Historical landmark being torn down

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Brünner

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Sad news.


Panel OKs bid to demolish Wright Brothers' 1st bike shop

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The Dayton Board of Zoning Appeals has approved the city’s request to demolish a 129-year-old historic building that once was the site of the Wright brothers’ first bike shop. The city wants to tear down the site because the building has deteriorated to a point where it can no longer be maintained and redeveloped, the Dayton Daily News has reported. Public safety concerns have also been raised by some who fear the building could collapse.
 

cluttonfred

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Typical overblown headline. If you read the article it shows that the large industrial building housed the original bike shop for one year or so, 1892-1893, before they moved to presumably bigger and better location (one of five different locations over the next few years). The city has been trying to get someone to buy the property for at least 10 years (see 2012 article below) and it appears that the original shop was long since build over by later construction. It makes absolute sense to put up a nice plaque and name the new building for the Wrights, but there doesn't appear to be anything left to save.

 

TFF

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I always was learned that Ford’s was the important one. Not that I’m for tearing the other down. One of the points of clarification needed. Did Dayton latch on to this one once Ford removed the other because they were short sighted with the other, or is it really the important one that’s going to be smashed?

I always wanted a Wright bicycle. Not likely because something like five known ones exist. Wright engine too, the one that was for sale a couple of years ago was not priced unreasonable I thought, out of my reach though.
 

Rhino

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Sounds like a cause for the alphabet groups (EAA, AOPA, etc) to take up to buy and refurb as a memorial/museum of sorts...
It was tried numerous times. I was involved with one of the groups that wanted to do just that (used to live there). The problem was the building was just too far gone. There was no way to refurbish or remodel it without tearing it down. And since almost none of what's there was actually part of the original building, and the Wrights didn't actually do much there anyway, there was really no point. It was quite literally impossible to get a permit to do anything to the building without tearing it down. The inspectors were even afraid to go in there. And Dayton very much wanted to preserve it. They expended great efforts and a lot of money trying to do exactly that. They're extremely proud of their Wright Brothers heritage, and have gone to great lengths in recent years to accentuate and improve it. But some things are just simply not possible.
 

TFF

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Memphis refurbished Beale Street back in the 80s. It was a dangerous dump of old buildings. They kept the facades and built new buildings with the old faces. Not the easiest project, but not the hardest either. It’s also going to depend on what the potential new owner wants. Memphis wanted to capitalize on the heritage of Beale, if Dayton wants a warehouse, it would be tough unless you could talk the new builder to incorporate it; like an office entrance. At least if they pull it down, do it gently and sell bricks as souvenirs and keep architectural details for local museums.
 

Rhino

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The original facade disappeared many, many years ago. Other than a few structural members that were no longer structural, none of the original building remains to be restored. Believe me, we went deeply into all these options. The building looks little like what it originally did, because practically none of the original building is left. There just isn't anything left to preserve that has any historical relevance whatsoever. In actuality, there never was anyway. The Wrights were in that building for less than a year, and did none of their aviation work there. The different building where they actually did that work was moved away long ago. There is nothing about this place that's historical besides the fact that the Wright Brothers once worked, in a mostly different building, at that location, doing work that had nothing to do with aviation. If you want to preserve any building they ever occupied during their lives, I'm sure there are plenty of others. But you won't find the money to do it, even if it was possible, and in the end you will have really preserved nothing of any tangible historical value. We wrestled long and hard before coming to this inescapable conclusion, and we didn't like it any more than you do. But it is what it is.
 

TFF

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I’m sure all had been covered. Plenty of stuff ends up being torn down that has history. If is just in name only and it’s the old Washington’s hatchet joke of a building, it’s better to let new make history.
 

Pilot-34

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The original facade disappeared many, many years ago. Other than a few structural members that were no longer structural, none of the original building remains to be restored. Believe me, we went deeply into all these options. The building looks little like what it originally did, because practically none of the original building is left. There just isn't anything left to preserve that has any historical relevance whatsoever. In actuality, there never was anyway. The Wrights were in that building for less than a year, and did none of their aviation work there. The different building where they actually did that work was moved away long ago. There is nothing about this place that's historical besides the fact that the Wright Brothers once worked, in a mostly different building, at that location, doing work that had nothing to do with aviation. If you want to preserve any building they ever occupied during their lives, I'm sure there are plenty of others. But you won't find the money to do it, even if it was possible, and in the end you will have really preserved nothing of any tangible historical value. We wrestled long and hard before coming to this inescapable conclusion, and we didn't like it any more than you do. But it is what it is.
So in the end the preservationists simply missed the boat?

That’s not at all in common in the early years of endeavors when no one knows what they’re going to grow into.

Essentially what they Should be saying is the Wright brothers once worked on the site and a building that replaced the one they worked in is going to be torn down.
 
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@Rhino thanks for the information and education; it’s greatly appreciated. Thanks also for the attempt to preserve history, and the wherewithal to understand when there is nothing noteworthy to preserve. For real…thanks for your hard work.
 

Rhino

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Truth be told, I personally did almost none of that work. I was just involved with one of the organizations, so I had kind of a front row seat to what was going on. The most I ever did personally was man a booth at Airventure one year when we were trying to raise money and awareness for the preservation efforts. Beyond that it was mainly just menial stuff.
 

Dana

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Mod note: Two posts removed; this is not the place to discuss Civil War statues.
 
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