Wednesday, June 11, 2008

stambaugh building: week 1: wednesday update

The now windowless Stambaugh Building in downtown's central square was a topic of debate on talk radio (listen here and here) and various blogs throughout the day.

From the message boards:
"Replacing the old Park Hotel, the Stambaugh Building [1906] started out its life as Euwers Department Store, one of the first Ohio department stores to have an in store restaurant. After the department store moved further up West Federal Street, the building was converted into an office building. Later becoming the first corporate headquarters for the Youngstown Sheet and Tube and Standard Slag."
A beautiful photo album of LadyNews500's photos of the Stambaugh Building can be found here.

A good post on the history of the building from The Youngstown Steel Heritage Preservation blog:
The building was designed by Albert Kahn, one of Detroit’s most important architects. It was designed in the Neo-Classical Revival style.

From the building's construction in 1906 until vacated by Youngstown Sheet and Tube in 1964, this building bore witness to the growth of what was to become the Nation's third largest steelmaker.

Meanwhile, just a block away in a similar skyscraper off of Market Street bridge was the corporate office of Republic Steel Corporation, also one of the largest steel companies in the US.

Republic moved to Cleveland in 1935, but in those years when both Republic and YS&T were both located in Youngstown, the decisions made in those two buildings shaped a good part of the development of America's steel industry."

Thanks to Jim's tireless efforts through the CleveBurgh Diaspora blog:
"St. Louis and Buffalo can echo this tragedy. This story is a dime a dozen in the Postindustrial Heartland. What I am asking is that the like-minded come together to save one building in the center of Youngstown.

There are many other architectural wonders we can reclaim throughout our mega-region, but let's make the Stambaugh Building the first collaborative effort. Then, let us make the Stambaugh Building the center of the economic revitalization of the Rust Belt."
From the Reason blog at the Youngstown Vindicator's website:
"Imagine that you're Kelly Pavlik's trainer. In the big fight, between rounds, he's got a hangnail. What do you do to ensure his safety? You'd cut off his hand, right?

This is essentially the argument made by the Frangos Group in the removal of at least one hundred windows from the historic, century-old Stambaugh building, leaving it exposed to the elements."
From a story in today's Business Journal:
"The group released a letter this morning addressed to Mayor Jay Williams that recommends the city explore forming a task force composed of business leaders, citizens and city officials to study the creation of a landmark structure ordinance.

“We have a concern about all landmark properties, such as the Stambaugh Building, the Paramount Theater and the Kress Building,” said Ronald Faniro, an architect and member of the new group.

A landmark structure ordinance would identify those buildings deemed “landmark” and create a code of high maintenance and preservation standards, he explained."
And a great post by Brookeback Mountains at the Stage at the Oakland blog:
"As Youngstown enjoys the beginning of a rennaisance, we should be looking for potential businesses to occupy these building with businesses, restaurants, economy-generating ventures. Instead, the most beautiful buildings in town are owned by the same group, and all of them are merely for rent or occupied with a distant promise of future housing...and even then, they remain vacant and untouched for years with rumors floating and multiplying.

We don't need more rumors in Youngstown. We need facts and positive action.

[The Stambaugh Building] is also the site of Party on the Plaza, a flourishing event that draws huge crowds every weekend, showcases talented local musicians, and donates profit to local charities."

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