#loveyourHD : Wright-Dunbar Neighborhood

By: Carolyn Thurman, Young Ohio Preservationists

The YOP is passionate about preserving and celebrating Ohio’s history. Each month, the YOP blog will shine a spotlight on one of Ohio’s many great, historic neighborhoods.

These places matter!

First up: The Wright-Dunbar neighborhood in west Dayton.

From the National Parks Service:

“Best known as the home of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Orville and Wilbur Wright, the Wright-Dunbar Village developed as a Dayton streetcar suburb in the half century following the civil war, and it was annexed to the city of Dayton in 1869. The area includes a residential neighborhood and the Wright Dunbar Business Village, also known as the West Third Street Historic District.

In the late 1890’s, Wright-Dunbar became home to a diverse urban population, including Hungarians, Romanians and Eastern Europeans of the West Side Colony. These workers came to work in Dayton factories and formed a tight community with a host of businesses, churches, and social organizations to meet their needs. Connected to the city by five streetcar lines, it attracted increasing numbers of middle class residents who left the old city center to reside in the new western suburb.

In the years following World War I, the area emerged as the cultural and commercial center of Dayton’s African-American community. African American-owned businesses, such as the Palace Theater, built a strong African-American community. The population shifted in this area in the years after the war and there was a widespread movement of African Americans from the South to the “Industrial North”. Housing segregation also brought many African-American residents to West Dayton.

The destruction of residences and businesses resulting from the construction of Interstate 75 in the early 1960’s and later by U.S. Route 35 had a devastating effect on many neighborhoods but most notably on the West Dayton commercial districts. The face and character of the area changed even more drastically on September 1, 1966, when racial disturbances broke out in the commercial district. This single event further contributed to a pattern of disinvestment in the neighborhood.

Although a large portion of the area was lost in the 1950’s and 1960’s to interstate construction, urban renewal, and civil unrest, the remaining structures in Wright-Dunbar Village are experiencing a period of revitalization.  Innovative housing strategies by the city of Dayton, combined with Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and the work of Wright-Dunbar, Inc. have assisted in creating a viable urban neighborhood and a resource for Dayton history.

You can learn more about Wright- Dunbar here: http://wright-dunbar.org/

And if you find yourself in the area be sure to check out the Paul Lawrence Dunbar house: https://www.ohiohistory.org/visit/museum-and-site-locator/paul-laurence-dunbar-house

Buffa-WHAT? Sneak Preview for July 15, 16 & 17th in Buffalo, NY!

Buffa-WHAT? Sneak Preview for July 15, 16 & 17th in Buffalo, NY!

Buffalo… home of the chicken wing, lake effect snow and the grain elevator. Won’t you come explore the Queen City with us?

Here is a sneak preview of what is happening in Buffalo, NY on July 15, 16 & 17th! Everything is free unless noted, but don’t forget to register for the weekend.

Friday, July 15th. 

Who says we can’t party inside a vacant industrial grain elevator? Join us at 7:30pm at the Agway located at 1100 Niagara Street on Buffalo’s West Side along the infamous buffalo belt line and with epic views of Lake Erie. A tour kicks off at 8:15pm sharp… bring a flashlight! Kegs of local beer and pizza and wings will be provided, too. BYOB is not required but always appreciated.

Saturday, July 16th.

Shouldn’t every morning start with fresh locally made bagels and coffee and a tour of the largest concentration of Grain Elevators in the World? Join us at 9am sharp at Silo City at 87 Childs street. Swannie Jim will be on hand to provide information as we wander in and around these industrial gentle giants!silo city .jpg

Late Morning / Lunch : Join us at 11:30am in front of City Hall for a tour of downtown Buffalo featuring several iconic buildings including the Guaranty Building by Sullivan, the Ellicott Square Building by Ellicott and our stunning art deco City Hall. Lunch will be at Expo (Buy your own), Buffalo’s newest downtown hipster lunch spot.

Our afternoon will be spent in the historic Hydraulics neighborhood OOOing over the last remaining corner of the iconic FLW administrating building, drinking pints of locally made beer at the Hydraulic Hearth and putt-putt-ing on the smallest golf course in the rust belt – Larkin Links! We’re serious, you can hit a ball into a giant heart bomb, a grain elevator and Ellicott’s historic radial street system he made for Buffalo! (716 Swan Street – More on this event soon!)

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Saturday evening is TBD. It will likely be pretty crazy since it is Bernice’s 30th birthday and BYP is hosting…. so… yeah! Rumor is an old basement club or perhaps a rooftop party. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 17th.

Sunday morning will be magical – breakfast on the Olmsted-designed front lawn and a tour of the Richardson Complex!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a huge win for RBCoYP, they rarely do tours these days so it is ultra special. Designed by H.H. Richardson, the old psych ward is now being restored and renovated into a boutique hotel, an architecture museum and more. 9am breakfast / 10am tour – $15 for the tour the day of. 

