The Stambaugh Building, located at 44 East Federal Plaza in Youngstown, Ohio, was completed in 1907. The twelve-story, neo-classical revival building replaced several lots that were occupied by the Park House.20 The Stambaugh was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 8, 1980.


History

The Stambaugh Building was designed by Albert Kahn of Detroit,16 27 and financed by John and George Stambaugh.11 Construction on the eight-story, $1.5 million tower began in 1906 1 and by November 1907, construction had progressed to the cutting of partition tile for the interior and the installation of tile for the floors and sidewalls.19 The exterior was nearly complete, which was faced with white brick with an intricate trim for the cornice.

The Stambaugh was home to the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company who occupied the top five floors.11 16 The lower three levels and basement were occupied by the Euwer’s Department Store, which opened for business in the tower on August 7, 1908 and featured 25 departments with $200,000 in stock and equipment.8 Some features of the department store included a mahogany soda fountain on the first level, a novelty telephone system and exchange on the mezzanine, two ladies’ restroom and waiting parlors, and a mammoth electric sign fabricated by the Ohio Sign Company that read “Euwer’s” on the top of the Stambaugh.

In mid-September 1912, the Vindicator had hinted at the possibility that the Stambaugh Building would be expanded vertically, speculation that was formally announced by the Stambaugh’s on September 28.12 The office tower boasted an 100% occupancy, and the owners were optimistic that by constructing four new floors, that the building 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 present cornice and erecting additional steel to raise the building’s height by an additional 60 feet. The steel was set to be placed by May 15, with occupancy by early November, although the addition was finished in the following year. The Stambaugh topped out at 160 feet.1

In July 1915, Youngstown Sheet and Tube’s operating department relocated from the Stambaugh to new offices that were constructed at its East Youngstown Works facility.21 The steel magnate continued to maintain its tenth through twelfth floor presence in the Stambaugh for its auditing and order offices. In December 1925, the steel company took over the eighth and ninth floors, relocating its legal offices, traffic, claim and real estate offices into the city.22 In 1940, Morris Plan Bank moved from the Terminal Building 17 to the first floor of the Stambaugh; the Terminal was a causality of the widening of West Commerce Street. Other tenants during the 1940s included the Youngstown Automobile Club and Western Union.16

Youngstown Sheet and Tube moved its corporate offices to suburban Boardman in 1958.11 16 The Standard Slag Company relocated to the top threee-and-a-half floors of the Stambaugh shortly after,16 as did Bessemer Limestone.25

On July 18, 1967, it was announced that the Stambaugh, partially owned by John Stambaugh III among others, was to be sold to Youngstown Realty Corporation.14 The transaction, totaling $1 million, was completed on October 3. Major improvements were planned to the structure, although details were not disclosed.

The Stambaugh was sold to the H.L. Libby Corporation in 1983.16 Howard Libby was a principal partner of Youngstown Realty who expressed desire to restore the office tower. The original terrazzo floors were uncovered, cleaned and polished, the marble walls and stairs cleaned, and the brass restored. The window sashes, long painted over, were restored to their original grained walnut appearance. The mail chutes, built by the Cutler Mail Chute Company of Rochester, New York, were also restored.


Decline

On November 7, 1997, the Stambaugh Building was sold to a subsidiary of Cambridge Investment Group of Cleveland from H.L. Libby Corp. for $950,000.11 18 Boardman also desired to restore the building to its original appearance and lure in the businesses that once left for the suburbs for its free parking and highway convenience. Tenants at the time included KeyBank, BW-3 (later Buffalo Wild Wings), several attorneys and an accounting firm.

By the 2000s, however, the Stambaugh was not in the best of condition. In 2002, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber began exploring relocation options from its offices on the top floor of the building and relocated in October 2003.15 The Chamber complained about the lack of heat from April 1 to November which was needed at times and the scattered residents that were allowed to keep pets. The building was operated by Stambaugh Associates and controlled by Jeffrey Moffie, but Stambaugh Associates had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Moffie began renovations to vacant floors in the summer of 2003 during the bankruptcy proceedings.18 A court order gave Stambaugh Associates eight months to buy the Stambaugh from Pacific Coast Investment Company for up to $2 million; in the meantime, Stambaugh Associates was allowed to lease the building from Pacific Coast and continue renovations.

