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Ohio's Decayed Cities - YOUNGSTOWN

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Most of Ohio's cities, be they small, medium or large, have seen some blight or outright abandonment at or near their older, geographic centers. Some cities are obviously worse than others. Few Ohio cities have fallen harder than former industrial powerhouse Youngstown. It once was the fourth-largest steel-producing center in the United States, and one of top-ten steel centers of the world. Today, it is a hollow shell of its former glory.....

 

Below is the former Republic Steel Inc. mill at Center Street in 1987. The mill closed a few years earlier and the Center Street bridge closed a decade later due to its unsafe condition. In the late 1970s, I drove across the bridge at night in winter. It was like passing through a corridor of hell, as steam blew across the bridge deck and flames shot from excess gases into the sky from the adjacent mills. During World War II, more railroad cars passed under Center Street Bridge than under any other bridge in the world, as six major trunk-line railroads sent hundreds of trains beneath this one span.

 

CenterStreetBridge1987-1.jpg

 

 

While the previous view looked east toward the Center Street bridge, this view looks west, toward downtown Youngstown. It also was taken in 1987. Another section of the Republic Steel mill is on the other side of the tracks where a very complicated junction of four railroad lines converged, and was the main route for passenger and freight trains between Cleveland, Pittsburgh and beyond. More than 40 passenger trains a day passed this location as recently as 1950, with at least three times as many freight trains.

 

CSXpastRepublicSteel-CenterSt-1987-2.jpg

 

 

In 1994, after the Republic Steel mill was demolished, CSX ripped up most of the rusted, unused tracks in the vicinity of the Center Street junction, bought part of the Republic property, and straightened its Chicago-Washington DC mainline through the mill property. This view is in the same general direction as the previous one, but from a lower angle.

 

YGNCtrStCSXrealign1994west.jpg

 

 

One of the first casualties of the steel industry's implosion in the Mahoning Valley was homegrown Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., which had two large mills in the area, each employing thousands of workers. The image below shows before-and-after views of YS&T's Campbell Works, with the larger view from 1975, showing a Conrail unit coal train on the Lake Erie & Eastern bypass, about to join the 7-track-wide Pittsburgh & Lake Erie mainline toward Pittsburgh. The smaller view was taken in 1990, from a slightly different angle -- the mill is long gone and once-busy P&LE railroad, at right, is rusting away.

 

YGN%20YS&T%20Campbell%201975-1990-3.jpg

 

 

Youngstown Sheet & Tube's other major mill in the area was the Brier Hill Works, just northwest of downtown. It was the site of a large coal deposit, discovered in the 1800s, prompting the development of iron manufacturing in the Mahoning Valley. Brier Hill is generally considered to be the birthplace of Youngstown's iron and steel industry. Thus, even though the YS&T's Brier Hill works closed in the early 1980s, part of the plant was preserved for a future museum or other use. In the view from 1990, below, Mother Nature was in the process of reclaiming the mill.

 

LE&E-YS&Tbrierhillworks1990-2.jpg

 

 

United States Steel had the largest mill in the Mahoning Valley, employing 10,000 workers at one site. While most mills had one basic oxygen furnace (often dubbed a blast furnace), and larger mills had two, the USS plant just west of downtown Youngstown had three blast furnaces. In 1964, when this photo-accurate artist's rendering was commissioned, the USS mill was working at near full capacity. Just 26 years later, in 1990, only a mobile crane gantry remained standing, seen in the inset picture viewed from the exact same location.

 

LE&E-USS-1964v1990-2.jpg

 

 

Just after the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century, rail traffic through Youngstown's Mahoning Valley had become horribly congested, that plans were developed by railroad officials to build a bypass that could be jointly used by trains operated by the Pittsburgh & Lake, New York Central and Erie railroads. Since Youngstown topography didn't allow a railroad line to be build around Youngstown, the bypass was built "over" Youngstown. The result was the Lake Erie & Eastern, a two- to four-track-wide railroad line built mostly on elevated structures along the Mahoning River, over other railroad lines. After the collapse of the local steel industry, the LE&E was abandoned, as well. In 1990, near downtown, one little-used track remained (since removed), across one of many substantial bridges built for the LE&E. The track is now gone and some sections of the elevated right-of-way have been demolished or excavated by the city.

