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YSU demolishing historic church

Published: Wed, January 9, 2013 @ 12:15 a.m.


Crews began tearing down Pilgrim Collegiate Church on the Youngstown State University campus Tuesday. The area will be used, at least initially, for green space — opening up the view to Jones Hall, the original building on campus.

By Denise Dick



Crews began tearing down the historic Pilgrim Collegiate Church on the Youngstown State University campus Tuesday.

The church, at the corner of Wick and Lincoln avenues, was built in 1922. YSU bought the building in 2008. At the time, the university wanted to ensure that the property wasn’t developed commercially.

Ron Cole, YSU spokesman, said the site will be used for green space, at least in the short term.

“It really opens up that corner to the signature building on campus, which is Jones Hall,” he said.

Jones is the campus’s original building.

“It’s a stately looking building that sits right at the entrance to campus,” Cole said.

YSU opted to tear down the church last March after a joint university-community committee was unable to find a feasible use for it. Needed repairs, including a new roof, rendered restoration cost-prohibitive.

Cole said that a small amount of asbestos had to be removed from the structure, pushing back the project. The large stained-glass windows were removed by the church from which the university bought the building, now Faith Community Church of Youngstown, which reserved the right at the time of the sale to remove the stained-glass windows at its cost if the building were demolished.

Other items, including smaller stained-glass windows, pews, woodwork and a chandelier were sold by the university to be used in off-campus projects, the spokesman said.


1republicanRick(1578 comments)posted 3 years ago

When are they going to take down the old Pogo's Pub brick building down the street? That thing has been an eyesore for at least 10 years.

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2Attis(1050 comments)posted 3 years ago

Tearing down a beautiful historic church building, one easily used as a sacred space for students, just to get a better view of Jones Hall? Why stop there? Tear down the public library, St. John's church and the art museum as well.

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3kensgirl(983 comments)posted 3 years ago

How sad. All of this demolition of beautiful buildings when there's over one thousand houses that need knocked down in the city. Who's running the show?

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4republicanRick(1578 comments)posted 3 years ago

No one wanted this church, that's why they justifiably tore it down. It's better to have green space than abandoned buildings.

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5welc04(4 comments)posted 3 years ago

I think it is horrible that they demolished the church. That church was a sanctuary for students and natives of Youngstown. It was a landmark that should never have been torn down. And for what a green space? Really...

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6peacelover(828 comments)posted 3 years ago

This is especially sad for me because I was married in that church. Too bad no use could be found for it, but I understand it costs lots of $ to repair and keep up these old historic buildings. Wick Ave. just won't look the same to me anymore.

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7JBullfrog(21 comments)posted 3 years ago

It is sad to see Pilgrim Collegiate go, but not a surprise. The building had problems when Pilgrim merged with another church to become Faith Community, but from my understanding all the utilities have been off for years. You can't let an old building sit empty without it deteriorating into an unusable condition. The sanctuary was absolutely beautiful with lots of great woodwork in addition to the huge stained glass windows (which were Tiffany if memory serves). I know that the pipe organ at least was salvaged and will hopefully find a good home someday. In the old days the church got power to run the organ from the trolly line that ran down Wick. The story I heard was the organist had to check to see if there was enough juice available before turning it on! Protestant Campus Ministry, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and other groups called the church home over the years. It really was a great piece of history. I understand that buildings eventually get to a point where they are just not worth saving, but I wonder if this would have happened if YSU had done something about it earlier. In any case, it will be nice to see the property used for something constructive although I'm worried they'll just wait until people forget and turn it into another parking lot.

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8misterlee(118 comments)posted 3 years ago

I hate to see beautiful old buildings go, but that place had become a rat's nest. No one but homeless people has spent any time in there in the last decade. It was insulated with asbestos, had broken windows and doors, and no utilities in a long time. Had it been renovated we'd all be complaining about the cost of fixing it. While I don't agree with much of what the university's administration has been doing lately (like spending more money on athletics than academics) the campus needs cleaned up around to edges to make it more attractive to prospective students. A creepy old abandoned building was doing nothing to improve the visual quality of the campus. Maybe we should spend the money that would have been spent renovating the church and spend it on stopping all of the ceiling leaks in Ward Beecher Hall.

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9DSquared(1617 comments)posted 3 years ago

No surprise from the so-called "enlightened" elite educators. Get rid of all the religious reminders.Now there's room for the ODumbo statue.

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