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YOUNGSTOWN Brochure to feature county courthouse



Published: Sat, May 26, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The building's cultural and historical importance will be highlighted in a handout and possibly a video.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County commissioners want to shine a spotlight on the courthouse.

They will contract with the Mahoning Valley Historical Society to produce a brochure for people who visit the building for jury duty or to conduct business.

County Administrator Gary Kubic said he's also thinking of having a short video made that could be used for presentations at schools, churches and civic groups.

"I think it's a place of pride for the people," Kubic said.

"We want people to know all about it."

No decision yet: William Lawson, historical society director, said a final decision has not been made on the content of the handout, though it will most likely focus on the building's rich architectural and historical importance in the community.

Besides standard background information such as when the courthouse was built and who built it, there probably will be information about the artwork that adorns the inside of the building.

Most of the courtrooms are decorated with murals by nationally known artists.

Those murals will be profiled in the handout, Lawson said.

Included are four triangular murals by New York City artist Edwin H. Blashfield, who received the Architectural League of New York's medal of honor for them in 1911, the same year the courthouse opened.

The overall beauty of the building, regarded as one of the most ornate in the state, will also be examined.

Lawson said the building's design is rooted in the attitudes of county residents at the turn of the century.

He said government buildings at that time were seen as "landmarks and showpieces" that reflected a community's progress and optimism.

"That's what was going on here in the early 20th century," Lawson said.

"They were celebrating the development that led Youngstown to be a major player in the steel industry."




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