Friday, December 19, 2008

Moraine City Section One

We’ve looked at the first factory buildings at Moraine, now lets look at the first houses. Moraine City had more than one plat, but only section one saw substantial construction prior to WWII.

This plat book cut from the early 1960s shows section one, with its telltale rear alleys surrounded by later development, which dropped the alley as a design feature. This cut still shows the interurban right of way bisecting the site, shaded here in blue.

Moraine City around WWI, showing very early development, which occurred closer to Cincinnati Pike (todays Dixie Drive) . Noticeable here are the sidewalks. Apparently the intention was to build a proper suburb. No alleys yet (dotted lines show the probable extent of the plat). One can see how this street was oriented to the front gate of the Dayton-Wright factory.

A close up of the houses, which are mostly versions of the four-square. Note the little station at the interurban, with the well-worn path under the shade tree heading kitty-corner to the sidewalk. Probably made by factory workers walking to and from the station, since there wasn’t nearly enough housing here to house all the workers at Dayton-Wright and the other early industry. One can also see a billboard on Cincinnati Pike, perhaps indicating auto use was frequent enough to make billboards a feasible form of advertising.

And the first houses today. Nice examples of the ubiquitous Dayton four-square.

A modern view of Section 1, with the interurban route drawn in blue. The right-of-way was taken over for apartments and backyards, but still can be traced somewhat via lot lines, pavements, and treelines. This one street is like an incongruous piece of city set out in the midst of urban sprawl.

Another set of pix showing how Moraine City had grown by 1940 or 41. Houses had mostly filled out the western side of the plat, closer to what was by then the Frigidaire plant. Arrows show houses in both pix, as an orientation between old and new.

One can see how postwar construction filled-in the interurban right-of-way.

And some view of the last pre-war houses in Moraine City plus a few 1940s-era houses, including what looks like one of the last bungalows in Dayton.

Moraine City would have been a nice older suburb, sort of like Belmont, if it had been built-out. The timing of industrial development here didn’t really work out right because the Depression put construction on hiatus here, until the pre-WWII boom.

Moraine also never developed a true downtown. But these three or four commercial buildings offer a taste of what might have been as they follow the old way of building by fronting directly on the sidewalk. In two cases they are two-stories, like city commercial blocks.

I particularly like the "Upper Deck" group and how they fit into the residential street. Perhaps the parking lot in front was intended as a plaza of sorts?

Just lots and lots of parking here. One wnders if there were houses on some of this land?

Sort of the last gasp of the old way of building. Behind this lone house one can see the wide-open low-slung new world of postwar suburbia. The dish antennae belong to one of the first TV studios in Dayton, WLW-D. TV was a signature technology of the postwar world.

The brick one-story to the right was built on the site of the interurban station (a mostly forgotten transportation technology that had a home here, too, in the shops and car barns).


Anonymous said...

So do you think Moraine should just give up and join Dayton or West Carrollton (or better yet, a merged Miamisburg/WC/Miami Twp or a Montco Unigov)?

I mean with all the city council drama and the massive tax base losses coming, will it become the next New Rome?

Jefferey said...

There's more to Moraine than this one street and one factory..I havn't blogged on that yet. But GM going away is a big hit.

The highest cost in local govt is police and fire. Moraine could do what Washington Twp does and contract with the county sheriff for police servce, and the FD could merge with Kettering or WC. Moraine could remain incorporated but spin off these services to address loss of tax money.

Woodrowfan said...

Doesn't Moraine already use the WC school district?