Revamp of YSU's Pollock House nearly done

By Denise Dick


Work on the 16-room Porter and Mary Pollock House mansion is wrapping up, preparing for Youngstown State University President Cynthia E. Anderson’s move-in.

University trustees toured the historic Wick Avenue home Thursday where work is expected to conclude within a few weeks.

“The first floor will be used for entertaining for guests and alumni,” said Shannon Tirone, executive associate to the president.

That floor includes an office, kitchen, two large rooms and an outdoor patio.

The second floor is the president’s residence. It includes a kitchen, living room and four bedrooms.

The $4.5 million project was funded mostly through proceeds from a bond issue. Some private donations also were included.

The house’s third floor, although cleaned, painted and carpeted, wasn’t renovated as part of the project. It may be used as storage space.

The house was built in 1893 by Charles H. Owsley. It was owned by businessman Paul Wick, who gave it to his daughter Mary and Mary’s husband, Porter Pollock, who lived in the house until their deaths.

Family members donated it to the university in 1950.

Over the years, it served as classroom and office space, and, in the 1980s, a private developer built a 64-room addition on the mansion and opened it as a full- service hotel under the name Wick-Pollock Inn. It closed in 1998 and has been vacant since then.

In July 2010, the hotel addition was demolished, and in September 2011, renovation of the house began. Faniro Architects of Youngstown oversaw the work.

Tirone said that as much as possible, original pieces from the house, such as fireplaces, were retained.

In some cases, period pieces were purchased to maintain the historic integrity of the home.

A pergola behind the house remains under construction, and gardens also have been restored. An arch over the garden entry reads “MWP,” the initials of its original occupant.

A new roof and windows, repaired and new siding, exterior painting, upgraded interior walls and flooring and the addition of a basement-level garage were part of the project. The house’s elevator also was repaired.

Until the 1980s, YSU provided a residence in Canfield for the president, university officials said. From 1992 to 2010, the university instead supplied an annual housing allowance to its presidents.

Anderson’s contract didn’t include the housing allowance.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.