Youngstown Historic Center Forges 30 Years of Industrial Strength History | News, Sports, Jobs

Staff Photo / Andy Gray … Frank Krygowski of Poland checks out the recreation of a steelworks locker room at the Historic Center of Industry and Labor in Youngstown on Saturday. The museum celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

YOUNGSTOWN — The historic center of industry and labor in Youngstown held a block party on Saturday as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations.

Visitors toured the museum, sampled refreshments, and enjoyed activities offered by the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, Melnik Medical Museum, and Youngstown State University Archives.

“The goal was to open up the facility and show people what a gem we are in the community,” said Marcelle Wilson, site manager for the center. “Sometimes it seems like we’re Youngstown’s best-kept secret.”

Poland’s Frank Krygowski is no stranger to the centre. He said that when he taught manufacturing technology at Youngstown State University, he regularly asked his students to visit the museum and quiz them about what was there.

“I think we really need something like this,” Krygowski said. “The steel industry is responsible for this town’s existence, and too few people realize that.”

Wilson led tours of the building, designed by famed architect Michael Graves and opened in 1992.

“I’m really pleased with the turnout,” Wilson said. “I interacted and spoke with many people, learning about their connection to the factories. It was really fun.

While the museum’s main audience comes from Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties and Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Wilson said, “We actually get people from all over the world.

Saturday’s event attracted several foreign visitors with local ties.

Michael Deem, a Struthers native who now lives in Texas, took his family to the museum while visiting relatives.

“Dad worked in the steel mills,” he said. “My wife and her father worked in the mills. I think all grandfathers did. Almost everyone has.

Chris and Celene Jackson of Kalamazoo, Michigan, were visiting relatives in Greenville, Pennsylvania, and they spent the day at the museum and the nearby Butler Institute of American Art.

Loron Cox, a Boardman native who now lives in Jacksonville, Florida, said, “It’s a great place. I love the story, watching the black monday news.

The center kicked off its 30th anniversary celebration with a series of lectures in April. Three programs remain, and the next features Tom Leary, outgoing director of the applied history program at YSU, on “Saving Steel History: 30 Years of Preserving Industrial Heritage” on June 23.

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