Friday, January 30, 2009

Pretzinger Lane

Downtown's newest street, running between Fourth and Fifth. Who was Pretzinger and why did they put a street here? Who knows. But a good example of how Dayton's deep blocks offer possibilities for making downtown more "interesting".
Investigating the only empy space on the street, a parking lot, for downtown housing:

The site midblock opens onto a private parking area associated with the old Reynolds & Reynolds compex, now the school board. This means there will be natural light on both sides of the site. The site closer to fifth backs up onto a three story wing of the Ludlow Building, so there would be natural light coming from the east and south.

The concept is to develope a mix of apartments and townhouses. Three story apartments on the southern side of the site, along the Ludlow Building, and two story townhouses with maybe small patios and trees on the midblock site.

The floor plans of the apartments would put halls, stairs, bathrooms, kitchens and storage on the "dark wall", backing up to the Ludlow Building and living & sleeping spaces facing Pretzinger and Fifth.

The parking lot across Fifth Street could be aquired for dedicated parking, controlled by keycard or some other control feature.

The site:

A very rough concept. Exterior facade could be designed with bays and quasi-turrets to emphasise the corner or entrances, and the ground floor could be raised somewhat to provide visual privacy.

Citing precedent for apartment buildings on tight urban sites from downtown Lexington KY. Note the use of bay windows to enhance the facade (and a nice interior feature, too). I think six units for the building in the upper image and four upper floor units for the corner building. Yer humble host was at a party in the top building (dinner party in honor of Bishop Tutu's daughter, who was going to college in KY), so can vouch this place is nice inside, big enough for a dining room).

And precedent for downtown housing from Dayton's history. The lower right was on Market Street, a midblock street like Pretzinger Lane, and and is offered so one can see the townhouse possibilities (though these have retail on the ground floor).

The upper right are good examples of a long thin multi-unit residential. A modern version, not shown here, is the Eva Felman Apartments.

Downtown Housing for....who?

The idea is to build housing for people who would activate downtown. Demogaphically one would be pitching to singles and unmarried partners (or married). The people in this case would be singles or couples who want a pied-a-terre but prefer to spend a lot of time "out", either at work, school, or active in other ways. Active in doing atheletic things like jogging, biking, working out, but also active in going to music venues, coffeshops, etc, and using downtown retail (or being a market for downtown retail, since there isn't much). Maybe a free two wheel shopping basket comes with the apartment with directions to the grocery on 3rd next to the Arcade?

Since parking is not 0n-site the idea is that people who live here would walk to places unless they need to go grocery shopping or drive to suburbia for work. Walk to the coffeeshop across the street. Walk to work or to RTA to catch the bus to work or school. Walk to the Oregon or elsewhere downtown to listen to some music. Things like that.

Townhouses would be maybe for more affluent or more established households. Parking might be able to be leased from the school board lot immediatly behind the townhouses, solving the off-site parking problem (people buying a house would expect parking to be on-site).


Anonymous said...

"Who was Pretzinger and why did they put a street here? Who knows."

Albert Pretzinger was an artictect-- he designed the Reibold Building, Commercial Building, DDN, Duncarrick Mansion, and many others.

Jefferey said...

OK, that explains it..the neighborhood is filled with his buildings.

But why did they build the street?

Anonymous said...

Somebody saw the value in moving towards a human-scaled, fine grained, street and land use pattern. I think it would also line up well with any development at the Arcade, especially from a pedestrian perspective.

Anonymous said...

The street might also have to do with Randolph Pretzinger, a prominent pharmacist in Dayton during the turn of the 20th century. His house is at the corner of Main Street, right next to Miami Valley Hospital. I'd assume they name the street after him since many streets are named after local successful people.

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