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Youngstown, Ohio
City
Youngstown2 036.jpg
Location of Youngstown in Mahoning County and state of Ohio
Location of Youngstown in Mahoning County and state of Ohio
Location of Ohio in the United States
Location of Ohio in the United States
Country United States
State Ohio
County Mahoning, Trumbull
Founded 1796
Incorporated 1848 (village)
1867 (city)
Area
 • City 34.2 sq mi (88.5 km2)
 • Land 33.9 sq mi (87.8 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.77 km2)
Elevation 850 ft (259 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 66,982
 • Estimate (2013) 65,184
 • Density 2,312.9/sq mi (893.0/km2)
 • Urban 387,550 (US: 97th)
 • Metro 555,506 (US: 97th)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 44501–44507, 44509-44515, 44555
Area code(s) 330
FIPS code 39-88000
GNIS feature ID 1058156
Website youngstownohio.gov

Youngstown is a city in and the county seat of Mahoning County in the U.S. state of Ohio, with small portions extending into Trumbull County. According to the 2010 Census, Youngstown had a city proper population of 66,982, while the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area it anchors contained 565,773 people in Mahoning & Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania.

Youngstown is located on the Mahoning River, approximately 65 miles (105 km) southeast of Cleveland and 61 miles (100 km) northwest of Pittsburgh. Despite having its own media market, Youngstown is often included in commercial and cultural depictions of both Northeast Ohio as well as the Pittsburgh Tri-State Area due to these proximities. Youngstown lies 10 miles (16 km) west of the Pennsylvania state line, midway between New York City and Chicago via Interstate 80.

The city was named for John Young, an early settler from Whitestown, New York, who established the community's first sawmill and gristmill. Youngstown is in a region of the United States that is often referred to as the Rust Belt. Traditionally known as a center of steel production, Youngstown was forced to redefine itself when the U.S. steel industry fell into decline in the 1970s, leaving communities throughout the region without major industry. The city has experienced a decline of over 60% of its population since 1959. Youngstown also falls within the Appalachian Ohio region, among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

History

Early years

Image David Tod, Abbots History of Ohio
Governor David Tod

Youngstown was named for New York native John Young, who surveyed the area in 1796 and settled there soon after. On February 9, 1797, Young purchased the township of 15,560 acres (6,300 ha) from the Western Reserve Land Company for $16,085. The 1797 establishment of Youngstown was officially recorded on August 19, 1802.

The area including present-day Youngstown was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, a section of the Northwest Territory that Connecticut initially did not cede to the Federal government. Upon cession, Connecticut retained the title to the land in the Western Reserve, which it sold to the Connecticut Land Company for $1,200,000. While many of the area's early settlers came from Connecticut, Youngstown attracted a significant number of Scots-Irish settlers from neighboring Pennsylvania. The first European Americans to settle permanently in the area were Pittsburgh native James Hillman and wife Catherine Dougherty. By 1798, Youngstown was the home of several families who were concentrated near the point where Mill Creek meets the Mahoning River. Boardman Township was founded in 1798 by Elijah Boardman, a member of the Connecticut Land Company. Also founded in 1798 was Austintown by John McCollum who was a settler from New Jersey.

As the Western Reserve's population grew, the need for administrative districts became apparent. In 1800, territorial governor Arthur St. Clair established Trumbull County (named in honor of Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull), and designated the smaller settlement of Warren as its administrative center, or "county seat". In 1813, Trumbull County was divided into townships, with Youngstown Township comprising much of what became Mahoning County. The village of Youngstown was incorporated in 1848, and in 1867 Youngstown was chartered as a city. It became the county seat in 1876, when the administrative center of Mahoning County was moved from neighboring Canfield. Youngstown has been Mahoning County's county seat to this day.

Industrial age

The discovery of coal by the community in the early 19th century paved the way for the Youngstown area's inclusion on the network of the famed Erie Canal. The Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal Company was organized in 1835, and the canal was completed in 1840. Local industrialist David Tod, who was later Ohio governor during the Civil War, persuaded Lake Erie steamboat owners that coal mined in the Mahoning Valley could fuel their vessels if canal transportation were available between Youngstown and Cleveland. The arrival of the railroad in 1856 smoothed the path for further economic growth.

