Dan Rivers

Dan Rivers

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My adopted Hometown, Youngstown


Youngstown my hometown

Take a drive down Wick Avenue from Federal Square. Go past the Doubletree hotel. The United States federal courthouse is on your right. As you proceed up from Wick you’ll see a newly built student housing center on the left called the enclave. Next is the Public library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, it’s getting a $10 million facelift.

Well there’s something new I just passed a Chipotle on the left, now I’m hungry. As you continue north you’ll see the building where we registered for classes at Youngstown State-the iconic Jones hall. Next is one of the first new buildings of the 80s the Maag library. That’s the library I discovered the love of writing research papers under the guidance of Professor Anita Gorman.

I am now passing the parking deck and the Stavitch family bridge leading to the parking deck. Yes there is another bridge other than the Vietnam Memorial Bridge on market and Wick.

This probably seems mundane but you need to make the drive and see what has been created since the steel mills closed. 

Coming up is the McDonough museum of art. Next is the United States first Museum of American Art the Butler. 

A beautiful church is a stones throw away from President Tressel‘s Youngstown state home. Now back to the left another beautiful church it’s next to the Arms family museum.

Have you given any thought as to what is in our town the list is endless. 

Now let’s hang a left we’ll take the westbound service lane and you’ll get a glimpse of the completely enclosed football field inside the Watts-Tressel physical education center. It is regularly the host for the horizon league indoor track and field competition. It allows YSU football teams to train indoors as well golf teams and gymnast.

Stambaugh Stadium is just across the way not to mention Cafaro house and Lyden house providing housing for athletes and more. Now go west on Madison and you’ll pass the Newman Center on your right. Hello Newman.

Don’t go too fast or you’ll miss the remarkable work being done on the entrance to Stambaugh Auditorium. This iconic building that has been the backdrop for countless photos is being redone.

Stepping on the gas as we go down fifth Avenue now you’ll see a newly created Boulevard complete with high-end lighting and benches to relax, If you care to gaze upward you can see the DeBartolo club high above the stadium.

Across the street you’ll see the student recreation center.

But before you get to that building, glance to your right and see the Covelli sports complex built for softball track and soccer.

As we pass the fifth Avenue parking deck you can see the University edge student housing center. 

Nearby is the Barnes and noble bookstore a complete store for YSU gear and books.

Now on down the street passing Smith Hall we see the University police department and the sheriffs department, you can never have enough men and women in blue.

The latest building that has just been dedicated is Kohli hall the excellence training center it will loom large in voltage Valley.

Kohli Hall houses Eastern Gateway community college and Youngstown State Universities excellent center. 

On your right you go past the Purple Cat, what a footprint they have made in this valley, they’re in the building once housed Twinkle Signs.

Dead ahead is the bus station on the left is the fire department headquarters, hello chief. 

On the right the Mr. peanut bridge leads directly to the refurbished B and O station. It seems under used lately.

We’re at the light now, time to take a left. On our right you will see the Mahoning Valley Tyler History Center ,newly remodeled with a large parking lot. 

Just across the street is Premier Banks flagship building. The Ford recital center is in view, great venue for a small concert. 

As you drive down tree line Federal Street you can’t help but notice the largest business incubator in the world taking up an entire city block. The Trees have grown also, now very mature.

Moving into the heart of the business district you’ll see the newly remodeled Wells building, the Voinovich building, the Draft House, O’Donnell’s, Ryes,Imbibe, V Squared, the Whistle and Keg and the old State theater plus the soon to be remodeled Silvers Vogue. Where will we shop for red shoes now?

Just across the street you’ll see the newest downtown restaurant West 34th. In the same block the Avalon Gardens and the banking headquarters for First National and PNC.

We’ve made a big block we’re now back at the Doubletree in Federal Square. As you leave town and are heading back to Boardman go past Eastern Gateway College, HM headquarters the former Youngstown club fully remodeled. On the left is the new headquarters for Penguin city beer-Placing a $3 million bet on beer.

As we wrap up our journey we remind you we didn’t include the Covelli center that has hosted EltonJohn, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Tim McGraw and Carrie underwood. 

We didn’t mention the Youngstown foundation amphitheater housing the Jackie Robinson shotgun Shoo bah tribute statue. We also missed the Steel Museum and the iconic Mahoning County Courthouse.

As you drive back to Boardman, you now realize Youngstown is much more than a few bars on Federal Street. The University has pushed their footprint so far that they are almost in the downtown area with the excellence training center.

If you haven’t gone downtown for a while you may be surprised, property is in demand. Housing is quickly snapped up once offered. If Youngstown State continues to expand and refurbish old buildings we will have a reborn town shortly. 

It was not that long ago when the Youngstown peace race was held downtown and all you could see we’re boarded store fronts. The Mayor apologized for the blight.

After all the construction the former Strauss building is still the wildcard. Youngstown should revisit the offer from Developer Mark Marvin. Marc is a local architect who has a tremendous track record involving property in the city of Warren. Other mayors that have had visions include John McNally Jay Williams George McKelvey.

Our current mayor Jamael Tito Brown oversaw the demolition of Wean United and the construction of the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater. A lot of the heavy lifting is done, and Youngstown now has curb appeal.

The wild card and possibly the icing on the cake is the potential of Lordstown motors and the purchase by Fox con. If this creates as many jobs as we hope it will their will be more population and that new group will need a place to recreate, thankfully Youngstown is prepared.

Dan Rivers


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