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The idea that comes out of this thread (for me, anyway) is that the fairgrounds are a real asset which everyone takes for granted, that is lying fallow and which could be an economic boon. My grandparents probably went to the fair there in the 1920s. It is embedded in the memory of all Daytonians.
The fairgrounds are a rarity for Dayton, which is a piece of real estate that has not been promoted through best and highest use doctrine into repudiation of history (a favorite Dayton pastime.) Virtually everything historic in this town has been leveled and replaced with bland crap. The fairgrounds are a rare remnant.
Since I said "depending on what specific "blight" and "emptyness" you have in mind," you are correct that it's obvious I don't really know the area you are talking about.
Basically, when you come into town on Stewart Street, to the south is a nice, manicured green space that sort of buts into the old NCR building. To the north is the fairgrounds and contrasting the two is unsightly. On the north end of the fairgrounds/MVH sits a mostly busted up neighborhood. This particular neighborhood is the area I was referring to as blighted. There are a lot of vacancies and other problems.
Originally Posted by CarpathianPeasant
namely social service organizations, with a few minor exceptions, operate rather according to banker's hours. While they often occupy themselves issuing money, think on that one.
Interesting. It would seem you are saying make social service organizations more useful? Increase their effectiveness by operating more like a service oriented business? I like it.
Originally Posted by CarpathianPeasant
If you want ideas of what might be done, it's rather acknowledge that what Buddy Gray put together in Cincinnati (along with affiliates like the homeless newspaper there) is one of the best approaches in the country. You don't have to go any farther than Cincinnati.
The only thing I don't like about Buddy Gray is he seemed to perpetuate vacant buildings. His corporation purchased so many buildings in OTR and then did nothing with them. He just let them sit and deteriorate. I don't think you can contrast people versus buildings because people are more important and he helped a lot of folks. It would have been better for him to renovate them into livable housing and place people there and then help them find work, unless disabled.
Originally Posted by CarpathianPeasant
Well, I have been through a few places in "inner southeast Dayton" and am all ears as to what you have in mind.
My only point was, and I hope my directness did not come off as snarky, Dayton's neighborhoods change fast. You can have an area like Brown Street that seems nice but then you have tent cities set up right next to the area near Patterson. There have been problems with homeless whackos committing crimes. One of them stabbed a MVH worker in the parking garage a couple years ago. Then there is the above mentioned neighborhood just north of MVH, with South Park to the immediate east. And as nice as South Park is in most areas you have several blighted streets right on the western edge. It seems that UD has been developing south towards Oakwood, because it's nice through there.
My only point in all of the ramblings, is redeveloping the Fairground would force a whole bunch of ignored issues to the forefront and make folks have to deal with them.
TVirtually everything historic in this town has been leveled and replaced with bland crap. The fairgrounds are a rare remnant.
True. It also seems that Dayton holds onto it's history to a fault, and perhaps that is something that has held the area back. The nostalgic view, so to speak. Meanwhile the cities prominence has greatly diminished. I would love to have seen Dayton in it's day. There are so many things I love about Dayton, I really want to see it reverse it's fortunes.
Tom, I really don't believe that Dayton holding onto its history is a significant pathology.
There are two dimensions to this - physical urban renewal and the "suburbanization" of the core of the city, which was the subject of my rant - and the widespread lip service paid to the 100+ year past glory days of Dayton.
My parents (born around 1920 each) were personally aware of people like Charles Kettering in their present day, but those generations that lived with and admired the local leaders of yore are gone. We're talking about the generation that now would be in its 90's having had first hand personal experience with Dayton as a leader in the nation and the world. Those memories are now utterly gone.
So I think the holding onto the history aspect of Dayton's past story largely comes off as mythos today. Too many families have left the core Dayton area for good for there to be a significant "mass memory" of Dayton's old days. Today the prosperity and abundance and entrepreneurship of Dayton's fabled past are just stories to today's generations and is just Chamber of Commerce fodder that keeps getting repeated as though it had any current significance. Which it doesn't, because there is no fabric of leading edge inventive businesses located in the Dayton of 2012 as there were in 1920 or 1930. And there is ABSOLUTELY NO CONTINUITY, either in terms of corporate governance, nor local "dynastic" families (there are none) from the glory days of Dayton to the present day. Anyone or anything that had to do with Dayton's great past is gone, or dead, or absorbed through corporate mergers.
The physical aspects of Dayton's incessant rebuilding are what bother me the most, because they serve to make Dayton a bland appearing place with no visible history. There was an entire marketplace area along Wayne Avenue, for example. Dayton once had a thriving street market scene. I do remember going to the Arcade as a kid, and that is just a ghost as well. Bulldozing the fairgrounds and dedicating it to another stupid mid rise business/commercial mixed use development sucking on the teats of Miami Valley or UD or both would be SO typically Dayton, and would be ripping the heart out of what little physical history exists. Unfortunately, Dayton leaders and planners have believed for generations that history is icky and unsightly and must be wiped out with suburban style parking and shopping.
Unfortunately, Dayton leaders and planners have believed for generations that history is icky and unsightly and must be wiped out with suburban style parking and shopping.
To be clear, I'm not advocating wiping out Dayton's history. In fact, I love all of it's historical districts and have meandered through most streets in each district on my bike. McPherson Town is probably my favorite. Also, the city has no business trying to develop anything, and I am sure most of it's leaders and planners are embedded in the city at this point. They simply aren't developers.
I am speaking more specifically of the idea, and it is pushed in Dayton often, that because Dayton had a glorious past that it will have a great future as well. I don't think Dayton's future will be that great w/o stabilizing the urban core, attracting new residents and businesses, and eventually making downtown vibrant once again. Thats just IMHO though.
Agreed completely in every detail. You "get it". Dayton completely lost momentum as a center of business and invention in the period 1970-2010. Dayton now has to be treated as an asset that needs building up almost from scratch.
first and foremost Dayton could use a good cleaning. It makes no sense for a city to be littered with all kinds of trash when you have juevenile delinquents and less violent offenders behind bars who could pick up the trash. I drive thru parts of Oakwood and wonder why cant the entire city ofDayton look this clean. its inexcusable!!!Clean up the city and you will,attract and retain business and residenta who want to call Dayton home. Dont spend thousands for a outside firm to evaluate what this city needs ask its citizens.Make a plan and act on it quickly
and residents will see you are serious & want to support. enough of the talk already
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