Settled in 1796 by John Young, Youngstown originally consisted of land purchased by Young, but eventually expanded and became the seat of Mahoning County in 1876. In the early 19th century, the community discovered coal and was included on the network of the Erie Canal, and by the end of the century, Youngstown had become a center of steel production. Today, Youngstown still contains several steel and metalworking operations, but its major employers now include Youngstown State University, Youngstown Business Incubator, and Turning Technologies.
Although Youngstown has its own metropolitan area and is 65 miles from Cleveland and 61 miles from Pittsburgh, it is still frequently included in both commercial and cultural depictions of the Pittsburgh Tri-State area and Greater Cleveland, and lies within the Rust Belt region.
Some local attractions in Youngstown are the Covelli Centre, a 5,900-seat multi-purpose arena that features hockey games, concerts, and more, as well as Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, Oakland Center for the Arts, and Youngstown Playhouse. A multitude of beautiful parks, such as Mill Creek Park, are found in the Youngstown area, and shopping destinations include Southern Park Mall and Eastwood Mall. The Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) services Youngstown, Mahoning County, and Trumbull County, and nearby is the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.
In 2012, Youngstown was ranked by Forbes.com as the “4th Best City in the U.S.” in which to raise a family, based on the city’s education system, cost-of-living, current low crime, and property tax rates.
Youngstown’s City School District provides an early college program in conjunction with Youngstown State University that permits high school students to jumpstart their college education by earning college credit, while the university offers tuition rates that are lower than those of other Ohio public universities. Youngstown State University has one of the oldest, still operating, music schools in the country and its ABET-accredited engineering programs make the university one of the country’s best engineering schools.
Architecture in Youngstown’s historic Fifth Avenue district consists of Tudor, Victorian, and Spanish Colonial Revival styles. The city as a whole offers single-family homes at extremely affordable rates, and has featured a mixture of new construction development, renovations of existing areas, and restorations in an attempt to revitalize the downtown area. In 2004, Arlington Heights, a 60-home upscale development with ample senior housing, rental townhouses, and single-family homes, was built. Additionally, many previously abandoned downtown buildings have been converted into specialty shops, restaurants, and condominiums.
In 2005, the city worked with Youngstown State University to motivate the community and founded a “Youngstown 2010” plan to create a “cleaner, greener, and better planned and organized Youngstown.” In 2007, the American Planning Association awarded this plan for its public outreach.
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