The Youngstown Mattress Company

by Megan M. on June 1, 2005 · View Comments (Blog) |

I sort of dropped the ball on this one, but I’m going to pick it back up. I went back a week or two ago to get pictures of the poor, gutted Mattress Co. It was so sad. I had heard that it was an Arts effort and even not knowing anything about it, that made it much worse. It means that there were things destroyed that can never be replaced, not in a million years.

I got two rockin’ comments from Greg at and he gave me some more information about the whole ordeal. His site, by the way, is wildly cool. There are a lot of astouding pictures – far better pictures than I managed to get, most especially because I was afraid to go too close, lest I be in the way (or lest someone get pissed at me)! Yeah, I’m a closet pyro – but really, who isn’t? And I will be the first to tell you that disasters like this are disturbing and saddening, but there is also something fascinating and powerful about them. I won’t go into that again, because I already yammered about it. :}

Greg says [with links added afterward]:

Good day. I read your blog and the fire you took photos of was the Youngstown Mattress Company Arts Center. It was a renovated Mattress Maufacturing building converted to studio apartments and small shops. I am facinated with fire photography and in the daily life of firefighters. I created to share my interest with others and to honor the men and women who fight the battles you were so drawn to.

The second fire you linked to was a trailer fire in Youngstown, Florida. WJHG is their local NBC affiliate.

There was a second vacant house fire on the South Side while the Yo Mattress Comapny Arts Center was burning.

The third fire you linked to on was a photo story I submitted on the 520 Garfield structure fire. It was a different day entirely :)

[Note from Megan: With breathtaking photos!]

I loved your photos! They capture exactly what I saw as I was on my way to photograph the fire. You caught the fire early on. Here is some information you can add, the fire was at the Youngstown Mattress Arts Center at 40 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (You can see more pictures in the Youngstown Fire Department in Action galleries). The building was 105 years old. In photo 15175954_618ce086ac_o.jpg, the red and brick building with the flag is the main Youngstown Fire Station. Let me know what other questions you have about the fire and I’ll try and answer them :)


So thanks for the kind words and the offer, dude! I guess the thing I am wondering most is whether there is an existing website for the Youngstown Mattress Co. as an Arts Center, or if there is somewhere I can find out more information about it. It kills me that I didn’t even know it existed, and now it’s gone. If anyone has questions they want to ask Greg, gimme and I’ll post em (or I’ll email him). And then we’ll have answers. :}

  • sara
    I stumbled upon your website while doing a Mattress Company search. I find it interesting and heartbreaking that you wrote "I didn't even know about it" I don't often go around promoting my site, but in this case, you should read: Now you will know about it.

    You will find much info on my blog, including the YoMattCo website link and also updates to what I am doing as well as the archive of the benefit we held. And if you want to go inside of the building through the lens of a camera you can see my show opening from last June at . If you have any questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them.
  • worldmegan
    Greg - absolutely. Do you mind just adding my name and linking back here from the pictures you do post? I hope folks enjoy them! :} For future reference, this CC license is the one I use with almost all my photos, in case anyone else was curious. :}
  • yfdgricker
    worldmegan, may I post your fire photos in a gallery on Bluryness aside, I think many visitors to my site would love to see them.


  • yfdgricker
    Fire Ruled Accidental
    From the Youngstown Vindicator on 6/4/2005.

    YOUNGSTOWN — The fire that destroyed a 105-year-old downtown building nearly two weeks ago has been ruled accidental, fire department officials said.

    Capt. Tim McGarry of the Youngstown Fire Department said the cause of the fire at the Youngstown Mattress Company Arts Center has still not been determined. No damage amounts are available because insurance companies are still investigating, he said.

    The fire broke out around 6:30 p.m. May 22 at the center at 460 Martin Luther King Blvd. Many area artists used the building to display and create their work.

    The department also responded to several structure fires on Friday night. Details were not available.
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