on the second floor. The imposing concrete building quickly became a central place the local Italian immigrants living in the area, dubbed Wooster's Little Italy, could shop, congregate, and mingle and the building was nicknamed, Town Hall.

In 1939, the old Wooster City Directory shows Rudolph Bursani tried operating a "tavern" in the building but it quickly either went out of business or moved after 1940. The 1943 Wooster City Directory shows that the East Community Center was operating in the building which continued until 1952 when it also became the first home of the Lamplighters Club. By 1954 the building was used by the Church of God in Christ and by 1957 the building was transformed into apartment housing that continues to this day.

Andrew Massaro bought lot no. 208 in 1893 as laid out by the plat of Dr. Cunningham's 2nd Addition to the town of Wooster. It was later renumbered as lot no. 1540.
Andrew Massaro's Lot No. 1540 was partitioned over time into three sections.

Wayne County Recorder Property Transfers

  • 1866: Theodore Cunningham To Sarah E. Bay, Joseph Bay Vol. 65 p.585 Old Lot No. 208 $350
    • Sarah E. Bay, Joseph Bay To T.J. Bay Vol. 67 p.275 Old Lot No. 208 $250
  • 1868: T.J. Bay and wife Lucinda, Power of Attorney To George Brauneck Vol. 71 p.379
    • George Brauneck, deceased To Ernestine Brauneck Transfer by Will
  • 1893: Ernestine Brauneck To Andrew Massaro Vol. 124 p.417 Old Lot No. 208 (after 1870 renumbering) Lot 1540 $250
  • 1905: Andrew Massaro, Marie Massaro To Antonio DiGiacomo Vol. 152 p.456 60ft off whole south side of Lot 1540 (this is where house at 222 Palmer St. was built)
  • 1910: Andrew Massaro To The Society di Mutuo Soccorso Uniono E. Fratellanza Vol. 161 p.632 68.5ft off north side of Lot 1540 (this is where the house at 232 Palmer St. was built)
  • 1940: Andrew Massaro, deceased To Henry F. Massaro, Trustee Vol. 245 p.21 Probate Court of Transfer Parcel #3: middle part Lot 1540 which consists of 28ft
  • 1952: Henry F. Massaro Trustee Estate of Andrew Massaro To Marguerite M. DiScipio (Andrew Massaro's daughter) Vol. 307 p.63 the middle part of Lot 1540 $3.30 revenue stamp
  • 1977: Marguerite M. DiScipio, widow To Horizons Unlimited, a partnership Vol. 524 p.781 Lot 1540 $11 conveyance fee
  • 1980: Horizons Unlimited, a partnership To Wayne Metropolitan Housing Authority Vol. 555 p.83 Lot 1540 $54 conveyance fee
  • 1983: Wayne Metropolitan Housing Authority To BBC Enterprises, a partnership Vol. 585 p.557 Lots 378, 1321, 6330, 1615, 1540
  • 1997: BBC Enterprises, a general partnership of Frank Bush, Lynn Beaumont, Thomas Clark To BBC Enterprises, a general partnership $107,000
    • BBC Enterprises, a partnership To Timothy G. Yates, Tina A. Yates Vol. 60 p.154-160 middle part of Lot 1540 $37,000