Upgrading a rocky, historical exterior

Located on Fifth Avenue near Wick Park neighborhoods, Stambaugh Auditorium is undergoing an exterior repair. Photo by Jessica Stamp / The Jambar

By Jessica Stamp

Coming this summer, Stambaugh Auditorium is getting a grand restoration as it approaches its 100th anniversary in December 2026.

The state of the limestone exterior and staircase is deteriorating from the years of harsh winters, sun, rain and sleet. 

JoAnn Stock, chief development officer, said Stambaugh Auditorium’s exterior condition is becoming a safety hazard.

“The steps are original, and over the years the material has started to deteriorate. They were cracked, they were crumbling and it was turning into a safety hazard,” Stock said.

Stock is taking steps to improve the exterior of the building because of its history to the Youngstown community. 

“Stambaugh Auditorium is such a landmark in our community,” Stock said. “It’s up to us to maintain that and its historic site … with its adjacency to Wick Park and the historic neighborhood.” 

As stated on the Stambaugh Auditorium website, the project will restore doors and iron while replacing the staircase and promenade. It will also include a wheelchair accessible ramp, exterior lighting and cleaning of the exterior facade.

The project will restore doors and iron while replacing the staircase and promenade.

Stock said there was some patch work to the stairs as a temporary fix a couple of years ago, but the upkeep of the auditorium’s interior was the main focus. 

 “The board of directors decided that we needed to replace [the stairs] and make improvements that will hopefully last for the next 100 years,” Stock said.  “We wanted to rejuvenate the entire exterior of the building.”

The total cost of the project is $4.1 million, and about $500,000 more is needed to complete the project.

“We’ve raised the bulk of it through the support of our local foundations, and we received $1.4 million through the state capital budget process,” Stock said. 

Stock said they hope to finish by mid-June 2022 with the last of the funds raised and final construction that needs to be completed.

There is a committee set up making requests to donors and the general community asking for donations. On the Stambaugh Auditorium website, under the support section, is a page with information about the restoration along with how individuals can donate to help support and complete the project. 

Any donated amount is welcome and accepted.