 

LE&Emahoningxing-3.jpg

 

 

Several times a year, I would visit family in Youngstown. You knew you were getting close to Youngstown when the air grew smoggy and smelled of sulfur. But, on Thanksgiving Day 1982, as our family rolled into town, the sights and smells suddenly were gone. The air was clear and I-680 was devoid of cars. While the recession of the early 1980s was the death-knell for Youngstown's steel industry, decline had been setting in for years. The decline had many perpetrators -- lack of investment in new facilities and technologies, high wages, foreign trade practices and failed plans since the 1800s to build a Lake Erie-Ohio River canal for less-expensive water transport of coal and iron ore to reach Youngstown. These factors combined to create an unemployment rate of 25 percent by 1984 in the Mahoning Valley. Youngstown's population approached 170,000 in 1960, since falling to 90,000 today. To me, this picture summarizes the fate of Youngstown's once-proud industrial might, now just a memory.

 

LE&E-tracksidemachineshop1990-2.jpg

 

 

Sic Transit Gloria!


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Well there's grit and then there's outright decay and blight. All of the re-investment that's happened in other Ohio cities has largely passed by Youngstown. Another factor that contributed to the decline is crime - in the 1950s-1970s it was the mob, in the 1980s-1990s, crack cocaine. It's gonna take a miracle for Youngstown to recuperate.

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I agree MayDay...I don't mind grit (the world would cease to function without it, after all), but I can't stand blight. 

 

The photos really showed a little bit of both.  In other words, I prefer the "before" to the "after".

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thanks so much kjp. a great great photo history. my first impression is that i cannot believe so much was torn down! i'm shocked, its like it never existed. a forgotten history.

 

i'd think people from the near westside of cleveland around the cuyahoga river and also from lorain could easily relate to that story. luckily both of those regions, one being the big inner city and the other being next to lake erie, have much more built-in rebound potential than the isolated and oft-forgotten (yet once mighty) youngstown.

 

since this song always hits me like a sucker punch to the gut anyway i think it's fitting we let "the boss" end my reply:

 

YOUNGSTOWN

 

Here in north east Ohio

Back in eighteen-o-three

James and Danny Heaton

Found the ore that was linin' yellow creek

They built a blast furnace

Here along the shore

And they made the cannon balls

That helped the union win the war

 

Here in Youngstown

Here in Youngstown

My sweet Jenny, I'm sinkin' down

Here darlin' in Youngstown

 

Well my daddy worked the furnaces

Kept 'em hotter than hell

I come home from 'Nam worked my way to scarfer

A job that'd suit the devil as well

Taconite, coke and limestone

Fed my children and made my pay

Then smokestacks reachin' like the arms of god

Into a beautiful sky of soot and clay

 

Here in Youngstown

Here in Youngstown

My sweet Jenny, I'm sinkin' down

Here darlin' in Youngstown

 

Well my daddy come on the 0hio works

When he come home from world war two

Now the yards just scrap and rubble

He said, "Them big boys did what Hitler couldn't do"

These mills they built the tanks and bombs

That won this country's wars

We sent our sons to Korea and Vietnam

Now we're wondering what they were dyin' for

 

Here in Youngstown

Here in Youngstown

My sweet Jenny, I'm sinkin' down

Here darlin' in Youngstown

 

From the Monongahela valley

To the Mesabi iron range

To the coal mines of Appalacchia

The story's always the same

Seven-hundred tons of metal a day

Now sir you tell me the world’s changed

Once I made you rich enough

Rich enough to forget my name

 

In Youngstown

In Youngstown

My sweet Jenny, I'm sinkin' down

Here darlin' in Youngstown

 

When I die I don't want no part of heaven

I would not do heavens work well

I pray the devil comes and takes me

To stand in the fiery furnaces of hell

 

 

