St. Vincent De Paul Building
The St. Vincent De Paul Building, at Wick and Rayen Avenues in Youngstown, Ohio, was home to the Strouss’ Music Center for many years.
The corner residence, 237 Wick, was home to Dr. J. S. Cunningham. 10 Born in Ellwood, Pennsylvania, he studied at Poland Academy in Poland and Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Cunningham’s medical studies began at the Cleveland Medical College and ended at Jefferson College in 1860, where he began his practice in Plaingrove, Pennsylvania. He moved to Youngstown in 1862 where he not only acted as a physician but served as coroner, jail physician and was a member of the Board of Health and Board of Education. He died at his home on April 4, 1893.
A 1918 journal noted that 237 Wick had become home to Kaiser Motor Sales Company, selling passenger cars and the Bessemer trucks. 11
The houses were razed in 1924 for the construction of a 9,300 square-foot, three-story building at 233-237 Wick that was most likely a garage in its early years with retail frontage along Wick Avenue. 233 Wick was occupied by Youngstown Sample Furniture Company in its earlier years. 10
233-237 Wick was later home to the Strouss’ Music Center 3 operated by Stanley Strouss 6 that sold musical instruments on the first floor and provided lessons on the second level. In May 1972, the Strouss’ Music Center moved to the sixth floor of a downtown department store. 7
After the Strouss’ Music Center relocated, the building was sold to the adjoining Masonic Temple and used by the U.S. Census Bureau. 8 In October 1980, Sebastian Music Center, located at Belmont Avenue, purchased the building for $155,000 with plans to relocate its store and open an auditorium for concert recitals. Sebastian said the corner building at Wick and Rayen, formerly home to the Daily Legal News and a bookstore, would be demolished on October 13 to provide parking for his store.
On June 28, 1989, Sebastian announced that the Wick Avenue store would relocate to the 1393 Boardman-Canfield Road at the Huntington Woods Mall. 9 The company had contemplated relocating for at least three years due to antiquated facilities and the decline in traffic in downtown. It opened in its new location on July 10 as The Music Place.
By 1993, 235 Wick had become home to the St. Vincent De Paul thrift store on the first level which closed on May 26, 2006, after 10 to 20 bricks fell from the top of the building that damaged two vehicles. 1 2 As the thrift store was not generating sufficient income in its later years, the St. Vincent de Paul Society opted to close the store permanently and placed the building up for sale.
An architect believed that if the building was demolished and the lot converted into a surface parking lot, the organization would only regain $15,000 of the loss. 2 If it was renovated, by the time the thrift store reopened, the St. Vincent De Paul could lose more than $200,000 in revenue. In order to make the building more attractive to potential buyers, St. Vincent De Paul completed $115,000 in repairs, with the city providing $20,000 towards the project. 1 It was sold to USA Parking Systems, Inc., a Cleveland company owned by Lou A. Frangos, on June 29, 2007. 5 Frangos sold the property on March 29, 2012.