May 13, 2015: Metro Monthly Publisher to lead Downtown Landmarks Tour

Metro Monthly will commemorate National Preservation Month 2015 with an architectural walking tour of downtown Youngstown. It will occur at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13 in the downtown area. The tour will begin at the Civil War monument, located on Central Square.  

Mark C. Peyko, publisher and editor of Metro Monthly, will lead the free tour, which will cover the history and development of the central business district. The tour will include “Central Square Skyscrapers,” “The West Federal Commercial Streetscape” and  “Downtown Landmarks Perimeter Tour.”

Peyko has a master’s degree in historic preservation planning from Eastern Michigan University. His degree focused on architectural history, preservation planning and American settlement.

Peyko is also president of the Northside Citizens’ Coalition, which recently completed a successful diverstment of historic housing in the Wick Park Historic District north of Youngstown State University.

The architectural tour will be presented in memory of local musician and political activist Robert D. Fitzer, who died in 2007 after an extended illness. 

The Mahoning Valley will join thousands of individuals around the country this month as part of a nationwide celebration of National Preservation Month.

Since the National Trust for Historic Preservation created Preservation Week in 1971 to spotlight grassroots preservation efforts in America, it has grown into an annual celebration observed by small towns and big cities with events ranging from architectural and historic tours and award ceremonies, to fund-raising events, educational programs and heritage travel opportunities. Due to its overwhelming popularity, the National Trust in 2007 extended the celebration to the entire month of May and declared it Preservation Month to provide an even longer opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of this country’s cities and states and enable more Americans to become involved in the preservation movement. 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization that seeks to bring people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, sparks economic development and promotes environmental sustainability. 

With headquarters in Washington, D.C., nine regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving and preserving historic places.

For more information on the National Trust for Historic Preservation, visit

Landmarks tour in memory of Robert D. Fitzer1956-2007

Robert David Fitzer, an instructor of clarinet at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music, died on May 16, 2007 following an eight-month battle with pancreatic cancer.



Bob was born in Youngstown, Ohio on July 27, 1956 to James Robert Fitzer and Dolores Elvira (Severino) Fitzer, who were Dana School of Music faculty members.

Bob was widely known in Youngstown for his political and community activism. He was a Democrat, a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, and a Cleveland Indians fan.

He joined the faculty of the Dana School of Music in 1996 and was director of the Clarinet Studies program.

Bob began musical studies with pianist Gene Rush (Tennessee State University) and with pianist Harold Danko (Eastman School of Music) and began clarinet studies at age 10 with Carl Marks Jr.

He graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor of arts in performance. Bob undertook additional academic and performance training at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and at the International Festival-Institute in Round Top, Texas. He studied with Chicago Symphony Orchestra clarinetists Clark Brody and Larry Combs.

From 1987 to 1994 Bob was a feature writer and senior consultant for Speed of Sound magazine. He served as co-host and producer of the WYSU-FM political radio show “Commentary Café” from 1995 to 2001 and interviewed presidential historianDoris Kearns-Goodwin, political humorist Molly Ivins and United Nations ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

Aside from his work as a musician and educator, Fitzer was active in community and civic affairs. He was president of the Citizens’ League of Greater Youngstown; he was a Mahoning County Democratic Party Executive Committee member; and was a chairman of the Wick Park Model Neighborhood Project.

Bob loved Youngstown and its architecture. An advocate of historic preservation, he was involved in many efforts to preserve the city’s architectural history, particularly in the downtown area.

Memorial contributions in Bob Fitzer’s memory may be made to the Fitzer Family Scholarship Fund, c/o the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University.

© 2015 Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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