The historic Stambaugh Building, located at 44 East Federal Plaza in Youngstown, Ohio, was home to the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company. Once proposed for demolition, the nearly vacant tower was rehabilitated in 2018 into a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel with two restaurants, a coffee shop, and a roof-top bar.
The Stambaugh Building, designed in the neo-classical revival style 20 by Detroit architect Albert Kahn, 16 27 was financed by John and George Stambaugh. 11 Construction on the eight-story, $1.5 million structure began in 1906 1 and replaced the Park House and several other buildings. 20 By November 1907, work had progressed to the cutting of partition tile and the installation of flooring and sidewalls for the interior. 19 The exterior was nearly finished, faced with white brick and adorned with terracotta.
The top five floors of the Stambaugh was home to the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company. 11 16 The lower three levels and basement were held by the Euwer’s Department Store, which opened for business in the Stambaugh on August 7, 1908. 8 It emphasised 25 departments, a soda fountain on the first level, a telephone system and exchange on the mezzanine, two ladies’ restrooms and waiting parlours, and a mammoth electric sign fabricated by the Ohio Sign Company that read “Euwer’s” on the top of the building.
The Vindicator had hinted at the possibility that the Stambaugh Building would be expanded vertically in mid-September 1912, speculation that was formally announced by the Stambaugh family on September 28. 12 The office tower was at 100% occupancy, and the owners were optimistic that by constructing four new floors, it could attract large industrial firms to the city.
A contract for construction was let on February 17, 1913, to James L. Stuart of Pittsburgh for approximately $200,000. 13 The plans included the removal of the cornice and erecting additional steel to raise the building’s height by an additional 60 feet. The steel began to be placed by mid-May, and the new addition was completed in 1914.
In July 1915, Youngstown Sheet & Tube’s operating department relocated from the Stambaugh to new offices at its East Youngstown Works. 21 The steel magnate continued to maintain its tenth through twelfth-floor presence in the Stambaugh for its auditing and order offices. The company took over the eighth and ninth floors in December 1925, relocating its legal offices, traffic, claim, and real estate offices into the city. 22
In 1940, the Morris Plan Bank moved from the Terminal Building 17 to the first floor of the Stambaugh. Its prior home was a causality of the widening of West Commerce Street. Other tenants during the 1940’s included the Youngstown Automobile Club and Western Union. 16
Youngstown Sheet & Tube moved its corporate offices to suburban Boardman in 1958. 11 16 The Standard Slag Company relocated to the top three floors of the Stambaugh shortly after, 16 as did Bessemer Limestone. 25
It was announced that ownership of the tower would shift from the Stambaugh family to the Youngstown Realty Corporation on July 18, 1967, in a $1 million deal, which was completed on October 3. 14 The building was then sold to the H.L. Libby Corporation in 1983. 16 Howard Libby was a principal partner of Youngstown Realty who expressed the desire to restore the office tower. The original terrazzo floors were uncovered, cleaned and polished, the marble walls and stairs cleaned, the brass renewed, and the mail chutes, built by the Cutler Mail Chute Company of Rochester, New York, were restored. The window sashes, long painted over, were revived to their original grained walnut appearance.
On November 7, 1997, the Stambaugh Building was sold to a subsidiary of Cambridge Investment Group for $950,000. 11 18 Tenants at the time included KeyBank, BW-3 (later Buffalo Wild Wings), several attorneys, and an accounting firm.
In October 2003, the Youngstown and Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce relocated out of its top floor offices, owing to a lack of heat from April 1 to November. 15 The Chamber also complained about illegal residents on the lower floors. The building’s operator, Stambaugh Associates, filed for bankruptcy, although during bankruptcy proceedings, it continued on renovations to vacant floors. 18 A court order gave Stambaugh Associates eight months to buy the increasingly vacant tower from the building’s then-owner Pacific Coast Investment Company. In the meantime, Stambaugh Associates was allowed to lease the building from Pacific Coast and continue renovations.
On March 6, 2006, 9 the languishing Stambaugh was co-purchased by Lou Frangos, a Cleveland, Ohio developer, and Platia Square LLC of New York City, for $1.15 million. 4 The lone-tenant was Buffalo Wild Wings. Frangos had planned to convert the building into a hotel, but a cost estimate of $15 million led the project to be mothballed. Frangos called the building “a lost cause.” 10
During a heavy rainstorm in July 2007, four windows became dislodged and fell to the ground. 9 Two additional windows fell on May 24, 2008. On May 28, Frangos ordered employees to remove all of the windows from the Stambaugh and replace them with plastic sheeting and then plywood. The window removal was conducted without a city permit and approval from the city’s Design Review Committee. On June 5, after more than 400 of the 531 windows were removed, another pane fell out of the structure as a city official watched. The window removal process was immediately stopped by the city. 9 23 26 On July 11, the city’s Design Review Committee rejected Frangos’ plan to board the windows up with plywood, citing aesthetic and safety concerns.
A letter, signed by 17 of Youngstown’s business leaders, questioned Frango’s long- and short-term plans on the Stambaugh and expressed concern over potential mistreatment of the historical site. 10 23 Two days after the letter was delivered, Frangos met with city leaders, agreeing to improve the window frames so that the windows could be removed and replaced. 9 If the frames were too damaged, he would be allowed to install Plexiglas or new windows. The city found that 99% of the windows were in good repair to be reinstalled. Work began to reinstall the windows by the All American Window & Door Company of Cleveland on June 27. 24
In July 2012, Frangos sold his share of the Stambaugh Building and adjacent parking garage to Dominic Marchionda of the NYO Property Group. 7 Marchionda disclosed plans for a $25 million hotel development at the Stambaugh on March 5, 2013. 28 29 It would be the first hotel to open in downtown since 1974. 32
The Ohio Development Services Agency awarded $5 million in Historic Preservation Tax Credits towards the project in June 2014. 29 30 On November 19, Marchionda announced that the Stambaugh would be renovated into a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, with construction beginning in June 2015.
By the time construction began, the project’s cost had increased to $34.3 million. 32 In December 2016, the city agreed to lend $2.75 million for the project, with the funds coming from the city’s water, wastewater, and environmental sanitation funds.
The DoubleTree by Hilton opened on May 16, 2018. 33 Amenities include 125 guest rooms, Bistro 1907, YOSTERIA, Branch Street Coffee, meeting spaces, business centre, fitness centre, the top-floor Palladian Ballroom, and a roof-top bar. 31 32