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Youngstown: Historic Photos

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Nice shots of downtown Youngstown before the demolitions, all set to the music of Billy Preston! Enjoy......

 


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

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I was going to post something to the effect of "Youngstown's best parking lots" but decided against it (yep, sometimes I'm actually worried about coming across as too much of a smart ass!). Then again they maybe were trying to take pics of cars? Who knows.......

 

BTW, I'm looking for photos of Youngstown in the 1970s. I'm developing a concept for a photo thread with music....


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

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Wow... I would have loved to see the Youngstown of pre 1960s... All I know of Youngstown is blight and crime, and the few nice areas around 5th Street.

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Here is another video with more recognizable places, also from the early 60's.

 

Downtown lost a lot of density. (especially east of Market St./Wick Ave.)  But, I'm not as impressed with the 1960's downtown Youngstown as I am with the 1910's-1940's downtown Youngstown that I've seen in pictures elsewhere.

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Wow.


"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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Nice video, JRC. Good music, too.


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

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And a book...

 


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

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Progress Report on new downtown hotel.

 

It is full steam ahead in converting the Stambaugh Building into a hotel.

 

Most people don't know it, but this new hotel will be the second hotel to occupy this site. Back in the 1899's the Park Hotel was located here and it was demolished to build the Stambaugh Building.

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If you looking for historic photos of Youngstown, you should also check out: http://www.metromonthly.net/ (that's where the first videos in this thread came from)

 

A couple of my favorites include: a shot of station #7, at the corner of Madison and Elm, before a fire (ironically) destroyed the attic, and a semi-aerial shot of what is now the YSU campus.  The photo showed Jones Hall surrounded by homes.

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The Voyager Motor Inn was a seedy 1950's/1960's hotel that closed in 1974. This is the only known photo of this hotel that I have found.

 

Found another image (below). It's an artist's rendering when the motel was proposed for construction in the early 1960s. Turns out the Voyager Motor Inn was completed in 1963 at 129 Market Street (now the site of the Thomas Ambros Federal Building & US Courthouse), just south of Central Square. When it closed in 1974, it was the last downtown motel/hotel until the Doubletree opens in the Stambaugh Building.

 

 


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

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While saving the above picture in my Youngtown history folder, I came across a photo that will probably be of interest here. It's an aerial photo of 1950s downtown Youngstown, looking westward. The photo was intended to show the various railroad lines through downtown, including passenger stations and railroad freight terminals. Here is the color coding:

 

Blue - New York Central RR [still active]

Yellow - Erie RR [abandoned 1982]

Red - Pennsylvania RR [partially active]

Light blue - Baltimore & Ohio RR [still active]

Green - Lake Erie & Eastern RR (subsidiary of Pittsburgh & Lake Erie RR) [abandoned 1993]

Tan - Youngstown Belt RR [abandoned east of the West River Crossing, date unknown]

Light green - Republic Iron & Steel Co. (narrow-gauge -- note it tunneled under the PRR and I believe it went under the B&O too nearer to Center Street) [abandoned early 1980s]


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

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Very cool rendering KJP. Just a few blocks away my mom worked at McKelvey's department store before I was born. It later became Higbee's department store. I love those vintage vertical signs.

 

6663078445_a9339bce75_z.jpg

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I had no idea that it had been modernized.


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

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The Schofield Building in Cleveland. Youngstown take note. One can dream.

 

 

Too bad Congress is near to ending two of the most important tax credit financing tools that make such historic restorations possible.

 

The above photo looks north up Wick Avenue. This one looks East on Federal Street in pre-urban renewal days...

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

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05132018-A1-HOTELS.jpg

 

I tried to book a room for next month but it is all sold out.  :(

 

http://www.vindy.com/news/2018/may/13/youngstown-history-hotels/

 

Youngstown: A History of Hotels

 

YOUNGSTOWN

 

A city directory from 1918 lists 17 hotels downtown – and that’s just the hotels that paid for the listing.