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Just a wonderful post.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Yeah, Youngstown is probably the most ghettofied city of its size in America (about 90,000). It's right up there with Flint, Gary and East St. Louis. What's amazing is that Youngstown's metro is pretty damn big for a city like itself. There's like 600,000 people. For comparison, Toledo has about 800,000 (650,000 with just Ohio) and Akron is probably pretty close to 600,000 (I'm not sure since it's really Cleveland's biggest suburb). I've only actuallly known one person from Y-Town in my life. It was my Psych. teacher in high school, and she looked like she was from the 80's. She said Youngstown was a smaller version of Toledo. She had just graduated from Youngstown State and said that was a huge accomplishment for someone from her hood. I'm guessing there aren't many educated folks in Youngstown. I have never met anyone from Youngstown at OU. I always meet people from the other 6 big metros in Ohio and tons of Pittsburghians, but not a SINGLE Youngstownian. That doesn't make sense to me considering how big the metro is.

 

I agree that the city is probably screwed. It has not had any investment like the big 6 in Ohio or even other cities like itself. Even Gary is having a small renaissance. That surely cannot be said about Youngstown. The downtown looks like it's from 1930. There aren't any skyscrapers over 300 feet and a there's a dearth of modern architecture. The city would be the perfect place to do a prohibition gangsta movie. Younsgtown as a whole is more gritty than the big cities in Ohio, even the most industrialized ones. Sure, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo have their bombed out areas, but they still have maintained at least one or two nice areas in the central city (Actually, in Nati's case, a lot of nice areas). Youngstown has always felt like Northeast Ohio's version of Lima to me. It's just so old and so forgotten.

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This type of history fascinates me. Anyone know of any good books on Youngstown?

 

I'm currently re-reading an excellent book on the decline of the steel industry:

 

Homestead: The Glory and Tragedy of an American Steel Town

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This type of history fascinates me. Anyone know of any good books on Youngstown?

 

Have you visited Youngstown's History Center for Industry and Labor? A truck breakdown stranded me in Youngstown for three days about four years ago, and I went there one day to kill time. I'd never known Youngstown in its heyday, and the exhibits there gave me a better understanding of what once was and is gone. The building by Michael Graves is impressive in its own right.

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Impressive thread.

 

In the early 1960s I drove from Wheeling through some of the Ohio River towns (Steubenville, East Liverpool ...) and past Youngstown on a meandering trip to Delaware. Everywhere I went, trains of ore jennies and coal hoppers were moving. The air was rank and everthing seemed to be tinged with red-brown dust, but there was energy and activity and there were jobs. I was near East Liverpool on a Friday night, and there was a high school football game. From the traffic and commotion, you'd have thought it was a bowl game.

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I have a book about Youngstown called "A Heritage to Share" by Howard C. Aley, dated from 1975. It's hardcover, and almost as thick as the Cleveland-area phone book. It's a chronology and, although it doesn't document the rapid decline of the city that was less than 10 years away, the warning signs are in the book.

 

One of the most interesting parts of the book is a citing of a report on the future of the city, by James M. Trutko, coordinator of the Northern Ohio Urban System. The report is optimistic but cautionary about the city's future, predicting that metro population will continue to increase to at least year 2000, to 622,327 at the low end, to 850,097 at the high end. Here's a couple of excerpts....

 

"The NOUS Report cites the presence of a labor force skilled in steelmaking, frabricating and other industrial occupations, as one of Youngstown's greatest assets."

 

"The Report holds that what is done within the next 5-10 years to revitalize and renovate Youngstown's steel industry, which in 1969 directly or indirectly employed nearly 37,000 of the manufacturing labor force of 81,000 workers in the Mahoning-Trumbull County division ... will largely determine the city's future. At the same, it contends, 'The revitalization of the steel industry alone will insure Youngstown's survival as an urban center, but further action is needed to spur additional growth'."

 

"The NOUS Report cites the fundamental changes that have occurred over the past 15 years in the basic steel industry which have challenged the role of local production facilities which since 1880 had gained the area world-wide recognition for steel and steel products manufacture. These changes, many of them basically technological ... have required agonizing corporate decisions as reevaluations of the steel market, supply sources, and transportation facilities had by the late sixties combined to 'paint a bleak picture for Youngstown'. ...Essentially, the concern as set forth in the report is not for the short-term, because Youngstown's position competitively is at present supported by the reasonably strong demand and shortage of capacity characteristic of the industry. It is in the years ahead that the test will come and must be, the Report points out, reminding that the next decade will be critical."

