project leader
Phil K
260 Park Avenue
(Wick Park Historic District)
latest update rss
Project Update (January 2019)

the project

Youngstown CityScape is undertaking one of its most ambitious (and coolest) projects to date and needs your help!

We are seeking to relocate and renovate the Welsh Congregational Church on Elm Street (think: small, wooden church next to Saint Columba Cathederal).

At 157 years of age, the church is the OLDEST in the city of Youngstown. It's new home will be Wick Park where, once renovated, it will be converted into an events center for the community to use and enjoy (ex. weddings, arts/culture events, lectures, community meetings, etc).

the steps

July 2018: Campaign Kickoff

August 2018: Church Moving Event

Fall 2018 - Completion: Renovation Work Begins

why we're doing it

During the middle and late 1800s, Youngstown began to develop as an industrial powerhouse, and its population expanded with the arrival of thousands of western European immigrants. The largest ethnic group was Welsh, many of whom came to work in coal mines at Brier Hill.

Welsh Congregational Church was founded in 1845, but significant growth prompted the members to construct a new building at its current location on Elm Street in 1861. Major reconstruction was performed on the building in 1887, however, few other alterations were made over the next century.

The church was sold to another congregation in 1976 and it served as a place of worship until a fire in 1997 permanently closed the structure. In 1986, the church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, qualifying both because of its historically significant architecture and because of its place in community history.

In 1990, Youngstown State was commissioned to conduct a renovation study. They estimated renovation costs at $158,220.00, mostly for structural work. In 2006, a coalition of local community members attempted to raise funds to renovate the structure. Some work was completed to the basement, however, a disagreement by the owners about end use of the church prevented the project from moving forward.

In 2015, the church was purchased by the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown for purposes of clearing the land to make way for additional parking and other improvements. Not wanting to demolish the structure but not possessing the funds to relocated and renovate it, the Diocese sought community partners who might be interested and able to do so. This led to a discussion with CityScape.

In 2017, CityScape convened a site visit and meeting with the diocese, mayor, architects and others to assess the feasibility of the project. It was determined that relocation of the church to Wick Park would be ideal given the park’s strong community identification and usage, location in a historic district, recent investments, and proximity to nearby Stambaugh Auditorium, YSU and other institutions which could utilize it for various events.

CityScape began an exploration of the costs associated with moving and securing the structure as well as identifying potential funders. These items were successfully negotiated and a tentative plan for relocation was developed so that it could be presented to the CityScape board for further discussion.

At 157 years of age, the church remains the oldest in the city of Youngstown. Its relocation to Wick Park (and subsequent renovation) would provide the organization with a unique opportunity for a truly legacy project in relation its mission of historic preservation.

Should CityScape choose not to move forward with this project, the church will most certainly be demolished and its history will be relegated to a local landfill as has been the case will so many important structures in the city.

This project will not be a small or easy one but, if successful, could be a major addition to Wick Park and a valuable assest to the community.


Disbursed Budget 3.27.19:



TOTAL RAISED = $1,770.00
less ioby Platform Fee $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $50.53

Original Budget:

Renovating a nearly 160-year-old church is a big project but the first thing we need to do is build a foundation for it to rest on. This is where you come in. We need your help to raise $10,000 by October 31st. These funds will help us with material and labor costs so that we can move on this important first part of the project.

Subtotal = 10,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $300
Total to raise = $10,335



Project Update (January 2019)

As we enter the New Year, we’d like to provide you an update on the project.

As you probably know by now, we, unfortunately, will not be able to move the church to Wick Park. While we received strong overall support from the community as well as initial approval from the City of Youngstown, circumstances beyond our control prevent us from moving forward with that plan. Naturally, this set our planning back to square one which has taken time to sort out given the amount of coordination involved not to mention the management of other projects and events on our plate.

However, we do have some good news to report. We are currently in discussion with the City of Youngstown and other community members regarding another potential space not far from the church’s current location. This is still in a discussion phase but we are hopeful about this alternative yet exciting plan.

To that end, we’d like to thank you not only for your support of the preservation of the church but also your patience. As you can imagine, this is a major undertaking, especially for a small non-profit organization like ours.

Of course, we will keep you updated as things develop. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the project, please feel free to contact us at any time. We’d be glad to discuss the project with you.


Youngstown CityScape Board & Staff


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Cathy Reinard
  • Maggie Pentz-Law
  • Phillips T R.
  • Anonymous
  • The Vinion Family 551686018731
  • Debbie Lawlor
  • Hope Haney
  • Leslie Brown
  • Anonymous
  • Jodi Hanousek
  • Howard
  • E & J Tabor
  • In memory of Merv and Wanda Jones
  • Christine Legow
  • Anonymous
  • Paul H.
  • Lita Marie Wills
  • Tim F.
  • David & Judith Jones
  • Anonymous
  • Robert and Rachel Markwell
  • Pam
  • Patti
  • John D.
  • Terri & Carol
  • Anonymous
  • Kaela G
  • Phil Kidd