6 decades of Park Vista

YOUNGSTOWN — Park Vista Retirement Community is catching up in age to some of its residents. As it turns 60 years old this week, it will have an anniversary party looking back on its history.

The retirement community will host a wine-and-cheese party Friday in the Gathering Room at 1216 Fifth Ave. Photographs will be on display.

The six decades of growth of Park Vista will be documented in a “wall of history” at 4:30 p.m.

The community was born in 1947 when 12 older adults moved into a renovated home on Illinois Avenue on the city’s North Side. The idea was the brainchild of Dr. Paul Gauss, then pastor of Westminster Presbysterian Church.

Its first growth spurt came in the 1950s with the purchase of two adjacent homes, one housing eight beds in a “nursing area.”

With age came popularity and, by 1970, the residents had to move to the location on Fifth Avenue. The community was named Park Vista because it overlooked Wick Park.

Over the next two decades, Park Vista added a second building (Park North), a home health program (Senior Independence) and a senior center. The senior center shares space inside the Haynam Center facility with the Eden Alternative Center for memory care.

Park Vista has since added an Internet Cafe and four villa homes.

Ella Johnson and Helen Stambaugh are just two of the many employees of Park Vista who watched it grow. They will be at the celebration to talk about how the retirement community increased from 12 to 300 residents.

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