YoungstownOhio1910s
Youngstown, 1910s: Central Square and Viaduct (view looking south)

Youngstown's industrial development changed the face of the Mahoning Valley. The community's burgeoning coal industry drew hundreds of immigrants from Wales, Germany, and Ireland. With the establishment of steel mills in the late 19th century, Youngstown became a popular destination for immigrants from Eastern Europe, Italy, and Greece. In the early 20th century, the community saw an influx of immigrants from non-European countries including what is modern day Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, and Syria. By the 1920s, this dramatic demographic shift produced a nativist backlash, and the Mahoning Valley became a center of Ku Klux Klan activity. The situation reached a climax in 1924, when street clashes between Klan members and Italian and Irish Americans in neighboring Niles led Ohio Governor A. Victor Donahey to declare martial law. By 1928 the Klan was in steep decline; and three years later, the organization sold its Canfield, Ohio, meeting area, Kountry Klub Field.

The growth of industry attracted people from within the borders of the United States, and from Latin America. By the late 19th century, African Americans were well represented in Youngstown, and the first local congregation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1871. In the 1880s, local attorney William R. Stewart was the second African American elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. A large influx of African Americans in the early 20th century owed much to developments in the industrial sector. During the national Steel Strike of 1919, local industrialists recruited thousands of workers from the South, many of whom were Black. This move inflamed racist sentiment among local Whites, and for decades, African-American steelworkers experienced discrimination in the workplace. Migration from the South rose dramatically in the 1940s, when the mechanization of southern agriculture brought an end to the exploitative sharecropping system, leading onetime farm laborers to seek industrial jobs.

The city's population became more diverse after the end of World War II, when a seemingly robust steel industry attracted thousands of workers. In the 1950s, the Latino population grew significantly; and by the 1970s, St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church and the First Spanish Baptist Church of Ohio were among the largest religious institutions for Spanish-speaking residents in the Youngstown metropolitan area. While diversity is among the community's enduring characteristics, the industrial economy that drew various groups to the area collapsed in the late 1970s. In response to subsequent challenges, the city has taken well-publicized steps to diversify economically, while building on some traditional strengths.

Redevelopment

Youngstown1 003
The George Voinovich Center (left) and Mahoning County Children's Services Center (right)

Downtown Youngstown has seen modest levels of new construction. Recent additions include the George Voinovich Government Center and state and federal courthouses: the Seventh District Court of Appeals and the Nathaniel R. Jones Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. The latter features an award-winning design by the architectural firm, Robert A. M. Stern Architects.

Youngstown-1
Looking down Federal Street

In 2005, Federal Street, a major downtown thoroughfare that was closed off to create a pedestrian-oriented plaza, was reopened to through traffic. The downtown area has seen the razing of structurally unsound buildings and the expansion or restoration of others.

Youngstown1 002
The re-opened Federal Street

In 2004, construction began on a 60-home upscale development called Arlington Heights, and a grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development allowed for the demolition of Westlake Terrace, a sprawling and dilapidated public housing project. Today, the site features a blend of senior housing, rental townhouses and for-sale single-family homes. Low real-estate prices and the efforts of the Youngstown Central Area Improvement Corporation (CIC) have contributed to the purchase of several long-abandoned downtown buildings (many by out-of-town investors) and their restoration and conversion into specialty shops, restaurants, and eventually condominiums. Further, a nonprofit organization called Wick Neighbors is planning a $250 million New Urbanist revitalization of Smoky Hollow, a former ethnic neighborhood that borders the downtown and university campus. The neighborhood will eventually comprise about 400 residential units, university student housing, retail space, and a central park. Construction for the project began in 2006.

New construction has dovetailed with efforts to cultivate business growth. One of the area's more successful business ventures in recent years has been the Youngstown Business Incubator. This nonprofit organization, based in a former downtown department store building, fosters the growth of fledgling technology-based companies. The incubator, which boasts more than a dozen business tenants, has recently completed construction on the Taft Technology Center, where some of its largest tenants will locate their offices.

In line with these efforts to change the community's image, the city government, in partnership with Youngstown State University, has organized an ambitious urban renewal plan known as Youngstown 2010. The stated goals of Youngstown 2010 include the creation of a "cleaner, greener, and better planned and organized Youngstown". In January 2005, the organization unveiled a master plan prepared by Urban Strategies Inc. of Toronto, which had taken shape during an extensive process of public consultation and meetings that gathered input from citizens. The plan, which included platforms such as the acceptance of a reduced population and an improved image and quality of life, received national attention and is consistent with efforts in other metropolitan areas to address the phenomenon of urban depopulation. Youngstown 2010 received an award for public outreach from the American Planning Association in 2007.

Geography and climate

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.60 square miles (89.61 km2), of which 33.96 square miles (87.96 km2) is land and 0.64 square miles (1.66 km2) is water.

Located in the Cleveland tri-state area, Youngstown is in the Mahoning Valley on the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau. At the end of the last Ice Age, the glaciers left behind a uniform plain with valleys eroded by the Mahoning River crossing the plain. Lakes created by glaciers that dammed small streams were eventually drained, leaving behind fertile terrain.

