The Journal Gazette
Friday, September 24, 2021 4:40 pm

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


DAYTON, Ohio -- The Dayton Landmarks Commission has denied 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 reported.

Commission members agreed Friday that most of the building should be demolished, but they recommended the city re-advertise the property and encourage its renovation in a way that preserves the historic façade.

Preservation groups had opposed the city's plan. They argued that keeping the building’s façade and incorporating it into a redevelopment project would make the project eligible for historic tax credits.

“Once the building is entirely demolished, we lose a key asset for potential developers,” said Monica Snow, a trustee with Preservation Dayton. “We don’t think complete demolition is the way to go.”

The shop was first built in 1892 to serve as the Wright brothers’ first bike shop. Soon thereafter, Gem City Ice Cream Co. bought the property and housed it until 1975, until it was sold to another company.

Years after a wide array of owners, the city attempted to sell the rundown property to developers, but it failed inspection tests. The building was deemed structurally damaged and in danger of collapse.

City officials had also previously attempted to receive approval to bulldoze the property, but did not move forward after hearing community concerns.

Subscribe to our newsletters

* indicates required