Brian-Gavigan-Richardson-Olmsted-Complex

After the tour, we will likely wander over to the Albright Knox Art Gallery (world renowned for our Contemporary Art Collection, including Andy Warhol!) and check out Delaware Park, an Olmsted Designed Park and Parkway system!

If you have any energy left, this would be the time to check out Niagara Falls, canalside, central terminal and the other spots that we didn’t cover!

!!!!LOGISTICS!!!!

SLEEPING: If you need a place to crash, email bypteam@gmail.com ASAP or Bernice has kindly opened her vacant lot and back yard next to her house for tents… there is a shower inside the house!

TRAVELING: Expect to drive around to these places… you can also bike pretty easily if you bring your bike. We do have a bike sharing program which will be launching soon but until then, you’d have to bring one or rent. WE DO NOT HAVE UBER OR LYFT.

PACKING LIST: Blanket for breakfast on the lawn, flashlight, a winter jacket (half kidding but it can get cold here!), shoes to adventure in and snacks. Tent if you feel like camping.

See you in one month! #buffalove #rustbelttakeover #buffalony

 

Brews on Tues: Crawling through the Wedge

Brews on Tues: Crawling through the Wedge

 

By Clare Farnung – Young Urban Preservationists (Rochester, NY)

pic1About a month ago you read a little about the Rochester YUPs’ WHERE THE #$@& AM I? Coaster Project. We’ve all been in a building at some point and thought “I wonder what this building used to be?” This is where our coaster project comes in–we research and talk to the owners of bars and restaurants housed in old spaces and create a website that can be accessed by a QR code, which we then print on bar coasters and give to the bar to spark their patrons’ interest in the space and to get people thinking about their city’s history. In May, to celebrate the addition of 4 bars and restaurants to our project we held a bar crawl through the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester.

We started the crawl at Tap and Mallet, a bar known for its impressive, frequently changing draft list, pub food and a laid back vibe. With 30 draft lines and a cask ale, it’s not hard to find something you’ll enjoy. Built in 1899, the building has a pretty boozy history, it was originally a saloon and at one point it was home to a grocery store. The last few decades it’s gone back to its roots, housing several bars and restaurants.

TapMallet-BeforeAfter-updated

Despite, or maybe because of, Rochester’s tendency towards long, cold, snowy winters, Rochesterians live for their outdoor eating areas. And Tap and Mallet’s doesn’t disappoint with tables set up on the sidewalk in the summer and a patio in the back complete with overhanging trees, brick walls, and a mural.

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Our second stop, just down the street, is tucked into the basement of the Historic German House. The German House was built in 1908 by St. Boniface Church, a Catholic church just across the street, to serve as their parish hall. In 1924 they sold it to the United German-American Societies of Rochester, hence the name. The German House is one of those places that’s been around for so long and housed so many things, everyone has been there at some point. Fun fact: Rohrbach Brewing Company, which was mentioned in Rochester’s last Brews on Tues post got its start in the German House. And since 2014, ButaPub has been a part of that almost 100 year history.

pic4On our bar crawl, we were lucky enough to have the owner give us a backstage look at the building, literally. Most of the German House is taken up by the concert hall where the owners are working on uncovering and restoring some of the unique features of the building, including the original tin ceiling. After the tour it was back down to ButaPub’s swanky bar for drinks and a little relaxation before moving on.

After enjoying ButaPub’s lounge, it was just a quick stroll around the corner to Harry G’s, the youngest bar so far to be a part of our WHERE THE #&@% AM I? Project. Most Rochestarians know Harry G’s as a deli, which opened in 2012. When the space next door to them became available the owners decided to expand and opened a bar earlier this year. Harry G’s has some beautiful original brick walls, an emphasis on New York State beers and wine, and an entire deli just next door. If that doesn’t say great neighborhood bar, I don’t know what does.

Our final bar on the crawl, a few doors down from Harry G’s, was Lux Lounge. Lux is THE bar of the neighborhood, it’s a self-proclaimed dive bar that is so Lux it’s honestly hard to explain. In the summers the backyard is full of people and dogs alike and on Wednesdays you might be lucky enough to find your favorite cult classic playing. Your first visit to Lux isn’t complete until you’ve had their cheeseburger shot: a shot each of tequila, tomato juice, and pickle juice. On any night you might walk into craft night, free PB&J night or a DIY bloody mary bar. Lux has been a longtime focal point for us YUPs (serving as the HQ for our first two Bikes, Beer, & Buildings scavenger hunts) so it was only natural that we make them the grand finale to our WHERE THE #&@% AM I? Bar crawl. In the 1980s the building was home to the Snake Sisters Cafe, a lesbian bar, where Lux owner Karrie first happened upon the place and said that someday the space would be hers.