Climate

Youngstown has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), typical of the Midwest, with four distinct seasons, and lies in USDA hardiness zone 6a. Winters are cold and dry but typically bring a mix of rain, sleet, and snow with occasional heavy snowfall and icing. January is the coldest month with an average mean temperature of 25.8 °F (−3.4 °C), with temperatures on average dropping to or below 0 °F (−18 °C) on 4.1 days and staying at or below freezing on 43 days per year. Snowfall averages 62.7 inches (159 cm) per season, significantly less than the snowbelt areas closer to Lake Erie. The snowiest month on record was 53.1 inches (135 cm) in December 2010, while winter snowfall amounts have ranged from 118.7 in (301 cm) in 2010–11 to 25.2 in (64 cm) in 1948–49. Springs generally see a transition to fewer weather systems that produce heavier rainfall. Summers are typically very warm and humid with temperatures exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) on 7.7 days per year on average; the annual count has been as high as 40 days in 1943, while the most recent year to not reach that mark is 2014. July is the warmest month with an average mean temperature of 70.5 °F (21 °C). Autumn is relatively dry with many clear warm days and cool nights.

The all-time record high temperature in Youngstown of 103 °F (39 °C) was established on July 10, 1936, which occurred during the Dust Bowl, and the all-time record low temperature of −22 °F (−30 °C) was set on January 19, 1994. The first and last freezes of the season on average fall on October 10 and May 6, respectively, allowing a growing season of 156 days; freezing temperatures have been observed in every month except July. The normal annual mean temperature is 49.0 °F (9.4 °C). Normal yearly precipitation based on the 30-year average from 1981–2010 is 38.91 inches (988 mm), falling on an average 160 days. Monthly precipitation has ranged from 10.66 in (271 mm) in June 1986 to 0.16 in (4.1 mm) in October 1924, while for annual precipitation the historical range is 54.01 in (1,372 mm) in 2011 to 23.79 in (604 mm) in 1963.

Climate data for Youngstown, Ohio (Youngstown–Warren Regional Airport), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1897–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
(21.7)
75
(23.9)
82
(27.8)
90
(32.2)
95
(35)
99
(37.2)
103
(39.4)
100
(37.8)
99
(37.2)
88
(31.1)
80
(26.7)
76
(24.4)
103
(39.4)
Average high °F (°C) 32.5
(0.28)
36.1
(2.28)
45.8
(7.67)
59.0
(15)
68.9
(20.5)
77.4
(25.22)
81.4
(27.44)
79.9
(26.61)
72.4
(22.44)
60.6
(15.89)
48.9
(9.39)
36.5
(2.5)
58.3
(14.61)
Average low °F (°C) 19.0
(-7.22)
20.7
(-6.28)
27.7
(-2.39)
38.0
(3.33)
46.7
(8.17)
55.4
(13)
59.7
(15.39)
58.3
(14.61)
51.4
(10.78)
41.5
(5.28)
33.9
(1.06)
24.0
(-4.44)
39.7
(4.28)
Record low °F (°C) −22
(-30)
−16
(-26.7)
−10
(-23.3)
11
(-11.7)
24
(-4.4)
30
(-1.1)
40
(4.4)
32
(0)
27
(-2.8)
20
(-6.7)
1
(-17.2)
−12
(-24.4)
−22
(-30)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.55
(64.8)
2.15
(54.6)
2.94
(74.7)
3.36
(85.3)
3.79
(96.3)
3.88
(98.6)
4.31
(109.5)
3.24
(82.3)
3.75
(95.3)
2.77
(70.4)
3.18
(80.8)
2.99
(75.9)
38.91
(988.3)
Snowfall inches (cm) 16.6
(42.2)
12.8
(32.5)
10.9
(27.7)
3.0
(7.6)
trace 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.8
(2)
3.6
(9.1)
15.0
(38.1)
62.7
(159.3)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 17.1 14.3 14.1 14.5 13.6 12.3 10.7 10.0 10.6 11.5 14.1 17.2 160.0
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 13.6 10.4 7.5 2.8 0 0 0 0 0 0.8 3.7 11.5 50.3
Source: NOAA,

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 273
1830 384 40.7%
1840 654 70.3%
1850 2,802 328.4%
1860 2,759 −1.5%
1870 8,075 192.7%
1880 15,435 91.1%
1890 33,220 115.2%
1900 44,885 35.1%
1910 79,066 76.2%
1920 132,358 67.4%
1930 170,002 28.4%
1940 167,720 −1.3%
1950 168,330 0.4%
1960 166,689 −1.0%
1970 139,788 −16.1%
1980 115,427 −17.4%
1990 95,787 −17.0%
2000 82,026 −14.4%
2010 66,982 −18.3%
Est. 2015 64,628 −3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

The 2010 United States Census population estimate was 65,062 people. The Mahoning Valley area as a whole has 763,207 residents.

