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The Toledo Alphabet Project

Graphite Design + Build

The Toledo Alphabet Project

Graphite Design + Build

A - Toledo School for the Arts

Toledo School for the Arts opened in the Secor Building in 1999. 20 years later, TSA is a 6th-12 grade school devoted to arts-integrated education. Each year, TSA holds over 100 performances including, plays, musicals, dance, poetry, percussion, orchestra, jazz, and pop bands. 

B - Beirut

In 1974, Labib Hajjar opened the Beirut Bakery whose popularity led to the Beirut Resturant on Monroe street in 1977 famous for its Lebanese cuisine including raw kibbi. The family continued to expand to the Beirut Kitchen, Byblos, Poco Piatti, and food trucks. 

C - Champion

Evolving from racing bicycles on the east coast to manufacturing spark plugs, French immigrant Albert Champion brought his business to Michigan to join the automotive industrialization of the midwest. In 1910, Champion relocated to Toledo to be closer to Willys Overland. Common in most motorized vehicles, spark plugs deliver the electric current from the ignition to the combustion chamber. 

D - "Don't Give Up The Ship"

The flag flown on the USS Niagara led by Oliver Hazard Perry read, "Don't Give Up The Ship,"  the dying words of Captain James Lawrence. Margaret Forster Steuart sewed the battle flag with her family. Perry won against the British Naval Fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie.

E - Tiedke's

"There's only one Tiedke's, a world of savings!" The iconic grocery and department store was originally located at Summit and Monroe. Still a tradition today, the Tiedke's famous cheese wheel still rides in the Holiday parade.

F - Foodtown

Foodtown is a chain of regional supermarkets that started in Maumee in 1948 and grew into a chain of retail stores in the 1950s.

G - Boogie Records

Rest In Peace Pat O'Connor. Pat opened Boogie Records in the 1970s and guided generations of locals through their music discovery. The legacy of Boogie Records lives on through Culture Clash Records which is now located in downtown Toledo at Monroe St. and 10th street.

H - Mud Hens

Named for the North American coot, the Mud Hens first played in 1883. The Mud Hens was also the first professional baseball team to integrate the game with Moses Fleetwood Walker.

I - Kin Wa Low

Kin Wa Low was a famous Chinese restaurant and nightclub in Toledo that opened in 1913. Performers from all over graced the club from Bobby Darin to Ella Fitzgerald.

J - Jeep

"Jeep" is military slang for off-road vehicles, but after WWII Jeep became synonymous with Toledo, Ohio.

K - Buckeye Brewing Co.

The Buckeye Brewing Company, now the Maumee Bay Brewing Compay first opened in East Toledo in 1838. Buckeye Beer was one of the first lite beer recipes that were later acquired by Miller. The Buckeye Beer mascot, "Bucky" was an actual person named Carl Walinski and would roller skate with trays of beer sometimes with a goat, becoming the Bucky and Billy act.

L - The Lion Store

Originally called Frederick Eaton & Company, Toledoans called it "The Lion Store" because of the cast iron Lion sculptures outside.  What started as a dry goods store evolved into a fully functioning department store with multiple locations from downtown to the Westgate, Southwyck, and North Towne shopping centers.

M - The Maumee Indoor Theatre

The Maumee Indoor was built in 1946. In 2000, the City of Maumee bought it and renovated it to have more screens. Today, they still screen films, host live performances and rent out space.

N - Tandoor

Did you know Tandoor is a type of oven? Tandoor on Reynolds has been family-owned since 1982 serving spicy tandoori chicken and creamy, rich sauces.

O - The Ohio Theatre

The Ohio Theatre on Lagrange in Toledo's Polish Village was first built in the height of movie houses. The Mark of Zorro was the first film screened. Over the years, the Ohio Theatre screened movies, hosted concerts, events, and political campaign events. Artists from Roy Rogers to Jamie Farr graced the proscenium. 

P - Tony Packo's

Tony Packo's was started by Hungarian immigrants in East Toledo during the Great Depression. Famous for their Hungarian sausages, chili sauce, and pickles, the Tony Packo's brand expanded to multiple locations. It's tradition for special guests to sign a bun. 

Q - QQ Kitchen

The Wang family came from Korea and China and turned their love of food and culture into QQ Kitchen. QQ serves fresh, quality dishes from BiBimBop to bacon kimchi fried rice.  QQ is a gift.

R - River East Bridge

What was the gateway to entering East Toledo, was torn down in 2005. The iconic "River East" bridge crossed Main street on the East side of the Martin Luther King Jr. bridge. 

S - Toledo Storm

The Toledo Storm was Toledo's minor league hockey team from 1991 to 2007 at the Toledo Sports Arena. The storm made history in 1996 when Erin Whitten was the first woman to appear in a professional hockey game beyond goaltending. Toledo hockey came back as The Walleye in 2009.


Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority started in 1971 with buses and paratransit services. "Ride of Toledo"

U - The Paramount Theatre

Many stories of Toledo's downtown are memories of what was. The Paramount Theatre was an elegant and popular movie house with a dazzling marquee. The Paramount was unfortunately torn down with the decline of downtown real estate and urban sprawl. A parking lot is left in its absence.

V - Willys Overland

Toledo's legacy in the American automotive boom included industries like Libbey Glass, Jeep, and Champion Spark plug. Generations of local families have worked in the automotive industry. Willys-Overland has been manufacturing vehicles and products since 1908 but rose to fame making wartime Jeeps.

W - World Theater

Dorr street was the epicenter of black culture and black business in Toledo. The Dorr street corridor was decimated by the construction of the expressway.  The World Theater was the neighborhood cinema and eventually burned down in the 1970s. 

X - Wixey Bakery

For 80 years and 4 generations, the Wixie family has been baking sweet treats on Glendale for Toleodans. From doughnuts to cakes, Wixie is a timeless local icon. "It tastes twice as good because it was baked at Wixey."

Y - The Pythian Castle

Originally built in 1890 by the Knights of Pythias fraternity, the Pythian Castle was a meeting place. Eventually, the Knights sold the building to Greyhound, then to a person that occupied it with a music store, an antique store, and other businesses. Over the years, the castle has fallen into disrepair. Currently, the Pythian Castle is being renovated.

Z - Toledo Zoo

From the Lights Before Christmas to the Natural History Museum, Everybody's Zooin' it! It all started in 1900 with a woodchuck at Walbridge Park. Today, the Toledo Zoo is a leader in conservation and zoological education.