Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dayton Rephotography: Oldest Houses

The secretive Dayton Bicycle Club.

Northwest corner of Jefferson and First

The Bicycle Club was remodeled using a Spanish Revival style, but dates to the 1850s, making it one of the very oldest buildings downtown. Interesting to see what happened to its neighbor, wich is an old I house with attic fenestration similar to the Bicycle club. It was wrapped in an early 20th century one story commercial structure. This was somewhat common downtown, but all examples of this treatment have been lost.

The corner house on the second set is the "Clegg House", the only example of a cube house surviving downtown. This was a favored houseform for the Dayton bourgouis in the antebellum era. The Lutzenberger Collection is filled with examples of cube houses. The best regional example is the Lanier House in Madison, Indiana, now a house museum.

Note the two houses at the far left, which are examples of the second generation of urban fabric, built after the log cabin era. One of these was the oldest house in the city, dating to the early 1820s. It survived, heavily modified, until very recently, being torn down for an Avis rent-a-car place.

For a good idea of what old Dayton looked like one should visit nearby Germantown, as that village has many examples of old houses and commercial buildings that are very similar to what the Lutzenberger Collection shows of Dayton.

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