Send Us Your Memories

MuralSketchLit Youngstown, in collaboration with the YSU Art Department, is seeking memories for an Andrews Ave. mural. The mural will be painted by students of Professor Dragana Crnjak, in a special topics class on creating public art.

We are so grateful for a Raymond J. Wean Foundation Neighborhood SUCCESS Grant to help us fund the project. The mural will feature a memory line, a ribbon of memories running throughout the piece. As the mural is in downtown Youngstown, and the project is an act of beautification of our neighborhood, we are seeking memories of downtown Youngstown from current or past residents/visitors of the city. The submission portal will be open until May 31.

What is your earliest memory of downtown Youngstown? Did you live in or visit the City as a child? Did you move to Youngstown as a YSU student, or come for a job?

We are looking for memories of downtown Youngstown, difficult and lovely, from current/former residents who are diverse in age, ethnicity, and experience. Youngstown is a complicated place, and our shared memories reflect that complexity.

Please submit one memory per person, one-two sentences. Include specific details to help the reader imagine your memory. See examples below:

“My favorite restaurant was Charlie Staples, and we would all pile in my Grandpa’s silver Buick on Friday night. My mouth waters remembering that sweet, sticky sauce.”
“YSU was like a secret garden surrounded by neighborhoods that must have been unimaginably beautiful. When I took walks off campus, I thought about winning the lottery, buy all those houses and bring them back to life.”
“I met my husband at the Elms Ballroom. I saw him from across the room, wearing a beautiful hat, dancing like it was a Hollywood movie.”
“The first time I saw downtown Youngstown it was almost completely shuttered. Then a few bars and restaurants opened, with the exposed brick and tin ceilings, and it felt urgent to keep them alive.”
“Soon as I was old enough to get in with a fake I.D., I was at Cedars every weekend to hear great music and hang out with all the musicians, artists and other misfits.”

The deadline for submissions is May 31. We’ll be in touch over the summer about selected memories and mural progression.

8 thoughts on “Send Us Your Memories

  1. Tamie Kerr

    I did not grow up in Youngstown but arrived after graduating from a nearby college so I have no memories to add. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for planning to paint this mural. I work on Andrews Avenue and drive past this wall almost everyday. I have often thought this is the perfect canvas for a large mural with the history of Youngstown. I can’t wait until it is finished. I won’t miss the disgusting rhino that is painted there now. Kudos to all of you and your vision.

  2. diane Behmer

    Back in the 1970s, Goodwill Industries held an annual Dolly Derby. My mom – the Girl Scout troop leader- would get dolls from them and each scout would sew appropriate clothing for “their” doll. The dressed dolls, including everything from baby dolls to bride dolls were then “donated” back to Goodwill for judging, an open house and eventual resale in Goodwill stores. Through this troop service project we not only helped the community but also learned a skill & most likely earned a Scout badge in the process!

  3. Eric Clausen

    I recall as a toddler being Fascinated by the “man on market” looking south on wick ave the streetlights of the mkt street bridge resembled the body of a man. The head consisted of a 50 ft round neon Amaco gasoline billboard at the corner of Woodland & Market street.

  4. Rev. Monica Beasley-Martin

    In one of my earliest memories, I am an African American child, sitting on my grandparents front porch, located at 354 W. Myrtle Ave. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, a man of peace had been brutally murdered. I saw soldiers, and tanks, drive past, on their way to Hillman Street, to squash the erupting violence.

  5. Debbie

    Earliest memory of Youngstown was our regular trips to the Health Food store on Federal. The old guy, Searl, would give me and my sisters a healthy pop that we loved. Sometimes my Mom would lock us in the car and run in and I would observe all the people walking around. I especially remember looking at the Edward Powers Auditorium, empty, but fascinating to me. I was like 8 years old.

  6. Hal Larson

    I couldn’t wait to get to go on the Tunnel of Love in Idora Park. My friends and I would always go with girls we liked and see who we could get a kiss from. Nothing beat those good old days. I’d also hitchhike across town as a boy to Schwebel’s and sit and have a snack and drink watching traffic go by…What a time.

  7. Jon Locketti

    I’ve lived in Youngstown area my entire life. The only reason I ever traversed downtown was to go to the original Cedars Lounge location. It always felt like a Youngstown Cheers, where everyone knew your name or at least your face. I could envision a night scene from the exterior of the building looking in through the windows at a packed crowd. Good luck with the submissions. Look forward to seeing the finish product. I love the mural on Market St when you’re coming into town.


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