This abandoned church was designed in Byzantine Revival architecture style in 1912. The First use of the building was as the El Emanuel Congregation Temple of Youngstown, Ohio. The first literary mention of the Temple I could find was in the “The American Architect” published in 1909, stating that plans were being made to erect a synagogue at 117 East Rayen Avenue in Youngstown. (https://books.google.com/books?id=2fJZAAAAYAAJ) The “American Synogogues: A Photo Journey” (http://jpreisler.com/AmericanSynagogue/OhioSamplePage.htm) stated its construction in 1912 depicting 2007 photographs of the temple still intact with front doors and none of the current damages. So it must have been in use until 2007 by the El Emanuel Temple.
According to the “History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley Ohio, Volume 2 by J.G. Butler” the Youngstown Hebrew Institute was founded in 1907 establishing the Emanuel Congregation school at this address. The study rooms were fitted up in a frame building attached to this church building in the rear and conducted schooling until 1919 when attendance increased so much that they had to relocate the school to better accommodations at the Wood street public school building after regular school hours teaching reading/writing of the Hebrew language, religious training, and secular education from 1st to 6th grade. It was taken over in 2009 by the St. Andrewes Foundation of Faith as a Black American Heritage Church who were making plans to buy the Temple building according to a July 31, 2009 article. The St. Andrewes African Methodist Episcopal Church purchased the building in 2009 and appears to have been in ruin and abandoned by 2015. The church apparently changed its name three times through courses of moves. (http://www.vindy.com/news/2009/jul/31/its-name-has-changed-three-times-because-of-moves/) At some point the “I Am” Inc. Internet service provider used this street address according to Yelp. (https://www.yelp.com/biz/i-am-inc-youngstown) There was a report of a February 27, 2015 burglary of the stain glass windows while the building lie in ruin as reported here: http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/feb/27/police-apprehend-burglary-suspect-at-chu/. Property Shark web site (https://www.propertyshark.com/mason/Property/81097765/117-E-Rayen-Ave-Youngstown-OH-44503/) states the parcel ID as 53-017-0-057.00-0, Lot 781 50 x 150 in school district 53. It is reported to be .172 acres at 3,990 square feet and built in 1900 with a 150 depth, commercial structures 499. There was change of ownerships recorded for 03/07/2016; 08/02/2012; 02/09/2012; 05/11/2001; 01/01/1990. Its 2017-2018 property taxes was $1,033/year with a land value of $8,330, a building value $26,450; and a total market value of $34,780. (https://www.propertyshark.com/mason/Property/81097765/117-E-Rayen-Ave-Youngstown-OH-44503/)
This whole block of churches seem to have befell similar tragedies: one caught on fire from a lightning strike, another one burnt down, one damaged by a tornado, one that has been converted to a brewery, and others abandoned … makes one think that God or some other entity doesn’t want churches on this block). Located around the corner from the First Presbyterian Church, First Calvary Church, and Youngstown Masonic Temple.
Rated: Unrated of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~
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