MVHS recognizes preservation efforts for Federal Building, Stambaugh organ, YWCA

• To view HOMEPLATE coverage of two of this year’s winners, see the videos below.

The Historic Preservation Committee of the MVHS Board of Directors is announcing the winners of the 2012 Historic Preservation Awards. These awards honor those in Mahoning and Trumbull counties who take an active role in preserving historic buildings, sites, and districts.

The winners will be honored at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s 137th annual meeting to be held from 5-7:30 p.m. on on Tuesday, June 19 at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center on West Federal Street in downtown Youngstown.

The Annual Meeting will be the first opportunity for Historical Society members to view the progress on the History Center’s renovations. New members are welcome to attend. Membership in the Historical Society is $30 for an individual, $50 for a family, and is good for one year.  Tickets for the Annual Meeting are $25 and are available to members only. Contact the Historical Society for information about becoming a member and attending the annual meeting. Call 330-743-2589 or visit

The categories and winners are as follows:

Commercial Revitalization Award

Federal Building – Designed by Daniel H. Burnham and built between 1898-1899, the four story building exhibits elements of both the Neo-Classical Revival and Commercial styles. Renovations included removal of non-historic walls, drop ceilings and paneling and the renovations of the Federal Street and several Phelps Street storefronts into a restaurant.  In the rest of the building, the terrazzo tile was cleaned and polished; original trims and corridor transoms were restored; replacement windows were installed in the original window profiles; the fire escape was wire-brushed and painted; In addition, the original neon “Federal Bldg.” sign was repaired and restored. The project was nominated by Bill Lawson.

Community Revitalization Awards

E.M. Skinner Organ at Stambaugh Auditorium – Installed in 1926 when Stambaugh Auditorium was built, the Grand E.M. Skinner Organ is one of the largest in the nation with four manuals, 67 stops, 58 ranks and 3,905 pipes.  The roof of the Auditorium leaked and the organ was badly damaged in its first year. The organ saw limited use until the full restoration in 2011 by A. Thompson-Allen Company of New Haven, Conn. Many American organs have been refurbished over the years and were changed significantly using different materials. However, this Grand Skinner was brought back to rich, brilliant life with exactly the same materials and equipment used 85 years ago. The project was nominated by Bill Conti.

Youngstown YWCA – The Youngstown YWCA has been an institution in Mahoning County since its construction in 1911. The building, located at 25 West Rayen Ave. in Youngstown, received a south addition in 1916 and a swimming pool addition in 1951. A master plan was developed in 2011 to reprogram the building into new living spaces, educational spaces, empowerment spaces, administrative offices and the historic restoration of the original main lobby, historic gym and all historic corridors. Exterior work consisted of the demolition of the 1951 pool and the creation of a new handicapped accessible west entrance, window replacement, masonry restoration and the replication of the missing cornice.  The project was nominated by BSHM Architects.

© 2012 The Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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