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JRC

Rhodes Tower 629'
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  1. These are great! It looks like you took these Thursday, with that fantastic weather we had. Last year, this neighborhood had a Christmas home tour. They do one every few years. (too much work to do one every year) It's semi-private, but if you hear about it, you definitely want to go. Last year, I was invited to be a greeter by the owner's of the Goldcamp-Ford house. (it's on Fifth, south of Crandall Park) So, I got to be part of a sort of dress-rehearsal tour held for the participants the night before. They were all great, in their own way. But, I was amazed how large some where. I swear, the entire first floor of my house could fit in the living rooms of some of the largest of these mansions. This neighborhood is/was the final millionaire's row, in Youngstown. The first, during the Victorian era, was on Wick Ave. You can see some evidence of it, (Wick-Pollock house, Arms museum, etc.) but most of it was swallowed up by YSU. As wealth grew, it migrated through the Wick Park Neighborhood, and then up Fifth Ave.
  2. I really like that first shot! It's kind of ironic that Station #7's original roof was lost in a fire. I hope the plans to save the Welsh Congregation Church are still in place, whatever they may be. I was told that one alternate plan, if the plan to move it to Wick Park fell through, (as we now know it did) was to make it part of a new building for CityScape offices. (something like CityScape offices in a basement space, with the church above) But, that was a long time ago now, and just a quick, informal conversation. I always liked the Mahoning Commons area. I did a small photo tour of the area many years ago. It's an interesting mix of lingering industry, artists' spaces, and performing spaces. I think an opportunity was missed, though. Up through the early/mid 2000s, the little street--Wells Court, between Mahoning Ave, and Marshall St.--was still intact. That could have been a really interesting collection of artists' residences, and a tiny, secluded street.
  3. That's the house, and it is being worked on. I just don't know if the owner is in the area permanently, yet.
  4. It's sad what's happening to Youngstown's old churches. I understand that there are just fewer religious people, in general, but the larger issue in Youngstown and other rust belt cities, is that the population continue to sprawl, like almost all US cities. However, unlike other cities, we didn't have new residents moving in, to fill the space left by those who left. I was part of the team that worked on the facilities assessment report for the Diocese of Youngstown, several years ago. We made no recommendations about closure, just noted issues, and needed maintenance items. So, I'm a little more familiar with some of these buildings than most. It's a shame that the history, culture, and architecture these buildings hold is likely to be lost, while the more modern churches in the burbs, some of which pale in comparison, are not endangered at all. North Heights is one of my favorite streets in Youngstown. I tried to buy 245 North Heights before I found my current house. The owner was impossible to reach. Luckily, it has been bought, and is slowly being brought back. Last I heard, the owner doesn't live locally, and makes visits to work on the house in spurts. But, maybe he has moved here, by now? Unfortunately, the house in your second photo is still for sale. Looking at the photo, it appears the current owner did some real shoddy work, and believes it has increased the value significantly. According to Realtor.com, it's listed for $45k. But, according to the Mahoning County Auditor's website, it last sold for $13.5k, in late 2017. The apartment building on the west end of North Heights was recently bought by the same guy who owns the brightly colored houses and apartment buildings on Fairgreen, Ohio, and Lora. It was owned by the same people who own Parkway Towers, and it was, indeed, In danger of eventual demolition. Hopefully, it's in better hands now, and will be lived in again, soon.
  5. I heard Facebook gossip saying that the Uptown Theater letters were going to be sold. There are some interesting houses on the south side. Last summer, as part of the United Way day of caring event, I helped clean up a couple streets on the south side. On Regent St., there was a house that caught my eye. Here is a Google street view: Regent St. I'm happy to say that it had been painted, and looked even better last summer. One weekend morning, I was browsing around the south side with Google, and found this house, with a strong Asian influence. I'd love to have seen this house in its prime. W. Florida Ave.
  6. I've been living in the Wick Park Neighborhood for over 6 years, now. I just wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the neighborhood that I've taken over the last year, or so.
  7. I think the neighborhood is progressing. But, it's hard to gauge; there's a lot of "two steps forward, one step back" going on. The guys who ran the bookstore, lost their building. (I've heard rumors, but don't know the real story of how) Instead, they are going ahead with their plans in a different building. The Methodists have decommissioned the Richard Brown church, on Elm Street, and this is where the event center will be. They leased the church building from the UMC for a year, to see how things go. If it goes well, they will buy the building. Yes, the possible loss of that house makes me ill. Unfortunately, YNDC has little interest in this neighborhood. They don't aim to make a profit, but the real estate market in this neighborhood is too dysfunctional for them to even come close to breaking even on houses that they would renovate. Although, that may be changing. Two move-in ready houses recently sold in the neighborhood pretty quickly. The more recent sale happened 3 days after being listed. I think there is a market for housing in this neighborhood, but most people can't--or don't want to--take on a huge renovation/restoration project. Also, the owner of the green house has no use for YNDC. He expected more help from them, and when they didn't give it, he gave up on them.