 

A century later and the city is now awaiting the arrival of its first hotel since the 1970s with the opening of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel later on Tuesday.

 

“I don’t think we can imagine how dynamic and exciting” that downtown was, said Bill Lawson, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

 

Downtown Youngstown was the place to be for a lot of reasons, and it had multiple train stations that brought in people from all over the country.

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West Federal Street in the early 1970s

FB_IMG_1564706426132.jpg

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

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On 8/1/2019 at 8:42 PM, KJP said:

West Federal Street in the early 1970s

FB_IMG_1564706426132.jpg

Awesome! I've never seen this photo before. In fact I feel like there's a lack of old color photos like this from Downtown during the 70s. It's cool to see how vibrant it looked even though Downtown was technically already declining by that time.

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Aerial view of Downtown in 1928:

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First National Bank Building in the early 1960s (I think):
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The old G.C. Murphey on the corner of Market & Indianola in Uptown in the 40s. This one is sadly on the brink of demolition today:

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^It is hard to imagine Uptown thriving like that, with the condition of the south side today. I suppose that was the largest neighborhood business district? 

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10 hours ago, ink said:

^It is hard to imagine Uptown thriving like that, with the condition of the south side today. I suppose that was the largest neighborhood business district? 

I totally agree. I've been trying to research a lot on the neighborhood recently. I went to high school right by that neighborhood for four years and I could never believe that the area was a huge entertainment district once because today it's almost entirely vacant. It was without doubt the largest neighborhood business district in Youngstown. It thrived from the 30s - 70s and had lots of department stores and popular restaurants. It's also the site of the famous "Youngstown tune up" which was a mob hit in the parking lot of Cicero's (a restaurant owned by Cleveland mob) which is right across the street from Colonial House (owned by the rival Pittsburgh mob). The second of which, the building is still standing today. 

 

 

However, the neighborhood always had a 'seedy' vibe to it. Think of it as Youngstown's version of Pittsburgh's Carson Street. It was a bizarre mix of bars, strip clubs,  national chain retail stores, and some of the city's most exclusive restaurants. The Uptown Theater in particular was a popular neighborhood theater that still stands but obviously is very endangered. The neighborhood probably peaked culture wise in the 60s and early 70s. Mickey's Bar for example was a huge mainstay and hosted lots of 60s & 70s Ohio rock bands such as The Raspberries and the Human Beinz. There's a video of Uptown in the 70s on Youtube, I'll try to post it here soon. The neighborhood declined hard in the late 70s (as did the whole city) after a big upshoot in crime. However the neighborhood's entertainment district never died, it just got seedier really. In the mid 90's there was a spark of life that came back when a theater company bought the Uptown Theater and many restaurants came back in. Sadly though, the owner's vision of turning it into Youngstown's version of Highland Square or Coventry Village never panned out and the neighborhood is all but dead today.

Edited by Dblcut3

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Here's a glimpse into late 1970s Uptown. This is an old news report that goes over how the city was cleaning up and revitalizing the Uptown area; as we all know, these efforts were clearly very successful.... 😁:

 

 

Edited by Dblcut3

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Here's a video that came up in my youtube recs, it has some solid downtown scenes in the beginning: 

 

 

I'm about halfway through, I'm sure there'll be other city shots. It's so sharp it looks almost fake.

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It's one of my favorite Youngstown videos. Another is where chamber of commerce members take a tour of the valley's robust, city-sized steel mills by passenger train in about 1960, IIRC. 

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

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1 hour ago, KJP said:

It's one of my favorite Youngstown videos. Another is where chamber of commerce members take a tour of the valley's robust, city-sized steel mills by passenger train in about 1960, IIRC. 

If you're able to find a link I'd love to see it, assuming it isn't easily google-able

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35 minutes ago, GISguy said:

If you're able to find a link I'd love to see it, assuming it isn't easily google-able

 

Found it. Just an amazing video if you're familiar with the area, its industries, and its history....

