Courthouse, Former Monastery Projects Win Preservation Awards

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A former monastery and a county courthouse are among the winners of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s 2021 Historic Preservation Awards.

The awards honor outstanding revitalization projects and people who have made an impact on preservation. The winners were announced today.

A special ceremony to acknowledge these winners will take place during MVHS’ annual meeting on June 22. A video presentation will be shown at the meeting for members and guests. It will become accessible to the general public soon after on the MVHS website and its social media platforms.

In the Community Revitalization Award category, The Monastery at 1810 Volney Road and the Mahoning County Courthouse exterior, both in Youngstown, have been selected as winning projects. 

The Monastery, so-called because of its association for decades as a Carmelite monastery and worship center led by Father Richard Madden, is owned by Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. The structure originally belonged to Emery McKelvey and was used as a single-family home. The restored property now echoes its historic usage with three, market-rate apartments and a Neighborhood Action Center for public gatherings. 

The Mahoning County Courthouse exterior restoration completes a well-planned phase in the building’s 111-year history. The project was heralded by the judges’ panel for its dedication to original building materials and quality preservation work. The restoration of the copper statues at the top of the building was also recognized separately in 2018 with a MVHS Historic Preservation Award. The office of the Mahoning County Commissioners is the owner of the property.

Mah-County-Courthouse-award ISLE-building EGCC-WRPA

Gallery images include the Mahoning County Courthouse, the ISLE World Headquarters and the EGCC building at 101 E. Boardman St.

The Commercial Revitalization Award has been won by the Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC) building at 101 E. Boardman St. and the Iron and String Life Enhancement (ISLE) World Headquarters’ buildings at 28-32 Fifth Ave., both in downtown Youngstown. 

Adding to the EGCC campus on the east end of downtown Youngstown is the revitalized building at the corner of Boardman and Champion Streets. The property is owned by both EGCC and Western Reserve Port Authority. The two-story structure, known for many years as the Harshman Building, was originally built by the East Ohio Gas Company. Its first-floor lobby was used by the public to make payments and will now be used as open classrooms. A “simple elegance” was noted by the judges in its revealing of beautiful art deco details hidden by former renovations. 

The ISLE World Headquarters is a preservation story that took building structures from extensive water damage and decay to an inventive, barrier-free adaptive reuse on the western edge of downtown Youngstown. ISLE’s property was used for many years by a window display manufacturing company. Today, it houses an array of services for those with special needs. Regarding the preservation of the buildings, the nominator stated, “Anything that could be saved, we saved.” 

Joseph Pedaline was honored for his local efforts.

For special recognition of an individual’s contributions to local preservation efforts, the Board of Directors’ Award of Achievement will be received by Joseph Pedaline. 

Pedaline began preserving houses on the North Side in 1987. Leveraging his career in heating and cooling, he brought professional expertise to stabilizing many at-risk homes on Fairgreen, Lora, and Ohio avenues. This “nontraditional preservationist” might be readily associated with exterior paint selections as colorful as he is but the judges felt that much of the North Side just wouldn’t exist anymore without his efforts. 

MVHS has now recognized organizations and individuals for over 70 preservation projects since 2005.

  • The 2021 judges panel included:
  • Thomas E. Leary, director of the applied history certificate program at YSU.
  • Martha Pallante, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at Youngstown State University.
  • Mark C. Peyko, editor and publisher of the Metro Monthly.
  • Rebecca Rogers, who has 45 years of preservation experience in planning, historic landscapes and architecture.
  • Norma J. Stefanik, who was the project architect for the Loghurst house museum restoration and the B&O train station adaptation.

Pictured at top: The Monastery at 1810 Volney Road was one of two buildings honored in the Community Revitalization Award category.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.