Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

David Birskovich: Drawings of Niles, Ohio.

Ward — Thomas Museum
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David’s drawing of North Main Street looking toward the intersection of Park Avenue and west side of South Main.

Niles Historical Society's photograph of the buildings at the intersection of Park Avenue and west side of South Main

North Main Street looking toward intersection of Park Avenue and west side of South Main. Frame building at left of center was the Harris House, sold by the Harris heirs to the Niles Trust Co. in 1920 for the construction of the Niles Bank Building. The Swaney block- now gone is next on the right. The IOOF building, also gone housed Backenstos Jewelry, Wells Fargo and Singer Sewing Machine Co. Large building in right foreground is the Wagstaff building, occupied by Niles Plumbing and Heating and Niles Electric Co. It was torn down when the Memorial was erected. PO1.921

Local Artist Draws Historic Area Buildings.

David Birskovich has a very interesting hobby— Seeing historical buildings disappearing, he began preserving them in his artwork.

A graduate of Niles McKinley High School, Class of 1964, David had the opportunity to study art with Mario Bartolini. He attributes his pursuit of drawing to his Latin I teacher, Mrs. Lucille Ponte, at Edison Junior High School. Mrs. Ponte saw in David’s doodles a talent to be encouraged.

David’s drawing of North Main Street looking toward the intersection of Park Avenue and west side of South Main. The Swaney Building (1904), the IOOF Building(1905) housed Backenstos Jewelry, Wells Fargo and Singer Sewing Machine Co. The large building in foreground, the Wagstaff Building, was occupied by Niles Plumbing & Heating and the Niles Electric Co. This building was torn down when the McKinley Memorial was erected in 1917.

Below David's drawing is the Niles Historical Society's photograph of the buildings at the intersection of Park Avenue and west side of South Main from which David took his inspiration.

     

David’s drawing of the City National Bank Building which had been built in 1893 on part of the site of the original McKinley home was bought in 1905 by the Dollar Bank. The Dollar Bank remained at this location until 1918 when it moved to the southeast corner of Main and Park Avenue.

David studied architecture at Kent State University and then worked for Bill Copich in Girard, Ohio. He then traveled around and stopped in Silicon Valley, spending 23 years as an architect for the big electronics people there in research and development. Retiring in 1995 David returned home to McKinley Heights to property that has been in his family for over 100 years.

Through the years David enrolled in many art classes to please himself. Seeing buildings of historical importance disappearing, he began to capture them on paper. In David’s drawings an architect’s skill can be observed along with a talent for watercolors, colored pencil and ink on watercolor paper. Many of David’s drawings are taken from old photographs that he so skillfully brings to life. David generously shares his drawings, donating copies to be exhibited.

David’s drawing of the City National Bank Building which had been built in 1893 on part of the site of the original McKinley home was bought in 1905 by the Dollar Bank. The Dollar Bank remained at this location until 1918 when it moved to the southeast corner of Main and Park Avenue.


Color postcard of the Benedict building, old City National Bank Building, Clingan Building, Deither-Carter Building.

PO1.138

Color postcard of the Benedict building, old City National Bank Building, Clingan Building, Deither-Carter Building.

 

 

Left to right: West side of South Main Street as it appeared at the turn of the century in 1894. Benedict building, old City National Bank Building, Clingan Building, Deither-Carter Building.

West side of South Main Street as it appeared at the turn of the century in 1894. Benedict building, old City National Bank Building, Clingan Building, Deither-Carter Building.

PO1.918


Allison Hotel, as it appeared in 1908

The Allison Hotel was built at the northeast corner of North Main Street and Park Avenue. It was renamed the Heaton Hotel after the founder of Niles (1806) and finally called the Antler Hotel. It was demolshed in 1976 during urban renewal.

A photo of a postcard showing Main St. in downtown Niles, Ohio, certainly before the advent of motor vehicles. .PO1.905

The Allison Hotel was built at the northeast corner of North Main Street and Park Avenue. It was renamed the Heaton Hotel after the founder of Niles (1806) and finally called the Antler Hotel. It was demolshed in 1976 during urban renewal.

The Allison Hotel built on the site of the Sanford House in 1904 had its formal opening in 1905. Located on the corner of North Main and East Park Avenue in downtown Niles.PO1.494

Creating a drawing of the original McKinley Homestead, David wanted to place a Packard car in the scene. This led him to the Packard home and then the Packard Museum. (A rendition of this scene can be viewed in the dining room of Scenna’s Restaurant in Mc Kinley Heights along with several other of his drawings.) This led him to begin a project of drawing the Trumbull County Court House (old and new) and the historic buildings of the 1900 era in downtown Warren. These drawings became a part of the Trumbull Memory Project of the Warren Trumbull County Public Library David pays tribute to Elizabeth Glasgow, head of the Warren Trumbull County Public Library History and Geneology Department, for information on Court House Square.

