Youngstown State University, US Campus Suites, LLC, and City Architecture, for the rehabilitation and adaptiver reuse of the Erie Terminal Building at 112 West Commerce Street in Youngstown
The 1923 Erie Terminal Building served as a passenger depot and office building for the Erie Terminal Railroad/Erie-Lackawanna Railway in the heyday of passenger train travel. It is a significant Ohio representation of the early 20th century technique of combining transportation facilities and private offices in one building and it pre-dates the same approach used in Cleveland’s Terminal Tower. At the time it was built Youngstown was the only city between New York and Chicago where four major trunk lines met. However, rail traffic to the terminal ended in late 1970s and the building sat vacant for many years.
In 1986, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Downtown Youngstown Multiple Resource Area.
Today this 55,000 square foot building has been transformed into a mixed-use project that provides 40 apartments, along with amenities and common areas, and ground floor retail for new businesses.
On the exterior, original wood doors and windows remaining in the passenger terminal were fully restored. Masonry was gently cleaned and re-pointed, and the failing elevator penthouse was reconstructed. Damaged stone was carefully patched to match the original appearance. Incompatible old replacement windows were replaced with new windows matching the profile of the originals. 1960s-era storefront doors and windows were replaced with new materials designed in keeping with the remaining original features.
On the interior, newer partitions were removed to restore original open proportions. Surviving plaster walls and ceilings, originally-exposed brick wall detailing, terrazzo floors, wood trim, plaster cornices, and original "schoolhouse" light fixtures were retained.
The upper floors had been repeatedly re-configured over the years, to the point that no original partitioning or finishes had survived. These spaces have been converted into one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, flanking the original corridors.
The site around the building has been redesigned to replace the areas once occupied by the railroad lines and parking with new green features.
Erie Terminal is fulfilling the vision of its developers: to return a historic structure to its former prominence in the life of the city as part of a growing revival of urban living in downtown Youngstown. The project has succeeded in attracting student residents from nearby Youngstown State University as well as young professionals interested in living downtown. The project is also inspiring new renovation projects elsewhere downtown.
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