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City of Toledo Planning Commission

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-344

Content Description

The Toledo City Planning Commission collection consists of thirty-four cubic feet of material. The collection spans from 1920 to 1972 with some documents being undated, as specified in the box/folder inventory. The collection contains correspondence and subject files for various planning commission projects and concerns. The collection is organized first by year and then alphabetically by year. Materials that do not have a date were placed at the end of the collection.

A researcher studying the urban growth and development of Toledo in the mid twentieth century would find the documents in this collection very useful in their research project. It should be noted that administrative aspects of the planning commission can be found in the Toledo City Manager Collection in the Boards and Commissions section. This collection also serves as a complement to the Toledo City Manager Collection and the Toledo City Mayor Collection in the subjects and materials covered.


  • 1920-1972

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of the William S. Carlson Library on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Canaday Center does not own the copyright and literary rights to items in its collections; it is the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to U.S. Copyright and Fair Use laws, including seeking permission from the copyright holder and payment of any royalty fees, in the reproduction and use of archival materials.

Providing copies or scans does not constitute a license to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.

Biographical / Historical

In November 1912 Ohio voters approved an amendment to their state constitution that granted cities the right to establish a Municipal Charter. The endowment of this liberty was the result of the reform spirit of the Progressive Era that swept through the United States at the end of the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth centuries. The "Home Rule" Amendment, as the right to form a Municipal Charter was known at the time, said in Section 7 that "any municipality may frame and adopt or amend a charter for its government and may...exercise thereunder all powers of local self-government." On January 1, 1913, these new constitutional provisions went into effect to the great satisfaction of Ohio city leaders. Toledoans took advantage of the new constitutional composition and elected a thirteen member charter commission on November 4, 1913, to form a Municipal Charter. These commissioners were Dr. W.A. Dickey, Frank H. Foster, Thomas L. Gifford, William B. Guitteau, J.K. Hamilton, George D. Hartman, Daniel H. James, Isaac Kinsey, Dr. James C. Price, S.O. Richardson Jr., John Ulmer, Brand Whitlock and Judge John M. Killits who served as the commission chairman.

The aspect of the charter dealing with the City Planning Commission was placed in Chapter X, entitled "Commissioners of the Sinking Fund and of the City Plan." Sections 189 to 192, of the proposed city charter embraced the Planning Commission. It read as follows: The City Planning Commission.

"SECTION 189. The mayor first elected under this charter shall appoint five electors to constitute a city planning commission, for the following terms: One to serve until March 31, 1917, and one to serve for each of the periods ending respectively on the 31st day of March of each of the four succeeding years. In 1917, and annually thereafter, the mayor shall appoint one commissioner to serve for five years. Appointments for full terms and to fill vacancies shall be so made that the term of one member, and one only, shall expire on the 31st day of March of each year. The commissioners shall annually designate one of their number as president, and some employee of the department of the public service, selected by the director thereof, shall serve as secretary.

Authority and Duties. SECTION 190. The city plan commission shall have power to control the design and location of works of art which are, or may become, the property of the city; the plan, design and location of public buildings, harbors, bridges, viaducts, street fixtures and other structures and appurtenances having to do with the beauty and convenience of the city; the removal, relocation, extension and platting of streets, parks and other public places, and of new areas; and the preparation of plans for the future physical development of the city.

Duty of Council. SECTION 191. The council by ordinance shall provide in detail for the exercise of the duties of the commission within the provisions of the preceding section.

Expenses. SECTION 192. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but the council by general ordinance or special resolution shall provide for the expenses incurred by the commission."


35 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


City of Toledo Planning Commission Records, 1920-1972
Sara Mouch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Repository

2801 West Bancroft Street
William S. Carlson Library, Fifth Floor
Toledo Ohio 43606 United States