The Wells Building

The Wells Building on West Federal Street in downtown Youngstown was constructed between 1915 and 1917 and has been listed on the National Register since 1986. Originally built for business and commerce, the Wells Building fell vacant and deteriorated badly over the years. Through the recent efforts of the Youngstown Area Community Improvement Corporation and Strollo Architects, and in cooperation with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and its tax credit program for the rehabilitation of historic structures, the Wells Building was saved from demolition.  The restoration project on the 29,500 square foot building included a mixed-use of basement storage, new first-floor office space for Strollo Architects, and four new apartment units on each of the three floors above.  Restoration work was done on the terra cotta cladding, the wrought iron fire escape, and 50% of the original wood windows (most were missing or beyond rehabilitation and were replaced with appropriate materials). A façade renovation dating from the 1950s was also rehabilitated, respecting that more contemporary period’s use of porcelain enamel panels, aluminum storefront, and signage.  Although there were few remaining interior historic elements requiring rehabilitation, the historic basement metal panel doors and stairs, and the first floor historic column capitals and stamped metal ceiling panels received the same careful attention as the exterior so that the Wells Building would be in complete conformity with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.

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