Local artist’s mural of Youngstown will cover up big gap downtown to help beautify city

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The banner will feature Bob Barko's mural, called "Here in Youngstown," which is 32 feet long and 6 feet high

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There’s an unsightly hole in downtown Youngstown that may eventually be filled with condos, but for now, a new piece of art will have to do.

Not long ago, most of the old State Theater in Youngstown was demolished — the only thing left is the building’s facade. A lot of people might remember it as the Agora.

Local artist Bob Barko, owner of Steeltown Studios, has found a way to plug the hole that was left behind by covering up the facade of the old State Theater with a mural he has put together.

The building’s facade will also be redone, painted to look like the original State Theater.

The project is called the State Theater Block Project. It’s a partnership between Barko, Youngstown CityScape, Strollo Architects and Leadership Mahoning Valley.

“This is a project … to beautify downtown Youngstown, to fill in the missing tooth, so to speak,” Barko said.

The fence on site is going to be replaced by a 12-foot fence, which is where a huge banner will hang. The banner will be 42 feet long and 12 feet high.

The banner will feature Barko’s mural, called “Here in Youngstown,” which depicts scenes of Youngstown’s history. It is 32 feet long and 6 feet high.

“It’ll be Masonite panels and it will feature an idealized version of the old State Theater,” Barko said.

Below the mural on the banner will be the key and sponsor information.

Barko raised $11,000 for the project and hopes it will be completed in about a month. He is volunteering his time to finish it.

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