Saturday, March 14, 2009

Building Colonel Glenn I: Fairborn-Wright Office Park

From tiny acorns mighty oaks grow. Such was it for the Colonel Glenn/WSU/Fairfield Commons edge city.

We saw how Krug International was the first mover on Colonel Glenn. The next development started in 1975-77, the Fairborn-Wright Office Park, which was just down the road from Krug.

One can see the wisdom of aligning I-675 away from Colonel Glenn as it did open up a strip of land for development. As these were fairly large parcels (as indicated by the fence lines) development could be better planned, more consistent and coherent.

By 1983 the decision was to build I-675, and construction had already pushed the interstate beyond this area toward US 35. This gauranteed the value of the Colonel Glenn corridor as a development site. Fairborn-Wright was joined by Miller-Valentines' Wright Executive Park.

A close-up showing the early 1980s development. The orignal 1970s offices were joined by two new buildings, and third was under construction. Site prep was underway for the first part of Wright Executive Park.

This set of buildings are historic as the first spec office buildings off Colonel Glenn. The very start of this part of Greene County as a new downtown.

What's interesting is that there was some attention to architectural detail and site planning here. Especially for the low rises arranged around the courtyard, which were among the first to go up.
In some ways this is akin to the first spec office development on the other end of I-675, Governors Square on OH 735 near the I-675 interchange. Both of these examples tried to do more with site planning, creating landscaped, pedestrian -oriented interior spaces, rather than simply setting the office building amid parking.

Next, a closer look at the buildings, showing what appears banal at first glance actually has some subtle design moves.

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