This old house is new again in the Mill Creek Park neighborhood | News, Sports, Jobs


Tiffany Sokol, director of housing for Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., stands in front of a 19th-century Victorian home on Old Furnace Drive in Youngstown during an open house Wednesday at the residence….Correspondent Photo/Sean Barron

YOUNGSTOWN – For Anthony Appugliese, stepping into a historic 19th-century home probably felt as much like a reunion as it did a unique exhibit.

“The last time I was in this house I was 9 years old and I was selling sweets for school,” recalls Appugliese, 59, from Poland.

To sweeten things up a bit for him, an open house was held Wednesday at the residence next to Mill Creek Park at 900 Old Furnace Road, which has undergone several months of major renovations and upgrades.

The host of the 90-minute rally was the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., which partnered with the park and the city of Youngstown.

A steady stream of pedestrians visited the two-story Victorian home which went on the market on Tuesday. The asking price is $250,000.

Accompanying Appugliese was his mother, Renate, who with her husband, Andrew, has lived opposite the historic house since 1971. Anthony Appugliese recalled that the house was renovated in the 1980s and a large bedroom and double car garage have been added. Before that, the garage was down the hill in the park, he recalls.

“They put a lot of money into it, maybe $60,000,” Appugliese said.

Tiffany Sokol, director of housing for the YNDC, noted that Robert and Isabelle Hamilton built the house between 1860 and 1874 before the park purchased it around 1890. It had been used as the YMCA clubhouse as well as the residence of the Superintendent of Mill Creek Park for many years. After that, the house sat vacant for nearly 20 years, she said.

“The park made the decision and was ready to leave the house in the hands of someone who would renovate it and bring it back to productive use,” Sokol said. “It’s a quality home for a family, but we wanted to retain its historic character.”

Since YNDC began work on the home earlier this year, it has received numerous electrical upgrades, a new HVAC system, and insulation. Additional renovations were done to the roof, siding, windows, doors, hardwood floors, kitchen counters and full basement, she continued.

The two-story residence features three bedrooms upstairs, two newly renovated full bathrooms, a combined living room and sunroom, a dining room with built-in dressers, a kitchen with an adjoining pantry that would have been a library , the basement with two access points and plenty of storage space which includes spacious twin closets in the master bedroom.

Most of the walls have been repainted with neutral colors which are mainly soft green and light beige.

Sokol worried about what the fate of the house might have been had YNDC not acquired it from the city, with the agreement that the agency would take care of the renovations and then sell it.

“With houses like this, the longer they sit vacant, without any investment, the more likely they are to be demolished,” she said.

Ian Beniston, executive director of the YNDC, noted that careful landscaping had been done in the courtyard which adjoins the park. Such work on the house, which also has an attached outdoor porch, added to its ambience, in part because it’s the first one motorists see when driving up the hill from the nearby Pioneer Lodge, a- he explained.

Through the work, the impression created “presents well for the Old Furnace area,” Beniston said, adding that efforts were made throughout the process to respect the residence’s history and preserve its character.

The months of renovations and upgrades won the hearts of many who visited on Wednesday, including Appugliese and her mother.

“I’m into remodeling and it was done well,” he said.

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