 

 

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

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1960s - The corner of Market & Indianola, the center of Youngstown's "Uptown" district:

bTc6REq.png

 

Here is the same corner today. The buildings are all still there (but the Gray Drug store building is set to be demolished I believe) however, there was certainly much more life in them back then! 

Edited by Dblcut3

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Uptown Theater, 1926:

Here's the Uptown Theater before it received its renovations to make it more mid-century modern looking. The building to the right still exists but again, received a rather horrific renovation. The larger building next to that (I believe it's called the Hess Block) was unfortunately burnt down back in fall of 2015 - it's a shame because it was one of the nicer old commercial buildings on the block. It also looked very similar to how it originally did - but as you can see in the present photo, it's just a piece of grass now. The only building to exist now that didn't then is the small one story building to the left of the theater.

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TODAY:

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I've read that the original facade on the Uptown Theater is still there, behind that screen.

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15 hours ago, JRC said:

I've read that the original facade on the Uptown Theater is still there, behind that screen.

What a cool restoration project that would be, to bring back that old facade! I'm sure it's not quite like the original look though. And it would feel weird removing the 'modern' facade that the theater is known for. I really just hope someone saves it before it burns down or something. I envision it being a small "boutique theater" similar to Akron's Highland Theater or something that could show indie movies, older movies, and some new movies. Maybe even include a restaurant or something in it or a coffee shop in the old bar next door. Obviously that's a total pipe dream given the neighborhood. Hell, the best hope is probably seeing it get turned into a Boost Mobile or some crap 😁

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9 hours ago, Dblcut3 said:

What a cool restoration project that would be, to bring back that old facade! I'm sure it's not quite like the original look though. And it would feel weird removing the 'modern' facade that the theater is known for. I really just hope someone saves it before it burns down or something. I envision it being a small "boutique theater" similar to Akron's Highland Theater or something that could show indie movies, older movies, and some new movies. Maybe even include a restaurant or something in it or a coffee shop in the old bar next door. Obviously that's a total pipe dream given the neighborhood. Hell, the best hope is probably seeing it get turned into a Boost Mobile or some crap 😁

Well, last I heard, the Foster is still in operation, so that's another option...

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Vacant Downtown Youngstown, 1990s:

I came across these pictures of West Federal Street in the 90s (maybe early 2000s) and it's amazing how terrible the area looked back then compared to now. So much progress has been made since then!

 

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The Wells Building (farthest left) has been renovated into luxury apartments and offices, the building next to it is gone, the State Theater is only a facade, the 2 buildings next to it (Davis Building & Draught House Building) has been totally renovated and had their original facades restored instead of that ugly metal stuff - you can see what I mean in the present day picture at the bottom of this post.

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Here's the alley behind West Federal Street:

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The only buildings remaining in this picture is the one on the far right (which is now beautifully restored and possibly the oldest remaining Downtown building) and the black one on the far left which is now vacant and recently painted white. The Kress Building on the left is gone, torn down in the early 2010s I believe. It caused a lot of controversy from preservationists, but it was just too far gone. The buildings to the right of that have all been torn down and is now the location of a new building housing the Seventh District Court of Appeals:

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Say what you want about urban renewals of that era, but Downtown sure has improved a lot ever since they tore down some of those buildings and replaced them with newer ones. Though I would have loved them to save more historic buildings, it just wasnt economically feasible at the time, and it could've still been much worse. Crazy to see how much progress Downtown has had.... no wonder no one in Youngstown ever went Downtown! What's funny is I've heard people that grew up in the area in this era that claim they had never even been to Downtown for the first couple decades of their lives, and I totally see why no one went here. 

 

 

BEFORE:

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PRESENT DAY:

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BEFORE:

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PRESENT DAY:

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Edited by Dblcut3

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The loss of the Kress Building was a huge blow. The CIC should have kept a roof on it during their 20 years of ownership.

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2 hours ago, ink said:

The loss of the Kress Building was a huge blow. The CIC should have kept a roof on it during their 20 years of ownership.

Agreed. Out of all the buildings lost Downtown recently, that was arguably the one I think shouldve been saved the most.

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