 

It sure was.

 

KJP


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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This is a really good thread.

 

I have to agree with mrnyc about that Springsteen song...it does "hit me like a sucker punch" too.

 

It, and alot of that "Ghost of Tom Joad" album, was based on a book by a Sacramento Bee (the daily newspaper in Sacramento) reporter and photographer Journey to Nowhere, from the early 1980s, about how their contacts in the drifter/hobo community was telling them about a new sort of person on the road ending up in Sacto.  They followed these down -and-outers back to Youngstown....thats where the book begins, with a photo essay on Youngstown, the neighborhoods and dead mills.  And follows out-of-work people as they drift from the Mahoning Valley to California, the new "Tom Joads" so to speak.

 

Other good books on Youngstown:

 

Shutdown at Youngstown, Buss & Redburn.

 

 

Steelworker Alley, How Class Works at Youngstown

 

...the above two I read.  The first one is more about the first big wave of shutdowns and was written in 1982, so is more immediate.  The other book is from the 1990s, and is more historical and sociological, including a discussion of the "Little Steel" strike of the 1930s.

 

Steeltown USA: Work & Memory at Youngstown, Linkon & Russo.

 

This is a new one, and looks to be pretty good.  From the amazon blurb:

Focusing on stories and images that both reflect and perpetuate how Youngstown understands itself as a community, Sherry Lee Linkon and John Russo have forged a historical and cultural study of the relationship between community, memory, work, and conflict. Drawing on written texts, visual images, sculptures, films, songs, and interviews with people who have lived and worked in Youngstown, the authors show the importance of memory in forming the collective identity of a place.

 

I have been to Youngstown, making a special trip to see the place having heard so much about it (I was in college when the first big shutdown hit and one of my proffessors went to Youngstown to work on some community activitism to re-start a mill).  I did see that museum downtown, which is worth a visit for anyone here interested in the history of the steel industry and steel-making technology.  The museum also discusses the people who worked in the mills, too, so its not strictly focused on the buisness end.

 

Just a real interesting and informative place. 

 

Youngstown wasn't as dead as I expected.  There are some nice suburban areas to to the south, and also a nice park along a creek valley.  The  residential area north of YSU didnt look too bad either. 

 

But you can also see alot of abandonment and demolished neighborhoods closer to the valley proper, where the mills used to be.  And downtown was pretty vacant at street level, which probably had to do with suburbanization prior to the mills shutting down (same story as everywhere else).

 

 

 

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Ooh...the library has this one.  I just placed a hold.

Thanks for the tip.

 

Your welcome!

 

I checked the WSU library and they had it too.  I checked it out yesterday and am reading it now.  Pretty informative, tho the author does have sort of a "left" POV.

 

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Steeltown USA: Work & Memory at Youngstown, Linkon & Russo.

 

I just finished reading this one and it was quite an interesting book.  I'll include one of my favorite passages that I scanned because it cracked me up and I didn't want to forget it (pp. 43-44):

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Like almost everything about mid 20th century urban planning, that is absolutely heartbreaking to read.

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Mid-20th century urban planning? That policy was only begun in the mid-20th century; it remains institutionalized today. It's still the MO, especially for backward states like Ohio.

 

KJP


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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At the state level, yes.  And that still does depress me (seriously).  But back then, even the central city's municipal governments did anything they could to destroy the old neighborhoods in the guise of urban renewal, blight clearance, highway expansion, etc.  While even today not everyone in Ohio's city governments is exactly, or even remotely, progressive, I think that Ohio's big cities have turned a philosphical corner in realizing the need to trade on and enhance the positive aspects of urbanity to become more competitive for residents and businesses.  That gives me some hope.

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True, but they gotta get themselves elected to state offices to get those undermining policiies reversed (or, for that matter, to get the governor and general assembly to stop stealing my tax dollars by them just sitting on their asses).

 

KJP


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Hey guys!!! Another really good book about Youngstown is “These past hundred Years.”  It is an awesome book.  Also C-dawg I am from Y-town and you would be surprised at how many of my fellow classmates went to OU.  My older brother graduated from OU.  I am a local product, YSU and went to KSU for graduate school.

