Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Corwin Street, Bywater & Algiers Point

Dayton has a few places that should be historic districts but are not. Three that I can think of are the Front Street factories, Paul Lawrence Dunbar (formerly Summit) Street, and Twin Towers.

I am particularly fond of Twin Towers (can we please rename this neigborhood "Xenia Avenue" or "Old Saint Marys"?) as it has such a variety of old Dayton houses (including perhaps the largest collection of antebellum and Civil War era houses outside of the Oregon and St Annes Hill.)

Xenia Avenue is a visually rich street with a fairly intact (but somewhat vacant) neighborhood shopping district, and one of only four surviving structures from Dayton's tobacco processing/cigar manufacturing era. The side streets off of Xenia have some fascinating old residential architecture.

I have been doing some research on this area, on and off, and just wanted to share this great streetscape as a bit of teaser for a future post (most likely at Urban Ohio) on Twin Towers.

Corwin Street is the oldest plat in Twin Towers. Platted in 1842 it predates much of St Annes Hill and even parts of the Oregon. Most of the houses are newer via ongoing building subsitution to increase density, though there are at least one or two that survive from the antebellum era.

This is probably the oldest house in Twin Towers. either 1840s or 50s. I suspect small workers' cottages such as this was the original houseform, but replaced via larger houses and doubles through time. This area became more accessible via the Green Line horsecar on Richard Street in the 1880s.

...closing with collages from New Orleans. These two neighborhoods, Algiers Point (across the Mississippi from the French Quarter) and Bywater (part of the 9th Ward) bear an uncanny resemblence to Corwin Street, Twin Towers, and a few other older East Dayton areas, due to the houses being mostly frame, close together, and held close to the street.

BTW, those links are worth a look, to see how New Orleans folks really appreciate their old neighborhood architecture, even smaller and more humble building types.

I think Twin Towers needs to be appreciated more, and hopefully I can help that along a small bit by posting more on it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog while doing some grocery gap research, but also had to follow your posts on Algiers Point and Bywater. I'm in New Orleans, you see.

Sorry to hear that your grocery gap is widening. This is a huge issue. We are working to combat it here in Nola. (It was bad pre-K, worse now.)