Unbuilt: Youngstown’s Square Tunnel

Youngstown, Ohio‘s central square lies at the intersection of Federal Street, Wick Avenue and Market Street and began to be developed after the Civil War when a monument was placed in the center of the intersection. By 1900, the city’s prominent banks, hotels and businesses ringed the square.

By the 1930s, the half-circle consisted of haphazard parking and crude way-finding, which was streamlined in 1955.1 But traffic continued to congest at what was arguably Youngstown’s busiest intersection. In 1969, Mayor A.B. Flask and city engineer J. Phillip Richley proposed a $1.8 million development that would include a pedestrian mall for Federal Street and a tunnel for Wick Avenue under the square. The monument would be moved to the end of Federal Street, replaced with a fountain surrounded by black terrazzo.

Construction was set to begin shortly after but was scaled back. Not surprisingly, the tunnel under the pedestrian mall was scrapped.


  1. Peskin, Dale. “Great Expectations: Square Tunnel.” Vindicator [Youngstown] 16 Jul. 1978: 3. Print.

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