Side A: Steel-frame skyscrapers and retail buildings replaced wood-frame residences as the downtown evolved into a commercial district. A small public library branch occupied the north side of the square from 1923 to 1954. The Keith-Albee Theater (later the Palace) in the northeast corner of the square from 1926 to 1964, featured vaudeville performances and movies. Streetcar tracks around the square were removed for scrap during World War II. With expansion of suburban shopping malls, downtown theaters and department stores gradually closed. In 1973-74 Central Square was converted to a pedestrian Federal Plaza by closing off traffic on Federal Street one block east and west of Market Street. Central Square reopened in 2004 with a new traffic pattern, planting beds, and street furniture. Marker for “Central Square (1798-1899)” across the street.
Side B: The Stambaugh Building, constructed in 1908, was one of Youngstown’s earliest skyscrapers. Its design by distinguished Detroit-based architect Albert Kan (1869-1942), whose credits also include the Mahoning Bank Building, features a symmetrical facade, prominent entablature, stamped copper cornice, and white brick with terra cota trim. Originally eight stories tall, the Commercial Style was topped by an additional four stories in 1913 to accommodate the offices of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company and the Brier Hill Steel Company. The building is named for brothers John and Henry Stambaugh, noted community leaders active in the iron and steel industry, local banking, and philanthropy. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Sponsors: Youngstown Cityscape, Frank and Pearl Gelbman Foundation, Mahoning Valley Historical Society and The Ohio History Connection