Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Destruction of Warren /Brown Streets

This blog is subtitled "Urban Nihilism from Dayton Ohio". So here is some.

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South Park developed first out Warren and Brown Streets, but later on Wayne. Nowadays the "front" of the neighborhood is seen as along Wayne Avenue. In the past the neighoborhood was focused more to the west, with a neighborhood commercial district developing at the intersection of Brown/Warren/Wyoming.

According to this zoning map the business district was still mostly intact in 1980, and some of it was still there when I moved to Dayton, with a used bookstore in an old commercial building at the corner of Wyoming and Brown.

By 2007 this buisiness district had been nearly totally removed. In fact, since 1980, a substantial amount of the building stock on Warren has been removed. Maybe 50%?

With the renewed interest in Brown Street and the Fairgrounds and South Park neighborhoods I had some hope that some the old commercial buildings left on Brown would be rehabbed. Driving down on Brown I noticed this.... continuing down Brown and Warren. The pix are captioned and tell the story.

This situation isn't just South Park. Neighborhood buisness districts in Dayton are an endangered species. Since 1960, on the West Side, the Washington Street district (between the bridge and Cincinnati) has been totally destroyed, and almost everything on W Fifth.

Tals Corner and especially Troy/Valley/Keowee are probably not long for this world.

St Annes Hill lost nearly all of two neighoborhood districts, one on 5th between, roughly Stivers and LaBelle, and at 5th and the railroad.

There are probably more examples that I don't know about. And then there are the busy streets that become more and more suburban due to the type of buildings on them, and the way they are set to the street. Salem Avenue from the river to, say, Grand, is an example of that.

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And, since I was in the neighborhood, a look at how much is lost or is going to be lost in "Lower South Park"...the demolitions, combined with the vacancys and board-ups. Perhaps this is what Twin Towers or other close-in areas will look like in 15 or 20 years?


kevin said...


I think you're going to be even more shocked at what may ultimately happen to Lower South Park, Brown and Warren. As old as that corridor is, west and east of Warren, it has more changing to do in the next 5 years. The Mudd Furniture buildings and the cottage (612 Warren) north of it will probably be razed in the next 6-months at the hands of MVH. The ornate porch of 612 Warren (cottage on right) has been purchased from Full Circle Dev. to be put on the porch of 31 Bradford from Rehabrama.

With Cliburn coming down in the 9 months, or so, I think MVH is looking at the spot for something in their interest. There was a rumor 6 months ago that an alternate site for Kroger was being looked into between Main and Warren, South of Benham's. I would expect more houses on Pulaski, Brown and Lincoln to be knocked down and left vacant. Someone, I'm sure, has ideas for it, but it's not restoration.

Jefferey said...

Does MVH keep your neighborhood group or the priority board info'd on their plans?

Or are they close-hold on their intentions?

kevin said...

Generally well informed, Jeff. Bob Buescher is our MVH contact for the neighborhood. But they are a business and do keep some ideas under wraps until the time is right. And I think that's understood. But we don't always see eye-to-eye. When the Stickle Mansion came down, it made a lot grief. In retrospect, some feel they didn't put their foot down hard enough, but ultimately they had the money to do what they wanted with it which was a ground-level parking lot.