  8. Well, last I heard, the Foster is still in operation, so that's another option...
  9. The destruction of Pennsylvania Ave. happened all at once, in the last quarter of 2009. I toured almost all of those houses in May of 2009, looking for a project house to restore. An arsonist targeted those houses, beginning in October of 2009. By spring of 2010, they were all gone. In more recent sad news, both apartment buildings, the one on Bryson and the one on Broadway, are both gone. The Bryson apartment was a simple demolition. But, the apartment on Broadway burned down, spectacularly. Unfortunately, the owner of the house next door, closer to the corner of Elm and Broadway, tells me that he doesn't think he's going to be able to save the house, due to fire damage. It's a long story, but he is suing the city for damages. But, he doesn't think--even if he wins--that he will get the money in time.
  10. I've read that the original facade on the Uptown Theater is still there, behind that screen.
  11. I just can't seem to get back in the habit of visiting this site more often. So, I just saw this thread. A few notes on some of the Wick Park photos, since it's my neighborhood: - The house on Madison is owned (and occupied) by the former owners of Dorian Books. I don't know much about them, or their house. There's some gossip about their building, but I don't want to share that here, because I don't even know the whole story. - The apartments on Park and Pennsylvania Ave. are very nice. The owner is hesitant to develop the front buildings, for some reason. So, they remain empty. But, at least he maintains them. - The red queen anne and stone house on Park are owned by the same guy who owns the Renner Mansion. His level of care is a little lower than I'd like to see. - The house on Broadway with the buff brick and green cornice is owner occupied. I don't know them, but apparently, they don't have the finances to undertake an exterior restoration. This is a recurring theme in the neighborhood; these large old houses are expensive to repair and maintain, once they've been neglected. - The red brick house on Broadway was Charles H. Owsley's home. It was recently bought and renovated. It is owner occupied, but is still set up as apartments. I think the owners' daughter lives in one of the other apartments. - The stone house on Broadway was hastily/cheaply renovated for a fraternity. It was vacant for years and years, and was tied up in court, because the owner died, and the house--along with the other houses he owned--had massive amounts of debt and back taxes tied to them. But, a hasty renovation is better than demolition. Unfortunately, his other houses weren't so lucky. - The green and yellow brick house near the corner of Elm and Broadway is currently for sale. The owner put a lot of infrastructure work into the house, including converting it back to a single residence, but never got around to the cosmetics. So, it's still a project. For those interested in buying a house in the neighborhood, talking with him is a good place to start. He knows a lot more than I do about the status of many of the houses in the area. - The other queen anne house at the corner of Elm and Broadway, is owned by an older lady. She also doesn't have the resources to keep it maintained, and is in the process of cleaning the place out, and getting ready to sell. It looks like she is a hoarder, because she owned a vintage clothing/etc. store, and still has a lot of stock left. I don't think she really wants to move, so this process has been really slow. - The "best preserved" queen anne house is owner occupied. The owner--Rob--owns a few other houses in the neighborhood, including the green and brick house discussed above. - You like that brick apartment building on Broadway? There is an interesting story with that building. The building was going to be demolished, a couple years ago. But, when the contractor walked through the building, he felt so strongly that it was too good to tear down, he worked out a verbal agreement to buy the building from the city. He was so sure of the deal that he installed a new roof, and cleaned out the interior. But, the administration changed, and the new city admin. reneged on the contract. After some fighting, the contractor walked away. So, I'm not really sure if the city will find another buyer, or if it will be demolished. - The apartment building at the corner of Bryson and Woodbine (and yes, it was always an apartment building) is in litigation. But, demolition is imminent, as soon as it gets out of the courts. (assuming the funding source is still there) - I don't know much about the houses across the street from the apartment building. But I believe they are owner occupied. The brown brick house only looks different from the street view, because it's winter in your photos, and the ivy isn't leafed out. - The yellow and green house on Park Ave. is multifamily. The owner hired Rob--mentioned above--to do some work, recently, including rebuilding the front porch. An interesting historical tidbit about this house. It was originally built for "Bonesetter Reese". Look him up, and you'll see that there were some very famous visitors to that house, in the early 20th century. - Finally, Parkway Towers is not strictly abandoned. The owners are based in NYC, and use the building as a perch for cell phone towers. They are only interested in collecting the rent from the cell phone companies. Several years ago, the city tried fining them for their neglect. But, when it finally went in front of a judge, the judge decided that the build-up of fines was excessive, and dismissed them. Now, as I understand it, the only tool the city has left, is spot blight eminent domain. And, the city doesn't want to use that, unless they are absolutely, completely sure there is a buyer lined up to buy the building from the city. They city can't take responsibility for the building for any length of time. Sorry for the long post. I didn't comment on all of your photos, though it might seem like it.
