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YOUNGSTOWN Powers' 1940s facade to be restored



Published: Thu, April 11, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The historical auditorium will be restored to its limestone look with rows of windows across each upper floor.

By ROGER G. SMITH

CITY HALL REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Edward W. Powers Auditorium is returning to yesteryear.

The 1960s-era greenish-gray slate covering the building's second and third floors will come down this summer and unveil past glory.

The building's facade will be restored to its original 1940s limestone look. Rows of windows across each of the floors will be returned, as they appeared when the auditorium was the former Warner Theater. Detailed carvings also are expected to be restored.

The city's Design Review Committee approved the plans Wednesday.

The facade project will start in June, take about four months and cost about $250,000, said Patricia Syak, executive director of Youngstown Symphony Society, which is based at Powers. Bookings have been cut back while the work goes on because scaffolding will interfere with the theater entrance and box office.

Facade renovations are part of an $835,000 project to rehabilitate the second and third floors into the Adler Art Academy.

More light: The area arts council and the Students Motivated by the Arts (SMARTS) program for city schoolchildren will occupy the new space. The re-emerging windows will allow desperately needed sunlight into the renovated offices.

"It's important to bring some natural light to these spaces," Syak said.

The society also hopes one day to return the vertical section of the marquee that once adorned the theater.

That will wait until a new theater is built next door where a parking lot now stands. That project could start late this year or early next year.

That addition, combined with the facade work, other newly built offices and recent renovations inside the theater, will bring total investment into Powers to about $10 million, Syak said.

Other projects: The design board also approved these items:

UA new storage building and cosmetic changes to the B & amp;O Station property. A developer is to reopen the old train station in June with a microbrewery and maybe a restaurant.

The board gave permission to put up a storage building that will match the station's look, plus new brown painted trim and red, black and white paint for a train displayed on the property.

URenovations to the Help Hotline building on Wood Street near Choffin Career Center. The board strongly recommended that a pitched roof be used instead of replacing the flat roof.

The pitched roof would add $40,000 to the cost. The agency, which receives state money through the local mental health board, would like to do the pitched roof but needs to sway agency officials to pay for it. They hoped the design board's stance might help.

UNew lights, landscaping and other general repairs to the Isaly's Busy Bee 2 restaurant on Southern Boulevard, the former Oven Restaurant. A new sign for the business still needs approval.

UPart of a new sign for Mighty Moe's Sports Restaurant to open on Elm Street, the old Burger King across from Youngstown State University. The top half of the sign was approved, but the board objected to the lower half, which lists the menu.

rgsmith@vindy.com




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