Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I wish them much luck in raising the needed money!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Our architect indicates that we may be able to apply for a partial building permit by the end of the week. The partial permit would cover the building footers and allow us to finally begin construction of the enginehouse.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
On July 1, 2008 the crankshaft and flywheel of our Tod Engine was reassembled. The engine had been disassembled since 1997, and now with it back together construction can start on our engine house building. Two cranes were needed to assemble the pieces. Over the next week we will attach many more of the smaller parts of the engine.
Monday, June 30, 2008
The fabrication of the engine house building components have been completed and within the next couple of weeks will be delivered to the Tod Engine Heritage Park. The photos show the eight building columns waiting to be delivered.
Our next major project is placing the crankshaft in its bearings and assembling the flywheel. When that is done we will be ready to start pouring foundations, assuming we obtain the building permits soon.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The large Cottonwood tree that shaded the rear of the Tod Engine Heritage Park property was cut down this evening. We plan to start developing the rear of the property and it was decided to get rid of the tree now instead of wait until it falls on a building or equipment. About a dozen logs will be sawn into lumber at a local sawmill for use by one of our volunteers. The smaller branches are being cut into firewood.
While we will miss the shade, we just could not bear the risk of this quite overgrown tree falling in a big storm. We do plan to plant other trees in the rear of the property for landscaping and shade purposes.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The eight story Stambaugh Building was built in 1906. Shortly thereafter firms such as Youngstown Sheet and Tub and Brier Hill Iron & Coal Co. established their corproate headquarters inside. In 1913 the growth of Youngstown Sheet and Tube required that four additional stories be added to the building, bringing the height to 12 stories. Over the years YS&T slowly occupied most of the space in the building, including Brier Hill's space after YS&T acquired Brier Hill Steel in 1923.
The building was designed by Albert Kahn, one of Detroit’s most important architects. It was designed in the Neo-Classical Revival style. In the early 1960s YS&T decided to construct a new corporate office and laboratory in Boardman, OH, and in 1964 moved their corporate HQ from the Stambaugh Building. Once YS&T vacated the building Standard Slag relocated their corporate offices to the structure. In 1982 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From the building's construction in 1906 until vacated by YS&T in 1964, this building bore witness to the growth of what was to become the Nation's third largest steelmaker. In 1906 YS&T was a small producer of wrought iron sheet and pipe. Their first blast furnaces and Bessemer converters were then under construction. Led by James A. Campbell, Sheet and Tube would expand by leaps and bounds until it had become a major producer of steel products.
Meanwhile, just a block away in a similar skyscraper off of Market Street bridge was the corporate office of Republic Steel Corporation, also one of the largest steel companies in the US. Republic moved to Cleveland in 1935, but in those years when both Republic and YS&T were both located in Youngstown, the decisions made in those two buildings shaped a good part of the development of America's steel industry.
Now a Cleveland developer named Lou Frangos has purchased the Stambaugh Building, and through a very shortsighted maneuver, has removed most of the windows on the west facade. He claims that the windows were unsafe, however a much more measured approach of inspecting the windows and removal of those in most danger of failing would have been a more appropriate response. Now several hundred openings exist in the building, and one heavy storm may cause untold amounts of water damage to the interior. At the very least a building permit was required, but was not obtained.
Fortunately the leadership of the City of Youngstown is not blind to this issue, and is aggressively pursuing Mr. Frangos to ascertain his intentions. The City's immediate goal is to make sure the building is secured, possibly through boarding up the openings with plywood. However they have stated that a longer term strategy for window replacement will be required of Mr. Frangos.
Nobody in Youngstown wants to see one of our landmark buildings fall into disrepair in the midst of our downtown's rennaissance. I am especially concerned that one of the last tangible pieces of our city's own homegrown steel company is being treated with such disrespect. Slowly the industrial landmarks that once defined this Valley, and brought worldwide attention to our community, are being removed forever. Let's not stand idly by while the Stambaugh Building languishes in its hour of greatest need.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
We expect to begin construction within the next month or so. The Park will be open on an irregular basis, essentially when I am there it is open! Visitors should call first to make sure I'll be there, 330-272-4089.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
In January the Mahoning Valley Railroad Heritage Association moved their Pollock open top hot metal car from Brier Hill to their proposed Steel Valley Railroad Museum site on Poland Avenue in Youngstown. This car was built for either YS&T or Valley Mould & Iron, and was acquired from Ellwood Engineered Castings in 1993. At the time it had been sitting off track in front of EEC's melt shop.
The appearance of the car is a good sign that the MVRHA is making progress toward constructing their museum facility. They have a long road ahead as they own almost 20 pieces of equipment and have about 200 feet of track laid thus far!
This is a working model of a three stand cold strip mill. It was one of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube models, of which the seamless, butt weld pipe and 79" hot strip mill models now reside at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. However, this model is absent. This photo was taken at a trade show in the 1940s.
I have not seen any photos or mention of this model until I found this photo today. I did hear rumors that some museum out east (Smithsonian and Hagley come to mind as possibilities) had acquired a YS&T model. Could this be the one?
It sure would be great to someday find and return this model to Youngstown, if it still exists.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
In Scranton, PA just up the tracks from the Steamtown National Park are four stone blast furnaces. The site is now a park open year round, but a century ago was a bustling iron smelting, puddling and rolling operation. Largely unknown by the throngs that visit Steamtown, it is perhaps one of the most unique stone furnace sites in the nation.
I don't know if this building still stands, but two winters ago I found the former Shenango Furnace river pump house in Sharpsville, PA. To get to it one had to walk along the former Erie mainline from Sharpsville west about a mile. A friend remembers seeing pumps inside the building but all we found was an empty shell. This building would have housed the equipment to pump Shnango River water up to the blast furnaces operated by Shenango, Inc. This is the same plant that the Mesta blowing engine at Pittsburgh's Station Square came from.
The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor has a wonderful collection of photographs depicting various rebuilds of the Ohio Works blast furnaces in the 1940s and 1950s. This particular photos from their collection shows all six blast furnaces with a section of the stockhouse trestle between 5 and 6 being rebuilt. I am sure this caused some operational headaches for the ironmaking department, although I don't think number 6 furnace was operating at that time.