Mahoning Valley Historical Society announces award winners

Wean Foundation Market Block Building

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s Historic Preservation Committee has announced the winners of the 2015 Historic Preservation Awards.

The 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 140th annual meeting to be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 16 at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center, 325 W. Federal St. in downtown Youngstown.

Community Revitalization Award

Smoky Hollow War Memorial: The memorial in Smoky Hollow lists residents of the Hollow who were killed in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. It was found that the plaque on the memorial had one soldier’s name wrong and was missing another WWII soldier completely. Through extensive genealogical research, Gerald Nunziato and Felix Lazazzera compiled information on all the soldiers, including where they were born, where they went to school, their address in Smoky Hollow, date of enlistment, branch of the service, where they served, their assignment when they died and where they are buried. The researchers were also able to get photographs of each soldier. All of this information has been compiled and is available in the MVHS Archives. A new plaque was made for the memorial that corrects Donald Novak’s name to Daniel, adds Joseph Siegel, adds one soldier from the Vietnam War and categorizes the names by the war in which they fought.

Commercial Revitalization Award

The Raymond John Wean Foundation/Market Block Building: The Market Block building on Courthouse Square in Warren was built in 1868. The building evolved through a variety of uses and was sitting vacant in the late 2000’s. In 2011, the Chesler Group of Cleveland purchased the building specifically to renovate it for the Raymond John Wean Foundation. The designers and architects restored original skylights, exposed the original masonry walls, and repurposed 1940’s-era doors and original 1868 pocket doors. The finished building houses the offices of the Wean Foundation, additional office space for new initiatives funded by the Foundation, a community meeting space, conference rooms, break rooms, a fitness room and reception areas.

MVHS Board of Directors’ Award of Achievement

Mahoning Dispatch Building and Canfield Historical Society: For 91 years, the Mahoning Dispatch served Canfield and the surrounding communities, earning the distinction of being the oldest continuously published newspaper owned by a single family in Mahoning County. In 1893, the business moved to 23 S. Broad Street, to a building originally built by Pierpont Edwards in 1866 to serve as a grocery store. The Mahoning Dispatch was published by three generations of the Fowler family until 1968. The building was left to the Canfield Historical Society after the death of Ralph Fowler, and the Society maintains the building and all the printing equipment. In 2014, the Canfield Historical Society rewired the electrical system in the building for safety and preservation, and replaced the fluorescent tube lighting with period-appropriate pendant fixtures and 1910-era Edison incandescent light bulbs. The Canfield Historical Society has also worked with preservationists to institute best practices for maintenance of the printing presses and has digitized the 91 years of Dispatch copies, which are available online through the Library of Congress.

Jeanne D. Tyler: For her commitment to the historic preservation in the region, especially through her support of restoration projects for Stambaugh Auditorium, and the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center and Arms Family Museum of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

William Conti: For his dedication and leadership with preservation and restoration projects at Stambaugh Auditorium, including the auditorium ceiling restoration, the E. M. Skinner organ, and renovations of the courtyard patio and the historic ballroom. Mr. Conti also was instrumental in the Forest Glen Estates Neighborhood Association gaining historic district status on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information about the awards and the Historical Society, please call (330) 743-2589 or visit the MVHS website.

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