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Yeah, Youngstown is probably the most ghettofied city of its size in America (about 90,000). It's right up there with Flint, Gary and East St. Louis. What's amazing is that Youngstown's metro is pretty damn big for a city like itself. There's like 600,000 people. For comparison, Toledo has about 800,000 (650,000 with just Ohio) and Akron is probably pretty close to 600,000 (I'm not sure since it's really Cleveland's biggest suburb). I've only actuallly known one person from Y-Town in my life. It was my Psych. teacher in high school, and she looked like she was from the 80's. She said Youngstown was a smaller version of Toledo. She had just graduated from Youngstown State and said that was a huge accomplishment for someone from her hood. I'm guessing there aren't many educated folks in Youngstown. I have never met anyone from Youngstown at OU. I always meet people from the other 6 big metros in Ohio and tons of Pittsburghians, but not a SINGLE Youngstownian. That doesn't make sense to me considering how big the metro is.

 

I agree that the city is probably screwed. It has not had any investment like the big 6 in Ohio or even other cities like itself. Even Gary is having a small renaissance. That surely cannot be said about Youngstown. The downtown looks like it's from 1930. There aren't any skyscrapers over 300 feet and a there's a dearth of modern architecture. The city would be the perfect place to do a prohibition gangsta movie. Younsgtown as a whole is more gritty than the big cities in Ohio, even the most industrialized ones. Sure, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo have their bombed out areas, but they still have maintained at least one or two nice areas in the central city (Actually, in Nati's case, a lot of nice areas). Youngstown has always felt like Northeast Ohio's version of Lima to me. It's just so old and so forgotten.

:mrgreen:Im from Youngstown, for someone that never been here why are you HATING.........Youngstown has come a long way,our downtown is over 40% BRAND NEW.......182 million dollars of worth of new schools........42million dollar CONVOCATION CENTER...3000 jobs added in the city limits in the last 10 years........The OU SOONERS Head  COACH IS FROM YTOWN, ASU HEAD COACH MIKE STOOPS FROM YTOWN,49ers owners born and raised in the city live in a suburb of Ytown,Carmen Policy past president of The 49ers and The Browns born and rasied, Ed O'neil Actor of Married with children was born and raised in YTOWN,OHIO STATE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH here for 15 years won 4 National CHAMPIONSHIPS,An 64 million Dollar Highway project to connect Youngstown and two of it's suburbs to interstate 80.......homeboy Youngstowners got Heart Strong people :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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I see you mention him, but you forgot to add his name in their!!! JIM Tressel!  GO Penguins :mrgreen:

 

For all of you football fans....THis is extermely important!! :mrgreen:

 

   

Penalty Flags’ Roots Grew In Youngstown More Than 60 Years Ago

 

     In the game of football, a penalty flag is thrown when a rules infraction occurs during a game. The creation of that penalty flag was in Youngstown, Ohio 60 years ago this season.

     It was created by former Youngstown State University coach, Dwight Dike Beede on Oct. 17, 1941. The flag was first used in a game against Oklahoma City University at the Youngstown’s Rayen Stadium. Today the penalty flag is used in every competitive football game throughout the world.

     Before the introduction of the penalty flag, the officials used horns and whistles to signal a penalty. This made it difficult for fans and the media to know that there was an infraction on the field because they could not hear the signal.

     Beede said, "I always disliked the fish horn signal, figured it was a nuisance, irritating to the ears."

     Jack McPhee, who was an official during the first game the penalty flag was used said, "Through the use of the signal flag, everyone in the stadium knows that something is wrong. It’s been a big help."

     Beede came up with idea of the flag and had his wife sew it together. His wife, Irma Beede, later became known as the ‘Betsy Ross of Football’ because she sewed the first flags together. He asked her to make a flag that had a bright color (red) with white stripes. The flags were put together using pieces of the Beede’s daughter’s old Halloween costume for the red part of the flag and an old sheet for the white part. She used some lead sinkers from Beede’s fishing tackle box to weigh it down. It was 16 inches square with the weight all at one end of the flag. The flag has been modified over the years and today it is yellow cloth that has sand in it to weigh it down.

