Friday, May 1, 2009

Dayton Street: More restorations

Last week we took our friends from FT Worth to Dayton Street in the West End. This was the first time I had been over there since last fall.

The area is steadily improving. Many had "written off" Dayton Street, but for those of you who haven't been over in a while you really should take a second look. The Hatch House restoration appears to be going nicely on the window work.

The other thing I noticed is that more and more homes that were converted to multi family years ago, seem to be going back to single family. This is definitely a positive move for the area.

For those of you unfamiliar with the area. Dayton Street was "Millionaires Row" back in the 1860-1880's, some of the finest Italianate mansions were built there for the most wealthy. Not every house on Dayton is a mansion however. You will find comfortable sized homes as well built by local prominent businessmen of the day. As you get closer to the "freeway" end of Dayton the homes become somewhat smaller but no less detailed in their ornamentation.

One of my favorite Houses on Dayton Street is this rather Eclectic Second Empire Townhome. Not the "grandest" home on the street and not the most desired block. This home was probably subject to an architect designed "update" probably in the late 1880's as evidenced by the balcony added to the front and the arched almost Romanesque detailing on the upper gable. Frankly when I say this a year ago, I was concerned if someone didn't save it, it could be lost.

I was very pleased to see ladders up and a rather careful Restoration and painting was in progress. I think this will be a great looking house when complete and a real asset to that block.

Another pleasant surprise was this fine Italianate home with a new fresh, crisp looking, paint job and I briefly spoke with the owner who was out painting her fence that morning, and she shared a little bit of infor about what appears to be an extensive restoration on this home. There is a great pride of ownership throughout the neighborhood and the days of blocks of rundown tenements seems to be on its way out.

There still are some rentals but they appear to be much better maintained than in the past. There are now restorations underway on each block of the 5 blocks that make up the area and I noticed a great deal of 'routine maintenance' and people updating landscaping in the area as well. It seems like many more people have "discoverd" Dayton Street as a viable upscale neighborhood close to downtown. IF work continues at this pace the area could be completely turned around In just a few more years. It is obvious that prices are continuing to rise in the area.

I was surprised to see the restoration in the area was branching out and we saw restoration work on Baymiller, Freeman and Colerain. This particular home is undergoing a scrape and prime of its detail and a general restoration and it appears that the house next door has been stabilized and appears to have work going on as well. As restoration braches out it further stabilizes the area.

We also noticed that some formerly debris strewn lots were now cleaned up and fenced with wrought iron. Despite what you may have heard, we walked the area and everyone was very friendly. If you love architecture Dayton street is a must visit!


matt said...

Nice post on Dayton St. There are really some magnificent houses there that deserve some attention. I agree that Dayton is really walkable and seems to be on the up. My only problem is that for the time being, there isn't a lot of commercial areas that are easily walkable. Its nice for strolling, but to catch a coffee or something, its probably more realistically a bike ride, albeit an easily flat and short one. Definitely though for those currently commuting every day from suburbs to get downtown, I think its a very viable alternative, and a huge improvement commute wise (really a car isn't necessary at that point). But I think as things pick up there and around Findlay, there should be some nice closer businesses to support besides maybe the trolley(I'm hoping for a brewpub around Brewery District).

Paul Wilham said...

There are a lot of 'corner store' type buildings in the area and I have looked at a couple of them as potential locations for our antiques and historic interior design studio in the Dayton Street area.

We actually put an offer in on one that needed a ton of work and unfortunately got outbid. If something could be done with the vacant school buildings in the area. Live/work lofs, condos or gallery space I think that would be a good thing for the area but it will take a big developer for a project like that.

Dan said...

Fantastic street. Nice to see some improvements going on.