Thursday, October 04, 2007

on your mark, get set, rebuild!

As mentioned several months ago, this blog will be the official website chronicling the renovation of the Davis Building, located along Federal Street in downtown youngstown.

The continued progress of this project will show how it is indeed possible to save the historical buildings in our downtown and prepare them for future usage. In this case, this structure will be turned into commercial space on the ground floor, an architectural firm on the second, and a private residence on the third. All stories involving this building will be labeled with the "davis building" tag on blogger for future reference.

Here is a pretty old photo of the exterior. At one point, the building was only one story and then in 1899 the top two floors were added. This picture must have been taken before 1927, as the State Theater which now exists on the left of the Davis Building in present times is not visible.

It's neat to see the brick streets and the usage of the store for "hotel supplies".

At some point, the facade of the building was "modernized" with grey panels. This is similar to what's happened to the current national city bank downtown, which underneath has a red brick facade created by the important local african-american architect P. Ross Berry.

To attach the paneling, holes were drilled into the original brick and terra cotta which are currently visible. Here is a photo of what the building looked like a few weeks ago:

You can see some of the remaining grey paneling on the top of the building.

Awesome. Now let's go inside the building. Looking up through one of the holes between floors...

Here is a photo from the second floor looking out onto Federal Street. The view from every floor is the front of the historically beautiful McKelvey's department store poorly designed, cheap and monotone Children''s Services Building. So besides the big-box store feel emanating from the other side of the street, the view is pretty nice. Especially the tree-lined medians along West Federal.

Then leading out from the interior exit . . .

. . . you can see the exterior fire escape.

Tomorrow, we'll take our first look at the building with the scaffolding on the exterior as well as the masonry details, both old and new.

Check back often!


scott bakalar said...

When Mich and I were in Youngstown last month, I seem to remember tall scaffolding adorned the front of this building. 2 workers were busy doing something, although we didn't really spend much time watching them work.

I will be checking in often for updates. This is a beautiful old structure and it deserves to live again.

Tyler said...

Thanks! Can't wait to follow the progress from the inside.

Jim said...

It's interesting to see the old pics of the facade and I can't wait to see how it will look when completed. This is a great idea...we need to have more people buying these quality old buildings downtown and renovating them.