     Beede came to an agreement with Oklahoma City Coach Os Doenges to use the flags as an experiment. Beede proceeded to ask the game officials to use the flag.

     "Do me a favor boys, instead of using the horns, try dropping these flags on violations. The fans never hear the horns. Besides its just an experiment."

     The four game officials Hugh McPhee, Jack McPhee, Bill Renner, and Carl Rebele all agreed to use the flag.

     Jack McPhee later used the flag at the Ohio State-Iowa game which happened to have the league’s commissioner, Major John Griffith, as a spectator at the game. He became very curious why the officials were throwing "rags" in the air when a penalty was called. Griffith was impressed with the idea after McPhee explained what was going on after the game.

     The flag was officially introduced at the 1948 American Football Coaches rules session.

     McPhee carried the original flag for many contests including games of Princeton-Yale and various Ohio State games until it faded. He made his way to the Rose Bowl, where the flag was tossed in front of 100,000 fans.

     Two of the original flags are on display in Mosure Hall on the fourth level in Stambaugh Stadium. THis is from YSU.edu site

 

 

     

 

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"Youngstown has come a long way,our downtown is over 40% BRAND NEW..."

Can we have a source for that statistic?

 

"182 million dollars of worth of new schools........42million dollar CONVOCATION CENTER..."

Those are good things, that's for sure.

 

"3000 jobs added in the city limits in the last 10 years..."

300 jobs a year for a city with a population of 80K? Sure it's a start but umm...

 

"The OU SOONERS Head  COACH IS FROM YTOWN"

So?

 

"ASU HEAD COACH MIKE STOOPS FROM YTOWN"

So?

 

"49ers owners born and raised in the city live in a suburb of Ytown"

Well, they have one of several homes in a suburb of Ytown.

 

"Carmen Policy past president of The 49ers and The Browns born and rasied"

And what's he done for us lately?

 

"Ed O'neil Actor of Married with children was born and raised in YTOWN"

Loved the show - but how does that make Ytown a better place?

 

"OHIO STATE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH here for 15 years won 4 National CHAMPIONSHIPS"

Good for OSU - but how does that help Ytown now?

 

Before you take my comments too seriously -1. I'm really just busting your chops, and 2. I love Youngstown, despite the problems.

 

The thing is - while it's great that some well-known people have come from Youngstown, that alone doesn't make the city a better place. Now, what I like about Youngstown:

 

butler.jpg

 

John_Singer_Sargent.jpg

 

vonnoh.gif

 

mettowerytown2.jpg

 

millcreek3.jpg

 

fellows3.jpg

 

fellows7.jpg

 

millcreek1.jpg

 

millcreek10.jpg

 

And if I had photos - I'd add the old Wyld Stylz store on Market, the Crystal Room at the Wick-Pollock Inn, and a Februarys or Boogieman Smash show at Cedars.

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"Youngstown has come a long way,our downtown is over 40% BRAND NEW..."

Can we have a source for that statistic?

 

"182 million dollars of worth of new schools........42million dollar CONVOCATION CENTER..."

Those are good things, that's for sure.

 

"3000 jobs added in the city limits in the last 10 years..."

300 jobs a year for a city with a population of 80K? Sure it's a start but umm...

 

"The OU SOONERS Head  COACH IS FROM YTOWN"

So?

 

"ASU HEAD COACH MIKE STOOPS FROM YTOWN"

So?

 

"49ers owners born and raised in the city live in a suburb of Ytown"

Well, they have one of several homes in a suburb of Ytown.

 

"Carmen Policy past president of The 49ers and The Browns born and rasied"

And what's he done for us lately?

 

"Ed O'neil Actor of Married with children was born and raised in YTOWN"

Loved the show - but how does that make Ytown a better place?

 

"OHIO STATE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH here for 15 years won 4 National CHAMPIONSHIPS"

Good for OSU - but how does that help Ytown now?

 

Before you take my comments too seriously -1. I'm really just busting your chops, and 2. I love Youngstown, despite the problems.

