Every town of any size has its iconic places. Sometimes they are places of natural beauty. Sometimes they are places of distinctive architecture. Sometimes the two elements come together. You might call them “iconic” places, because they are places distinguished by some excellence of form, and might even serve as an “icon” representing the place where they are situated. These are often the places that show up on postcards of a city.
I think Youngstown has more than its share of icons. Here are some that come to mind:
- Lanterman Falls and the Old Mill (photo above). This is quintessentially Youngstown. Early industry side by side with one of the most beautiful sights in Youngstown’s Mill Creek Park. The mill can be toured and hosts a number of special events. There is a covered bridge, and trails along the gorge offer a number of scenic views.
- Home Savings and Loan Main Office. The lighted top of this building could be seen from many parts of town. A beacon of financial stability for the valley. My last visit there was to clean out my father’s safe deposit box.
- The U-Haul Building (formerly the Isaly Dairy Plant). Located at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Mahoning Avenue, when one approached it over the Mahoning Bridge, you got a dramatic view of the art deco design as you anticipated a skyscraper cone.
- The Indian Scout Bronze Statue in front of the Butler. It represents the extraordinary American art collection inside including the Remington collection.
- Jones Hall. At one time, this was Youngstown State, and may be the place many of us who graduated think of when we think of the campus.
- Gazebo at Fellows Riverside Gardens. One of the more recent iconic places but rapidly becoming a favorite place for wedding photos and other gatherings.
- Stambaugh Auditorium. This building, gracing Fifth Avenue looks like a classic Greek temple, and has been the site of many concerts, graduations and receptions.
- The Silver Bridge. Another iconic structure in Mill Creek Park, one of Volney Rogers’ “fanciful entrances” to the scenic wonder of the park.
- St. Columba’s Cathedral. The Catholic cathedral of Youngstown, built in 1958, after a fire destroyed the first cathedral on the same site.
- Stambaugh Stadium. The home of the Youngstown State football Penguins and the site of many playoff victories. Also known as “The Ice Castle” and visible all over the city.
That’s my list, but I’m sure you can think of others. There are also a number of iconic places that are no more, perhaps the subject of a future post. Steel helped build at least some of these iconic places, but what is impressive is the aesthetic beauty of many, and their enduring presence in the city. If you are visiting the city and want to see it at its best, these are some of the places I would go.
What other “iconic places” would you include? And if you had to pick a “top one” which one would you choose?