  12. Hi! I've been away for quite awhile, but I decided to stop back a few nights ago to see what was new. I decided to log in, because I wanted to reply to this thread. I was pretty familiar with most of the stuff posted, but not all. And, even though I now work for the company who made some of the graphics/renderings, I've never seen them before. So, I hope to make it a habit, again, to keep visiting. It's a small point, but the second floor of Silver's Vogue Shop is not vacant. It's the studio space for Jim Pernotto. I don't know why they keep the windows boarded up. Also, I don't think the corruption got the ball rolling on downtown revitalization; the development was already happening, when the corruption started taking place. Ryan Sheridan's problems are completely unrelated to anything he was planning to do downtown. He was the owner of several drug treatment centers, and his crimes were related to that. But, when the gov't seized his assets, all work on his projects downtown stopped. Interestingly, I just checked, and the property taxes on the Gallagher Building, which he owns, are up-to-date. The amazing apartment in the Davis building was originally the residence of one of the architects who worked on the second floor. He has since opened his own practice, and I assume sold the apartment to the remaining owners of the building. I hope the move of the Welsh Congregational Church is able to move forward. There is some controversy that I find interesting. Although some descendants of the Wick family have made substantial donations to see that this project happens, another Wick descendant has come forward objecting to the project, saying that moving it to Wick Park is incompatible with the original purpose for which the park was intended. I'm a resident of the Wick Park neighborhood. Work in the neighborhood is very difficult, because the real estate market is "broken." First, you can't just buy a house in this neighborhood. If you look at Zillow.com or Realtor.com, you'll see that there are very few--if any--houses for sale. Most of the vacant houses are in some kind of ownership limbo. You'd need to initiate foreclosure, or work with the city, to start the process of taking possession of a house. Second, you probably won't be able to get a mortgage to buy the house and/or pay for renovation/restoration. Those of us who are fixing--or have fixed--our houses are doing so with our own cash, or unsecured credit. This makes the process much slower than it would be if you could just get a home equity loan for $50k, to do all the work at once. Third, you had better be doing the work out of love, because the work most of these homes need, will cost more than the house will be worth, after all the work has been done. My house was in relatively good shape, didn't need a lot of major work, and I would be lucky to break even, if I had to sell it tomorrow. Common Wealth, Inc. has done a lot to help improve the neighborhood, especially in the 800 and 900 blocks of Elm St., as was previously mentioned. They also bought some of the houses adjacent to the location of the proposed coffee shop, and have converted them into office/business spaces. The gray house next to the coffee shop building is what they are calling a "music hall." It's not officially open, yet, but they have had a couple soft-opening events. And, next to that, there is a shop called Her Primitive Ways, that sells teas, soaps, and incense, made from herbs and flowers she grows in the neighborhood. The house being renovated by YMHA for veterans is another interesting project. It was started several years ago. But, they didn't account for the extra cost of doing such a project in a designated historic district. So, they ran out of money, and had to mothball the project. So, while I'm gad something is happening to the house, veterans are being helped off the streets, and the exterior is being restored to historic guidelines, I'm a little disappointed that the house is going to remain apartments, instead of being returned to a SFH. And, I'm a little concerned that some of the future residents might be troubled, and will cause disruption in the neighborhood. Hmm, sorry for the long post. I think I addressed just about everything I wanted to.
  13. ISLE Prepares Building to Move there in February By George Nelson | October 4, 2017 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Iron and String Life Enhancement expects to be in its new offices on Fifth Avenue in February 2018. Space is being renovated at 28-32 Fifth Ave., which will house ISLE’s administrative offices, including payroll and human resources, said James Sutman, ISLE president. ISLE provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities. http://businessjournaldaily.com/city-approves-sign-for-new-isle-offices/ I put this here because this is a finished project. These buildings were boarded up when I moved here, 17 years ago. So, I assume they needed a lot more work than just replacing storefronts and windows, when they started work, about 2 years ago.
  14. This is one of those "what's new, downtown" articles: New downtown development coming to light Published: Sun, October 1, 2017 @ 12:09 a.m. By Kalea Hall khall@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN A saw roars in one corner of the heart of Youngstown and, in another, a jackhammer beats a rhythm on concrete. Construction is happening throughout downtown making way for new restaurants, bars and a hotel. The entrepreneurs behind the ventures all agree: They are excited to be a part of what’s happening here. http://www.vindy.com/news/2017/oct/01/new-bars-restaurants-hotel-take-shape-do/
  15. DoubleTree by Hilton Looks to Open in March By George Nelson | September 6, 2017 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The DoubleTree by Hilton hotel downtown looks to open next March. More: http://businessjournaldaily.com/doubletree-by-hilton-looks-to-open-in-march/ Also in the article: the design review committee approved the facade modifications to the Wick Building for a new restaurant, and exterior stone work on St. Columba Cathedral.
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