Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ohio Modern Goes Dayton

Belated news. This was recently announced and didn't recieve much attention at all. But its worth noting since the postwar boom essentially built a new city in Kettering, but also impacted other areas. Suburban Dayton has an excellent stock of mid century modern housing, and even a few intact office buildings from the era, like Financial South and the offices around the old Hills & Dales shopping center. Not too much retail survives intact, though.

From the Dayton Daily News:

State Historians, Preservationsits will look at architecture in in Dayton and it's Suburbs

DAYTON — A world war had ended and industrial states like Ohio were booming. Returning soldiers found good-paying factory jobs, started families and bought their dream home in brand-new suburbs. Schools, parks and shopping centers followed.

It was a time of unprecedented growth and prosperity. Between 1950 and 1960, Ohio’s population increased 22 percent and more than 1.8 million homes were built, including 127,000 in Montgomery County alone.

Now, a half-century later, state historians and preservationists say it’s time to start studying that period in earnest and preserving its significant architecture before progress sweeps more of it away.

And they want to begin their study in Dayton and the surrounding communities of Fairborn, Kettering, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Trotwood and Vandalia, the Ohio Historical Society announced Monday, June 22.

From the article: For more information, contact the Ohio Historic Preservation Office at (614) 298-2000 or Barbara Powers directly at

We take this postwar suburbia for granted. For most of us it is "everyday life", nothing special since we are surrounded by it and mostly likely grew up in it. But its been over half a century since WWII ended so there is enough building stock to see variations in style and built form. Suburbia isn't static, and does exhibit evolution in form and pattern of development.

What this study will look at will be the brave new world of Cold War America, a time of mass prosperity and optimism in the future. The forward looking exuberance of the era's achitecture reflects this.

1 comment:

Ethan Whitney said...

Goodd reading this post