The United States Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey estimated a median household income of $24,006. A 2007 report by CNNMoney.com stated that Youngstown has the lowest median income of any U.S. city with more than 65,000 residents. Between 1960 and 2010, the city's population declined by over 60%. Youngstown's vacant-housing rate is twenty times that of the national average.

2010 census

According to the 2010 Census, Youngstown has 26,839 households and 15,150 families in the city. The population density is 755.2/km² (1958.5/sq mi). There are 33,123 housing units at an average density of 968.5 per square mile (373.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.0% White, 45.2% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.3% of some other race, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.3% of the population. The White population included 10.8% Italian, 10.8% Irish, 10.0% German, and 4.2% English ancestries. Among the Hispanic population, 5.7% are Puerto Rican, 1.9% Mexican, 0.1% Cuban, and 0.7% some other Hispanic or Latino.

Records suggest that 28.6% of the households have children under the age of 18. Of these, 25.6% are married couples living together, 24.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 43.6% are non-families. Meanwhile, 37.8% of all households comprise a single person, and 14.5% of households comprise a person over 65 years of age living alone. The average household size is 2.28 and the average family size is 3.02.

The population is spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 96.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 95 males.

Attractions

In 2012, Forbes.com ranked Youngstown, Ohio 4th among the best cities in the U.S. for raising a family. The article included the city's schools, current low crime, cost-of-living, and property rates in its decision.

Covelli Centre

Despite the impact of regional economic decline, Youngstown offers an array of cultural and recreational resources. Moreover, the community's range of attractions has increased in recent years. The newest addition is the Covelli Centre, a venue for Tier I Jr. A hockey games, concerts, "on ice" shows, and other forms of entertainment.

Theater

The community's culture center is Powers Auditorium, a former Warner Brothers movie palace that serves as the area's primary music hall while providing a home for the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. This downtown landmark is one of five auditoriums within the city limits. Ford Recital Hall was built in 2006 as an addition to newly renovated Powers Auditorium. Imposing and neo-classical Stambaugh Auditorium, on the city's north side, has served for decades as a site of concerts and is often rented for private events. The facility also hosts the Stambaugh Youth Concert Band. Bruce Springsteen, who sang about the decline of Youngstown's steel industry and its adverse effects on local workers in his ballad "Youngstown", played at Stambaugh Auditorium on January 12, 1996, as part of his solo Ghost of Tom Joad Tour.

Oakland Center for the Arts, in the downtown area, is a venue for locally produced plays. This institution is complemented by the Youngstown Playhouse on the city's south side. The Youngstown Playhouse, Mahoning County's primary community theater, has served the area for more than 80 years, despite intermittent financial problems. Well known theatrical personalities from the Youngstown area include comedic actor Joe Flynn, screen actress Elizabeth Hartman, singer and Broadway performer Maureen McGovern, and television and screen actor Ed O'Neill.

Museums

The Butler Institute of American Art is on the northeastern edge of the Youngstown State University campus. This institution was established by industrialist Joseph G. Butler, Jr., in 1919 as the first museum in the country dedicated to American art. Across the street from the Butler Institute stands the McDonough Museum of Art, YSU's University Art Museum and the Mahoning Valley's center for contemporary art. The McDonough, established in 1991, features changing exhibitions by regional, national and international artists and provides public access to the work of students, faculty and alumni from the Department of Art. The Clarence R. Smith Mineral Museum, also on the YSU campus, is operated by the university's geology department and housed in a campus building.

Youngstown 021
The Butler Institute of American Art

To the immediate north of YSU is the Arms Family Museum of Local History. The museum, housed in a 1905 Arts & Crafts style mansion on the main artery of Wick Avenue, is managed by the Mahoning Valley Historical Society. Once the estate of a local industrialist, the museum maintains period rooms that showcase the original contents of the household, including furnishings, art objects, and personal artifacts. The museum mounts rotating exhibits on topics related to local history. Recently, the museum opened the "Anne Kilcawley Christman Hands-on History Room". The MVHS Archival Library operates in the estate's former carriage house, near the back of the site.