After completing the Warren project, David began drawing Niles’ historical buildings. His Niles collection includes drawings of old Niles downtown buildings that he found on the Niles Historical Society website. The buildings are precisely drawn and beautifully colorized.

David's drawing of the Allison Hotel, as it appeared in 1908, is pictured on the left.

The Allison Hotel was built at the northeast corner of North Main Street and Park Avenue. It was renamed the Heaton Hotel after the founder of Niles (1806) and finally called the Antler Hotel. It was demolshed in 1976 during urban renewal.

Click here for Allison/Heaton/Antler Hotel details.

Heaton Hotel, 1930 and the Antler Hotel before urban renewal, 1976.Heaton Hotel, 1930 and the Antler Hotel before urban renewal, 1976.

The Antler Hotel, formerly known as the Allison Hotel, formerly on the site of the Sanford House. Located on the northeast corner of Main and Park Sts. in downtown Niles before urban renewal. Dated September, 1975The Antler Hotel, formerly known as the Allison Hotel, formerly on the site of the Sanford House. Located on the northeast corner of Main and Park Sts. in downtown Niles before urban renewal. Dated September, 1975 .PO1.495


David Birskovich drawing of First National Bank

Main Street looking north about 1895-1900. The Hartzell Building is on the corner. Two of the next three brick buildings later became a part of Hoffman's Store. The third building and the one on the other side were destroyed prior to 1900. Next was the Wagstaff Building and beyond it the "Grand". PO1.916

David Birskovich drawing of the PRR passenger staion

Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station was located adjacent to the north side of the Mahoning River between the Niles Firebrick Company and South Main Street where the Viaduct would be built in 1933. PO1.1460

 

David Birskovich drawing of the Crandon Buildin

Ward Jones Slate business is in the center.

It was 1905 when Thomas and Hoffman Co. moved into a newly constructed building at 33 South Main Street, the site of its present location. When Ira Thomas resigned from the firm in 1908, it was incorporated as the H.H. Hoffman Co., with Henry H. Hoffman, Homer H. Hoffman, and Frank O. Hoffman as operators. It continued operating until fire destroyed the building in 1962.

It was 1905 when Thomas and Hoffman Co. moved into a newly constructed building at 33 South Main Street, the site of its present location. When Ira Thomas resigned from the firm in 1908, it was incorporated as the H.H. Hoffman Co., with Henry H. Hoffman, Homer H. Hoffman, and Frank O. Hoffman as operators. It continued operating until fire destroyed the building in 1962

PO7.99


William McKinley's birth home.

South Main Street on the east side of the street from Park Avenue to State Street.

South Main Street looking south about 1897 on the east side of the street from Park Avenue to State Street. PO1.283

The only difference in the street was the building of the Armstrong-Morall Building on this side of the Wagstaff Building which later became the site of the Ideal Department Store.

The Niles Hotel on the corner has been gone since 1918 when the Dollar Bank Building was erected on this site.

First building on the left is original residence of James Ward who came to Niles in 1841.

 

David Birskovich drawing of East side of South Main Street.

This picture was taken about 1905. "The Grand" dominates the block. Carmella's had opened their Ice Cream Parlor next to it. Later, T. W. Morral's Clothing Store and the Bakery & Restaurant would be replaced with brick buildings. The Armstrong-Morral Building would become the Ideal Department Store and the Wagstaff Building, Ragazzo's Men's Shop. The Crandon Building built in 1904 became Hoffman's Store the following year.

This picture was taken about 1905. 'The Grand' dominates the block. Carmella's had opened their Ice Cream Parlor next to it.

Later, T. W. Morral's Clothing Store and the Bakery & Restaurant would be replaced with brick buildings.

The Armstrong-Morral Building would become the Ideal Department Store and the Wagstaff Building, Ragazzo's Men's Shop.

The Crandon Building built in 1904 became Hoffman's Store the following year. PO1.919

David Birskovich drawing of Bianco Gas staion at McKinley Heights<empty>


McKinley Heights is a particular interest to David. He has captured many of the businesses and extra ordinary sites of his favorite area along Route 422 and Tibbetts Wick.

He is interested in finding pictures of Kiman’s Grocery, Jordan’s Bar, Crane’s Store and pictures of the McKinley Heights Homecoming of the 1960s.

His renditions of Bianco’s Service Station, Rudy’s and Handy Andy’s can be seen around town.



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