 

The thing is - while it's great that some well-known people have come from Youngstown, that alone doesn't make the city a better place. Now, what I like about Youngstown:

 

butler.jpg

 

John_Singer_Sargent.jpg

 

vonnoh.gif

 

mettowerytown2.jpg

 

millcreek3.jpg

 

fellows3.jpg

 

fellows7.jpg

 

millcreek1.jpg

 

millcreek10.jpg

 

And if I had photos - I'd add the old Wyld Stylz store on Market, the Crystal Room at the Wick-Pollock Inn, and a Februarys or Boogieman Smash show at Cedars.

Your so right I know what you're saying.......That guy was ripping Ytown I had to setup... LOL!......I was just on this site to look only......Im getting alot from this site so I decided to stay......You guys are alittle out of my league but I can hang..........keep doing what you doing this in one of the best sites yet

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A great site on ruins/grit/blight in Detroit:

 

www.detroityes.com

 

Great pictures, thoughtful commentary on all aspects of decay in Detroit.

 

Caution: I belong to that forum also -- the members are not nearly as polite as you guys!

 

Youngstown sounds like my kind of town -- I love Flint, Lansing, Saginaw, Toledo, Scranton, Oakland, and other smaller cities with serious issues.

 

My cousins were from Youngstown, and they thought it was the greatest place on earth (1960s).

 

Crime is nothing new. My family lore includes stories of a relative who kept a brothel in Youngstown in the 20s.

A lower charge was assessed if you only wanted to view through a peephole...

 

We're all related to royalty and horse thieves!

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This is a really good thread.

 

I have to agree with mrnyc about that Springsteen song...it does "hit me like a sucker punch" too.

 

It, and alot of that "Ghost of Tom Joad" album, was based on a book by a Sacramento Bee (the daily newspaper in Sacramento) reporter and photographer Journey to Nowhere, from the early 1980s, about how their contacts in the drifter/hobo community was telling them about a new sort of person on the road ending up in Sacto. They followed these down -and-outers back to Youngstown....thats where the book begins, with a photo essay on Youngstown, the neighborhoods and dead mills. And follows out-of-work people as they drift from the Mahoning Valley to California, the new "Tom Joads" so to speak.

 

 

Great recommendation - I found this book at the library - it's a quick read, but very powerful. I checked out the Springsteen album too - combine them and it's a real one-two punch *choke*

 

It illustrates the human costs of the social Darwinism that has become so popluar among forums like this, especially with regards to the manufacturing sector. A lot of people seem to think that factory work involves no more than uneducated people turning wrenches. While there are some jobs like that, the fact is that there are many more jobs that require high levels of expertise and skill. There are metallurgists, electricians, fabricators, machinists, mechanics, chemists, and yes, computer programmers. There are a lot of jobs that require a certain amount of familiarity with any combination of these, although those people may not be considered "specialists" in any particular one.

 

The attitude seems to be that  those who were dislocated by the manufacturing downturn somehow deserved their fate because they were unable to see into the future. Of course the irony now is that we are starting to see some of those same "new economy" jobs shipped overseas as well, with the new chant being biotech or whatever.

The notion of an "idea & information-driven" economy is great and must be pursued with appropriate vigor. But we have to remember that there will always be a need for people who can turn those ideas into the physical reality. Society will always need "stuff" so we will always need people to manufacture said "stuff"

 

A good example is the current situation in Iraq and the issue over the lack of spare parts & armor. We are being told that this problem is because production capacity for such items has been maxed out - an absolutely ridiculous situation, if it is to be believed. Presumably this shortfall could be dealt with by converting some civilian pruduction, as was done in WWII. But then again, we are not fighting WWII. We are fighting a small group of "insurgents." If this conflict has taxed our production capacity for military equpiment to the point of crisis, then we have some serious problems. I personally suspect that the true reason is logistics and poor planning, but the fact that a US administration can cite limited production capacity and not be laughed off the podium is telling.

 

I've drifted a bit off-topic here, but I won't start a new thread unless discussion carries on a bit further.  :speech:

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Of course, we also have to consider how long a "creativity and innovation" based economy can continue to thrive if it is divorced from the processes of actual production and implementation.  Necessity is the mother of invention, without exposure to which our designers and managers won't know what to invent, or how to make it reality.

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CenterStreetBridge1987-1.jpg

 

In the late 1970s, I drove across the bridge at night in winter. It was like passing through a corridor of hell, as steam blew across the bridge deck and flames shot from excess gases into the sky from the adjacent mills.

