Elmer Zarney

Elmer Zarney

Elmer Zarney played an important role in the community of Medina from the 1950's all the way through the day he passed in 2007. From the age one on he was a part of Medina always living here except for when he was in the Air National Gaurd for 10 years being stationed all of the United States and fighting in the European Theater. Being a part of World War 2 probably influenced the way he lived the rest of his life through his art.

Elmer Zarney was stationed all across Europe in different bases seeing different countries and much destruction in the countries. Zarney was very proud of his work in the military and respected his country. After finished with his service in the Ohio Air National Gaurd Zarney returned to Medina and studied art at the Cleveland Institute of Art. At the same time Medina was attempting to modernize the square by demolishing old, historic buildings or turning them to look modern. Zarney and some other members of the community didn't like the way the square was becoming modernized and knocking down historic buildings. In attempt to stop the city from demolishing old buildings they formed the Community Design Committee. They formed this in attempt to fight the modernization and restore Medina to its old style architecture. Zarney created a rendering of the squares to show how the buildings could be restored. The picture helped launch the restoration of the square. Zarney may have used his experiences in European countries to help the group re-design the buildings into Victorian style buildings. After being in Europe and seeing the destruction that the country went through with many beautiful buildings being destroyed it may have made him want to return to Medina and keep it's historical sights in tact. This is probably what drove him to preserve the square. By 1975 the square's restoration was mostly complete.

With out Elmer Zarney and his group of CDC members the square would likely not have the beautiful sights of early Medina as you see today. Without his ambitious attitude to turn the square around Medina would likely not be the growing suburb it is today.

Images

Modernization of the Square

Modernization of the Square

These buildings are almost unrecognizable from what they look like today. The buildings lack the bright red paint and looks almost run down. The fire station is not the building straight out of the past that we know it for today. During the 1960's when Medina was trying to make itself into more of a modern city. As you can see the building looks to be worn down and deteriorating from them trying to modernize the city. Zarney was one of the people that helped influence the city to turn their clocks back and turn the buildings to historical buildings. -Image Courtesy of Community Design Committee View File Details Page

Elmer Zarney's Painting

Elmer Zarney's Painting

This painting is an example of how Zarney respected nature and history. He wanted to keep beautiful sights in tact through his paintings and in history. This was also shown through him fighting for the historical sights in Medina. -Courtesy of the fame up View File Details Page

Zarney with Brother

Zarney with Brother

Zarney runs into brother at his base after he finishes a bomb run. His brother was actually the pilot for George Patton's plane on a random visit to check in at Zarney's base. He had no idea that his brother would be there and was a big surprise. View File Details Page

From Soldier to Artist

From Soldier to Artist

Elmer Zarney in WWII and even fought as a pilot in the European Theater. He flew his P-51 plane in action. On his plane he painted Bee-Zee as seen in the picture. The Bee-Zee symbolized Betty (his wife) and Elmer together. He once said having that on the side of his plane was his good luck charm. -Image Courtesy of The Medina Post View File Details Page

Fire Station Rendering

Fire Station Rendering

This drawing was made by Elmer Zarney to show how a building on the square could look if it was redone to it's historical look. Being a part of WWII may have influenced the way Zarney cared about historical buildings because of all the destruction he had seen happen to buildings in Europe. Without this picture being Designed the square would not be the beautiful sight we have today. -Image courtesy of The Community Design Committee View File Details Page

Fire Station Today

Fire Station Today

Without the hard work of Elmer Zarney and the Community Design Committee we would not have this beautiful sight we have today. With the holiday season brings lights lighting up the historical building on the square. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Alex Mutnansky and Alex Mutnansky , “Elmer Zarney ,” Discover Medina, accessed April 26, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/53.

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