Stephen Baytos was a visionary downtown Youngstown, Ohio developer who had earlier completed the modern Voyager Motor Inn in 1963 and proposed Plaza One a year later, a modernistic mid-rise with a Cinerama theater, shopping mall and apartment complex. While Plaza One was never completed, his third project, the Legal Arts Building, was completed in 1965 to house legal offices for the Mahoning County Courthouse across the street. Its location was the site of a Sears Roebuck department store.
Due to a declining clientele, The Hub, a breakfast and lunch diner, closed in early 2004. In June, an acetylene tank exploded in a jewelry repair shop that caused damage to the first floor. After the incident, Commonwealth Real Estate Investors opted not to repair the damage and the tenants were forced to seek other locations.
On March 13, 2012, the Legal Arts Building was sold for $175,000 to Dominic Marchionda. Marchionda first inquired about the building from Commonwealth two years prior but had wanted $480,000 for the property. Tentative plans call for a mixed-use development with offices and retail.
The further we ascended the stairs, the more derelict the building became. The top floor, which at one point was on a more open floor plan that opened out with floor-to-ceiling windows of downtown, was covered in mold.
With the conclusion of the Legal Arts update, this will be the last Abandoned post of 2012. Look forward to some updates on the iron furnaces of northeastern Kentucky and southern Ohio and a beautiful (but well past the point of saving) church in Cleveland!