Monday, July 28, 2008

"Who Will Mourn for Dayton"

Former Arizona Republic (Phoenix) journalist Jon Talton runs a blog entitled The Rouge Columnist, doing reportage on politics and urban affairs. Apparently Talton worked for the Dayton Daily News in the mid 1980s and has fond memories of his time here, of Dayton as a city.

But he also sees the tragedy of the place. Hence this excellent column at his blog: Who Will Mourn For Dayton?

Here's an excerpt from near the end. Good stuff, all of it.

I'm sure some of the city neighborhoods and parks are still as beautiful, the monuments built by earlier generations of stewards as inspiring, the history still as evocative and enchanting as the changing leaves on the Miami Valley hills. And millions of former Midwesterners are happy to be down in Arizona (good luck with that).

But I mourn Dayton. I mourn a nation that would let its cities fail and flounder and rot while chewing up beautiful countryside -- and cropland we may need someday -- to build unsustainable ugliness. And I understand why Ohio feels such rage.


Anonymous said...

That was an awesome column.

But I don't think we need anyone to mourn for Dayton. Dayton will be o.k. in the long run--I know it won't be like it used to be--but if the south/west national migration, mortgage meltdown, globalization, an imploded auto industry, and suburbanization haven't killed it yet...Dayton is going to make it through, and still be a pretty awesome city.

Jefferey said...

Dayton is not a Youngstown, though it looks that way, as the economy is more diverse. So the place will muddle through.

Im not as optimistic about the city itself as I think it hasn't bottomed out yet, despite the gentrification things happening.

Anonymous said...

I sent that column to some family and friends.

2 major problems I see for Dayton:
1) The economic downturn is going to hurt Dayton more than the average american city, because there is less wealth here to smooth out the rut and the wealth that exists is heavily tied to industry, which is going to take a beating, again.
2) Dayton is playing a losing zero sum gain with the suburbs. With the few money making industries becoming entrenched in the Beavercreek side of the suburbs, those jobs are leaving Dayton. Wherever new stuff goes in to the suburbs, it leaves Dayton.