The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor sits south of the YSU campus on a grade overlooking the downtown area. This museum, owned and operated by the Ohio Historical Society, focuses on the Mahoning Valley's history of steel production. Other museums include the Children's Museum of the Valley, an interactive educational center in the downtown area, and the Davis Education and Recreation Center, a small museum that showcases the history of Youngstown's Mill Creek Park. On the city's north side the Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation is constructing the Tod Engine Heritage Park, featuring a collection of steel industry equipment and artifacts. The main exhibit is a 1914 William Tod Co. rolling mill steam engine that was built in Youngstown and used at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Brier Hill Works. The Tod Engine is one of three remaining rolling mill engines in the United States and is a Mechanical and Materials Engineering Landmark.

Youngstown's most popular resource is Mill Creek Park, a five-mile (8 km)-long stretch of landscaped woodland reminiscent of Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. Mill Creek Park is the oldest park district in Ohio, established as a township park in 1891. The park's highlights include the restored 19th century Lanterman's Mill, the rock formations of Bear's Den, scores of nature trails, the Fellows Riverside Gardens and Education Center, the "Cinderella" iron link bridge, and two 18 hole Donald Ross golf courses.

Mill Creek Park Suspension Bridge
Mill Creek Park's "Cinderella" iron link bridge

Mill Creek Park encompasses approximately 2,600 acres (1,100 ha), 20 miles (32 km) of drives and 15 miles (24 km) of foot trails. Its attractions include gardens, streams, lakes, woodlands, meadows, and wildlife.

Fellows Riverside Gardens' popular lookout point offers visitors contrasting views of the area. From the south side, the canopied woodlands overlooking Lake Glacier are visible; from the north side, visitors are presented with a view of downtown Youngstown. The park features two 18-hole golf courses. The North Course is on rolling terrain, while the South Course features narrow, tree-lined fairways. Other features include playgrounds, athletic fields, and picnic areas.

In 2005, Mill Creek Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A plaque commemorating this event is near a memorial statue of Volney Rogers, the Youngstown attorney who set aside land for the creation of Mill Creek Park.

A smaller recreational area called Wick Park is on the historic North side. Wick Park's periphery is lined with early 20th-century mansions built by the city's industrialists, business leaders, and professionals during Youngstown's "boom" years. Stambaugh Auditorium, a popular venue for concerts and other public events, is near the park's southwestern edge. Another small recreational area called Crandall Park is also on the North side. Crandall Park offers well-maintained and landscaped homes, tree-lined streets, and walkable access to shopping and recreations. Several cemeteries (notably historic Oak Hill Cemetery) and small recreational spaces are scattered throughout the city. Some of those recreational spaces include Homestead Park, John White park, Lynn park, Borts Pool, and the Northside Pool.

Neighborhoods

Youngstown2 030
Downtown's Central Square (Federal Plaza) from the east
  • Arlington Heights
  • Beachwood
  • Bel
  • Brier Hill
  • Brownlee Woods
  • Buckeye Plat – extension of Brownlee Woods, Struthers. Jackson Elementary School
  • Cornersburg
  • Cottage Grove
  • Downtown
  • Down The Hill (SouthSide)
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Fosterville
  • Garden District
  • Hazelton
  • Idora
  • Indian Village
  • Kirkmere
  • Lansdowne
  • Lansingville
  • Lincoln Knolls
  • Mahoning Commons
  • Newport
  • North Heights
  • Oak Hill
  • Ohio Works
  • Performance Place
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Riverbend
  • Rocky Ridge
  • Salt Springs
  • Schenley
  • Scienceville
  • Sharon Line
  • Smoky Hollow
  • University

Transportation

The Youngstown area is served by the Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) bus system, which is supported through Mahoning County property and sales taxes. WRTA, whose main terminal is in the downtown area, provides service throughout the city and into surrounding Mahoning and Trumbull counties. The downtown terminal serves as the Youngstown area's Greyhound terminal.

In the vicinity of the WRTA terminal is a former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad station. The historic terminal building has now been converted into a banquet hall, served Amtrak's Three Rivers as a train station from 1995 to 2005. The local railroads now serve freight trains exclusively.

The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is currently served by three airlines (Allegiant Air, Sun Country Airlines and Via Air, in order of market share), five rental car agencies Alamo, National, Enterprise, Budget, Avis, and has direct non-stop flights to Orlando (Allegiant), Fort Myers (Allegiant), Tampa (Allegiant), Atlantic City (Via Air), Tunica (Via Air, Sun Country), and Gulfport (Sun Country). Additional seasonal service includes flights to Myrtle Beach, SC (Allegiant).

On June 23, 2016, Uber launched its services in Youngstown, covering all of Mahoning County and most of Trumbull County. Before the launch, Youngstown had been the largest city in the United States that had never had Uber in some capacity.

Sister cities

  • Slovakia Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia, since 1991

Images for kids


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