 

Wow, some cool old pics. This describes exactly how it was back then.

 

In the day light hours, about the middle of the bridge (as seen above) on the Campbell side my brother and I would watch what looked like lava (molten steel) being produced. I think it was called an "Open Hearth Furnace." We would ride our bikes down there and sit for hours watching. At night, the sky was red for miles around and trains wistled all hours of the night.

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I'm glad this thread was brought back to life, seeing it for the first time, very well done.

 

It's sad to see all that was lost in Youngstown. Today the air is clean and fish can live in the Mahoning River. The industry is long gone, but so is the wealth and prosperity that came with it.

 

Basically a catch 22.

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Thanks. I have some other pictures in books of Youngstown, but since my scanner is on the fritz, they'll have to wait.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I spent a few days in Youngstown this past week and drove by some of the former steelyards, here is an update (twenty years after KGP’s photos):

 

The Center Street Bridge has been replaced with this new $%#@ bridge. This was the site of the former Youngstown Sheet & Tube Campbell Works & Republic Steel:

 

1.jpg

 

This is a remaining section that I think was part of the former Republic Steel. Near the new Center Street Bridge looking west:

 

3.jpg

 

4.jpg

 

Over to the north side to the Brier Hill area, site of the former Sheet & Tube Brier Hill Works. What was left of the old neighborhood has been further segregated in the past 10 years when the 711 connector was expanded to I-80.

 

A remaining piece of heritage in this old Italian neighborhood:

 

5.jpg

 

View of the site of the former Brier Hill Works, east of the new Division Street Bridge (711) taken from the hill:

 

6.jpg

 

This might be the only remaining mill in Youngstown? Photo was taken from the hill looking west of the Division Street Bridge.

 

7.jpg

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Ohhh Youngstown Steel & Tube where my dad used to work lol

 

And my grandparents lived by that Italian neighborhood im assuming that's the northeast side??? right!

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What a great thread. I grew up in Austintown (suburb of Y-town), and did 5 years at YSU. It's such a shame how this city has went down hill. Their trying to revitalize it, but their beating a dead horse. At YSU I took a photography class and went scouting around the city. Here are some of my pics (taken in 2003).

 

All of these images are of Republic Rubber located 5 min from YSU.

 

 

Picture2.png

 

Picture3.png

 

Picture4.png

 

DSC00991.jpg

 

Mill1.jpg

 

Mill5.jpg

 

BATHROOM.jpg

 

redchair.jpg

 

DSC00992.jpg

 

OUTSIDE.jpg

 

Mill7.jpg

 

CRAIN.jpg

 

PEEKS.jpg

 

machine.jpg

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Tremendous photos, guys. Thanks for the updates and additions. At the rate those factories and buildings are rotting away and getting reclaimed by nature, fewer and fewer people will be able to comprehend Youngstown's stature as a global industrial powerhouse. In fact, young people today probably can't picture how energetic, active and dynamic Youngstown was.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Wow, nice photos regectedmemories.com. Youngstown's fate is very sad. All my friends & family that stayed in Ohio either moved to Cleveland or Columbus. The rest, including myself (via Cleveland) moved out of state.

 

You can't even stand on a public street and take a photo without someone thinking you are up to no good (long story).

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Wow it is sad

 

every time my parents talk about Youngstown I hear nothing but good things.

 

Up until pretty much the mid/late 70's youngstown was energetic a blue collar mid size city that from what I hear is nothing like it is today

 

There are still some nice areas the extreme south side, Mill Creek Park area, extreme north side, Downtown isn't all that bad, and the west side by Chaney High school isn't that bad either.

 

O ya here's some did you know about Youngstown...

 

Ron Jaworski the ESPN analyst and NFL player is from Youngstown and went to Chaney High School

 

Bobby Stoops (Oklahoma Univ.) and Mike Stoops (Arizone Univ.) are the head football coaches for these Div. I programs and went to Cardinal Mooney high and lived on the cities south side in the 60's.

 

Matt Cabana a Pittsburgh Univ. assistant football coach also went to Chaney high school and lived on the city's west side.

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