This tour explores the historic architecture of downtown Youngstown, Ohio.
Warner Theater, now known as the Powers Auditorium, opened on May 14th, 1931. The theater derives its name from the Warner family who created the movie production company "Warner Brothers." The two brothers named the theater to honor their late brother Samuel and their parents. The Warner Theater operated until February 28th, 1968, when it played its last movie, "Bonnie and Clyde." The building was slated to be demolished, but local couple Edward and Alice Powers donated $250,000 and others in the community rallied to save the building and make it the permanent home of the Youngstown Symphony. The building was renovated for the symphony at a price of $750,000. The theater was renamed to honor the Powers family for their support and the symphony held their first performance in their new home on September 20th, 1969. The building continues to serve the community by holding live performances of the city's symphony and other events.
The State Theater was constructed in 1927, built on the location of the Orpheum Theater, which stood on that location since 1915. The theater was designed by architect Charles W. Bates, standing as one of the most technologically advanced theaters of its time. After construction, the theater was equipped with a Movietone sound system. The theater stopped showing movies in 1970; in 1974, the building opened as "Tomorrow Club," a rock-n-roll night club. This club transitioned into the Agora, a venue that specialized in rock-n-roll concerts. The Agora had famous acts such as RUSH, AC/DC, KISS, The Runaways, Heart, and The Ramones. The theater continued to transition throughout the 1980s when it transitioned from a Civic Center to a Hard Rock venue known as the Starr Theater, and an RnB venue, known as the Starr Palace. The State Theater was demolished in 2008 after being vacant for 30 years. The only remnant of the State Theater is its front facade, saved during demolition, which can still be seen today.
Youngstown's Wells Building was constructed in 1917 with funding from the estate of Thomas H. Wells, a prominent land developer in Youngstown who was elected mayor in 1863. The building was initially designed to house retail stores on the main floor, and offices on the floors above. The building was originally home to a ladies' clothing store. In later years, the building was home to an armed forces recruitment station. In 2016 the Strollo Architecture firm remodeled the building into a modern apartment complex.
The Liberty Theater opened its doors on February 11th, 1918. The theater was sponsored by Christopher Deibel, who was the manager and developer of Youngstown's motion picture palace. The theater was bought by the McCrory department store chain, who allegedly was planning on building a skyscraper on the site. This claim was never acted upon, McCrory went on to sell the building in 1929 to the Paramount Pictures Corporation. The final owners were Feiber and Shea, who purchased the building in 1933, they operated the building until its closure in 1976. The building was demolished in 2013, and in its place, the city put a parking lot.
Youngstown's Baltimore and Ohio Railroad station was built in 1905 to supply the many Youngstown residents traveling between Washington, Baltimore an Chicago. Constructed at a cost of $70,000, the terminal is located on a curve in the track overlooking the Mahoning River and downtown Youngstown. The terminal was the central hub of travel until the 1950s when the railroad industry started declining as more Americans traveled by bus or private automobile. Thanks to preservationists and local citizens, the historic terminal has been restored and continues to serve the community as a banquet hall.
Operated by the Ohio Historical Society and Youngstown State University, this museum preserves the history of the steel industry that once dominated the regional economy. The museum traces its origins back to the 1970s when local officials lobbied for the creation of a museum to the region's industrial heritage. The museum opened in 1986 after the state legislature set aside $3 million three years prior. The center's permanent exhibit is titled "By the Sweat of Their Brow: Forging the Steel Valley." As the name suggests, it not only examines the business of steel-making but the workers and the communities they made.
The Peggy Ann Building in Youngstown Ohio was part of the retail boom that occurred during the height of Youngstown's growth. The Peggy Ann Building was built around 1930 and was built to house the Peggy Ann clothing company. The Peggy Ann clothing store operated in this downtown location from the 1930s to the 1960s. The second story of the building was used as office space. The building now holds multiple local businesses including the Whistle and Keg bar and the Touch the Moon Candy Saloon.
Youngstown's Wick Building is the second-tallest structure in the city, being bested only by First National Tower. The Wick Building was designed by architect Daniel Burnham and was completed in 1910. The structure was built to house the Wick Brothers Trust Company which was owned by the Wick family who owned several influential businesses in the Youngstown area at the urn-of-the-century.
The Erie Terminal Building was built to act as both a train terminal and a multi-level office complex. The terminal was constructed in 1923 by the Erie Railroad Company during a time in which Youngstown was a hub of railroad activity. The building functioned throughout the decades until it was decommissioned in 1976. The building now functions as an apartment complex for Youngstown Residents after being renovated in 2012.
Youngstown's Central Tower Building has been known by several names since its construction in 1929. Originally designed by Morris Scheibel for Central Savings and Loans, the building became the home of Metropolitan Savings and Loan in 1976. Four years later that company purchased the building for $2,000,000 and renamed the building the Metropolitan Tower. The building's name changed again in 2007 when it became First National Tower after Metropolitan Savings and Loan was acquired by First National Bank.
Completed in 1910 in Youngstown Ohio, this courthouse was considered a point of pride for the county. Costing the city $1,904,424 the Mahoning County Courthouse went over its original budget of $1,000,000. The building stood with minor changes until 1985 when it was voted to be restored. The restoration took 6 years and cost $8,000,000 an effort to return the building to its former glory.
The Realty Building was designed by famed local architect Morris W. Scheibel, notable for also designing the Central Tower Building. The Realty Guarantee and Trust Company commissioned the building, and construction was completed in 1924. One of the most notable events in the building's past came in 1955. In 1955 gale-force winds blew into Youngstown, ripping nearly the entire roof off, as well as causing $50,000 in damages due to falling debris. The Realty Building is now a 23-unit apartment complex after being renovated in 2009, continuing to serve the Youngstown community.
The Ohio One Building was built in 1931 by the Ohio Edison Company. The building was initially named the Ohio Edison Building, after the aforementioned company. The Ohio Edison Company was an electricity provider in Youngstown that was formed after consolidating many smaller companies into the Ohio Edison Company to serve the growing Youngstown community. The building was purchased by its current owner, the Ohio One Company, in 1975. The Ohio One Company still occupies the building today. The most notable architectural aspect of the building is the large neon sign displayed on the top of the building, which was originally commissioned by the Ohio Edison Company, and was later adopted by the Ohio One Company.