The company official suggested the Kinsman House be used as a restaurant or bed and breakfast.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Trumbull 100 members hope to meet with city representatives in the next several weeks to devise a plan to enhance and market the city's historical sites.
Arthur Zigler of the Cranston Development Co. of Pittsburgh delivered a report Tuesday to members and city officials. The company had prepared a historical-Warren project report in April 1997.
Zigler said much of what was suggested in the 1997 report has been accomplished. Many years ago, Trumbull County commissioners invested money to highlight the county courthouse, including lighting it at night.
"The landscaping around that great building still needs some work," Zigler said.
He suggested adopting a historical landscaping style that observes the architectural period of the courthouse, improving the sight lines along Market Street and the courthouse to reveal the building's restoration, thinning trees, seeding the lawn, removing case concrete cabinets and electric cabinets, replacing drinking fountains and trash containers with appropriate period design ones, replacing benches with "stylistically correct benches," using different seasonal plants and removing the boccie court.
Zigler also suggested some kind of public-private use of the Kinsman House, the historical building on Mahoning Avenue. He suggested a restaurant or a bed and breakfast.
The city's historical attractions also have to be marketed. He used Station Square in Pittsburgh as an example. Officials in that city didn't believe it would be a tourist draw and the parks conservancy initially marketed it to Pittsburgh residents, gradually widening the marketing area.
The historical shopping and restaurant area now draws about 3 million visitors a year, he said.
"The basics are already here and paid for," Zigler said of Warren. "You just need to work with it a little more, massage it and invest in some properties like the Kinsman House."
He suggested using the Trumbull Visitors and Convention Bureau and Web sites to market the city's historical sites.
"If you do all of that, you'll be surprised how many people will come to this city," Zigler said.
David J. Robison, the city's community development director, suggested Trumbull 100 form a small group to communicate with city council and the administration.
"I think we've accomplished much of what you have in the report with the exception of landscaping," Robison said.
As far as the Kinsman House, Robison said the property isn't zoned for Zigler's suggestions. The building also doesn't meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, and lead paint and asbestos may have to be abated.
Dave Hamilton, Trumbull 100 president, said he hopes to get club members and city officials together to devise a plan for the city to highlight the historic attractions. The plan would include a course of action, budgets and other details, he said.
"I think our group is going to have to be the catalyst," Hamilton said.