The Stambaugh was co-purchased by Lou Frangos, a Cleveland, Ohio developer and Platia Square LLC of New York City for $1.15 million 4 on March 6, 2006.9 At the time, 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 from the tower fell to the ground.9 Two fell onto an adjoining parking lot and two on the roof of Buffalo Wild Wings. Two additional windows fell from the rear on May 24, 2008. Four days after that incident, Frangos had employees remove windows from the Stambaugh, with the order of replacing the windows with plastic sheeting and then plywood. Frangos began the window removal without a city permit and approval from the city’s Design Review Committee, an oversight that Frangos later admitted. On June 5, after more than 400 of the 531 windows were removed, another pane fell out of the structure and onto East Federal Street 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 later, Frangos met with city leaders and he agreed 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 on June 27 by the All American Window and Door Company of Cleveland.24


Restoration

In July 2012, Frangos sold his share of the Stambaugh to Dominic Marchionda, along with the adjacent parking deck for the building.7 Marchionda disclosed on March 5, 2013 that plans for a hotel would be forthcoming for the building in a proposed $25 million rehabilitation.28 29

In June 2014, the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded $5 million in Historic Preservation Tax Credits towards the project.29 30 On November 19, it was announced that the Stambaugh would be rehabilitated to house a 125-room Doubletree by Hilton hotel, with construction beginning in June and completing by late 2016. The hotel would be operated by Marshall Hotels and Resorts of Maryland, a company whose portfolio included a number of hotels in historic buildings.

[stag_toggle style=”normal” title=”Sources” state=”closed”]
  1. United States. Dept. of the Interior. Seven Early Office Buildings at Central Square. Comp. Eric Johannesen. Washington: National Park Service, July 1979. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. Article.
  2. Weaver, Debra. “The Stambaugh Building boarded up – What’s wrong with this picture?” Youngstown Moxie II. N.p., 12 June 2008. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. Article.
  3. Clark, Tyler S.. “Blight Comes to Central Square.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 10 June 2008: n.pag. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. Article.
  4. Skolnick, David. “Developer plans residences downtown.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 26 Aug. 2007: n. pag. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. Article.
  5. Butler, Joseph Green. “Youngstown from 1910 to 1920.” History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Ohio. By Joseph Green Butler. Vol. 1. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1921. 256. Print.
  6. Fuechtmann, Thomas G. “Steeltown.” Steeples and Stacks: Religion and Steel Crisis in Youngstown, Ohio. By Thomas G. Fuechtmann. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1989. 14. Print.
  7. Skolnick, David. “Developer buys Wick Building downtown.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 25 Aug. 2012: n. pag. Web. 13 Sept. 2012. Article.
  8. “Euwer Store One of the Finest in State.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 7 Aug. 1908: 12. Print.
  9. Skolnick, David. “Frangos accepts plan for repairs.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 14 June 2008: A1-A2. Print.
  10. Franco, Elise. “Plans for building arouse concern.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 11 June 2008: A1-A3. Print.
  11. Shilling, Don. “Former S&T offices sold.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 8 Nov. 1997: A1-A3. Print.
  12. “More Floors.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 28 Sept. 1912: 4. Print.
  13. “Contract Let.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 18 Feb. 1913: 15. Print.
  14. “Stambaugh Bldg. Changes Owners.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 3 Oct. 1967: 4. Print.
  15. Vinarsky, Cynthia. “Chamber relocating from Stambaugh to Met Towers’ top floors.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 8 Oct. 2003: B6. Print.
  16. Jenkins, Janie S. “Marcy Libby Blends New, Old in Stambaugh Restoration.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 5 Feb. 1984: B1. Print.
  17. “Morris Plan Bank to Move Into Stambaugh Building.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 18 Mar. 1940: . Print.
  18. Shilling, Don. “Renovation work will go on during bankruptcy case.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 26 Aug. 2003: B6. Print.
  19. “Rushing Work.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 11 Nov. 1907: 11. Print.
  20. “Before the Sambaugh Bldg. Rose.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 15 Apr. 1984: B3. Print.
  21. “Sheet & Tube Co. to Maintain City Offices at Stambaugh Building.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 20 July 1915: 7. Print.
  22. “S&T Offices are Re-Arranged.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 5 Dec. 1925: 22. Print.
  23. “Window plan is set for Stambaugh Building.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 13 June 2008. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. Article.
  24. “Work progresses on window installation at Stambaugh Building.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 30 June 2008. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. Article.
  25. “Years Ago.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 26 July 1983: 12. Print.
  26. “For a time last week, it seemed that the 13-story building that has long defined downtown.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 15 June 2008. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. Article.
  27. Nord, Mary Beth. “7 City Buildings Rated Historic.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 5 June 1980: 1-6. Print.
  28. Nelson, George. “Hotel Project in the Works as Development Accelerates.” Business Journal Daily [Youngstown] 6 Mar. 2013. Web. 6 Mar. 2013. Article.
  29. Medore, Josh. “Stambaugh to Become Doubletree by Hilton.” Business Journal Daily [Youngstown] 20 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
  30. Nelson, George. “NYO Foresees 2016 Opening for Stambaugh Hotel.” Business Journal Daily [Youngstown] 25 Jun. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
[/su_spoiler]