Friday, September 08, 2006

mp3 walking tour of downtown

My brother told me about these mp3 walking tours that Rick Steves puts on his travel website for Paris. The concept works like this: you go to his webpage and download the free audio files which you can then upload to your mp3 player or iPod. The topics (on Steves' site) include the Louvre Museum, the Orsay Museum, Versailles, and a walk around the historic parts of Paris. You can access the site here.

Then, as you listen to the audio tour at your leisure, you learn historical and architectural facts as you walk around the area.

Something Youngstown needs at some point in the near future is a highly visible touist information point to get information about local attractions and maps in the downtown to guide visitors.

But until this happens, maybe we can create our own walking tour with the assitance of local historians, architects, and community websites that can be downloaded by the public for free.

Imagine, a person goes to a local website like and downloads (1) a collection of audio files which describes places with significant historical or architectural revelance downtown and (2) a map of downtown Youngstown with all the attractions labeled and numbered, which corresponds to separate audio files.

Imagine walking through Youngstown learning about the Man on the Monument pictured below, and how it is not the original statue put up after the Civil War.

Imagine learning about the Warner Theatre and the history of the Warner Brothers in Youngstown as you walk throught the DeYor Performing Arts Center.

Imagine tourists walking down Wick Avenue, learning about the hidden architectural gems in the all of the churchs built over 100 years ago.

hmmm...can this idea become a reality?


Anonymous said...

Cleveland is doing it now! check out

Anonymous said...

Regarding the mp3 walking tours, there is a young architect in Cleveland that has a great program going for their downtown. Check it out at I think a sister project in Youngstown would be chock full of fun information. The Mahoning Valley Historical Society ran a very successful guided tour of downtown a few months ago and the AIA Ohio convention (held this weekend in Youngstown) will end on Saturday with a repeat performance for about 300 regional architects. An mp3 version of the same tour seems like a natural fit.

P.S.- The Chevy Center surprised the hell out of me when it drew hundreds and hundreds of people to an event yesterday. There wasn't a single open space in the parking lot and people were parking on the banks of the river. It was a sight to behold.

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago I found something similar on Youngstown's cultural side. I found that Cedars Lounge had been giving .mp3 clips of upcoming artists on their webpage.

The format is well done, but the latest post was in April 2006. Keep up the good work.

alwaysyoungjan said...

I recall watching a local TV program a few years ago. Dr. Zona from Butler Art fame and another guest were discussing the buildings along Wick Avenue i.e. the public library buiding and the YSU library building. They were comparing and contrasting (as good university profs do). I still remember it so it must have be a worthwhile watch. I think it will work.