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Although these four bars and restaurants serve different drinks, different food, and have very different atmospheres, the one thing they have in common is their love of their community. The South Wedge neighborhood they all call home is known for being slightly off kilter, a little gritty but dedicated to its inhabitants. And these four establishments are no different. Each of these places want their patrons to be comfortable in their space, to keep coming back until it’s the regular hangout. Whether they know it or not, using these old spaces jumpstarts that comfortable feeling. Walking in, you know a thousand feet have crossed that threshold before you and a thousand more will cross it after you. You’re not surprised to find a healthy selection of local beers on their draft list because these places all resonate with the love they have for their city and neighborhood. Those feelings can’t be mass produced, they can’t be bought. They only come from time and a lot of love. And the YUPs will always raise a glass to that.

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#LoveYourHD: A Recap!

By Raina ReganPreserve Greater Indy

For May, we asked you to share why you #LoveYourHD. We loved seeing participation from around the Rust Belt and all the great historic districts that protect and preserve our built environment. Instameets were held in Wheeling, Indianapolis, Toledo, and Columbus in local historic districts to celebrate #LoveYourHD during Preservation Month. Here’s a few of our favorite moments from the month of May that celebrate why you #LoveYourHD!

German Village, Columbus, Ohio

In German Village, eighth grade students gave some actual love to the local historic district at a workshop. We love seeing youth involved in hands-on activities in preserving historic places. This asks a good question: For what types of activities could you use student volunteer help in your local historic district?

Indianapolis, Indiana

One of Indy’s finest examples of Art Deco, the former Coca-Cola bottling plant, is about to be redeveloped. Thanks to its local designation, the project will have to obtain approvals from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission before altering this one-of-a-kind terracotta façade.

Wheeling, West Virginia

Local designation preserves distinctive places until the right new use and owner comes along. We’re glad to hear this Wheeling gem will be turned into apartments.

#wyp member @adambedway took this pic from his tour of the Boury Warehouse on Saturday. The Boury Warehouse is apart of the Wheeling Warehouse Historic District. It sat empty for years but is now being turned into apartments by the WODA Group, Inc. Don't miss another historic building tour and join the Friends of Wheeling. You can find them on facebook. Membership is $10 a year. Their monthly news and event letter alone is worth that! #wheelove #thisplacematters #deserve2preserve #wheelingwv #wheelingfeeling #loveyourhd #wyp #wheelingwestvirginia @adambedway's original caption: ・・・ Touring the Boury building in downtown Wheeling this morning. WODA is redeveloping the building into residential units that range from 600-1200 sq. ft. These are the kind of projects we need in this town. #preservation #wheelingwv #wheeling_shooters #thisplacematters #downtownwheeling

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Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Restoration Society featured Cleveland historic districts along with updates from the Cleveland Landmarks Commission. We know that attending your local commission meeting and being a local advocate is important to show our elected officials and appointed boards that preservation is important in our communities!

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

We’re thankful that the use of local historic districts prevented the unnecessary demolition of so many historic resources in our community. To think this beauty could have been lost…

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Our local historic districts preserve the historic neighborhood fabric so, instead of demolition, our historic resources can wait until someone is able to show them love and invest in their future. This before and after in Fort Wayne shows the potential every historic property has to come back to life.

#SavingPlaces #FortWayne #ThisPlaceMatters #LoveYourHD

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Toledo, Ohio

Local historic districts protect outstanding architecture in our communities. This house could never be built today. We’re glad to hear it’s being restored by a sympathetic new owner.

Thanks to everyone who tagged photos with #LoveYourHD! We encourage you to continue spreading the good work of your local historic districts and built support for their value to your community. Check out the #LoveYourHD tag on Instagram for even more historic district goodness!

#LoveYourHD: Rochester’s Park Ave.

#LoveYourHD: Rochester’s Park Ave.

By Nick Delahanty – Young Urban Preservationists

Many Rochesterians and visitors spend a great deal of their leisure time and dollars in our city’s historic districts.The diversity of retail, quality housing, and picturesque streetscapes draw people in and, whether they know it or not, they are appreciating and supporting the preservation of these areas. You might even call them closet preservationists (see Caitlin Meives’ TEDx Flour City talk below for more about this). The historic buildings, parks, and public spaces that make up the fabric of our city are critical to a healthy neighborhood. For me though, it’s the pedestrian-centric design and the human scale of our historic districts–created before America became infatuated with the automobile–that are the underpinning for the success of our historic districts.

ParkAve-Rochester-2016_08I live in one of Rochester’s best preserved and most popular neighborhoods, just south of the East Avenue National Register Historic District (also a locally designated City Preservation District). Park Avenue runs along the southern edge of the East Ave. district and is the commercial and social spine of the neighborhood. Radiating from this street of bars and restaurants overflowing onto the sidewalks with dogs and people is a tightly woven grid of small apartment buildings and turn of the century homes. The sidewalks, lined with mature trees and welcoming front porches, boast a diverse, ever-changing cast of characters–from overindulgent college students, to retirees and their noble dogs, to visitors from the suburbs and an ever-growing armada of strollers.

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Although we’re just a few blocks south of Park Ave., those of us in the heart of the Park Ave. neighborhood (a large swathe of thousands of properties) are left out of the district and therefore left out of the NYS Homeowners Tax Credit program. Our section of the neighborhood has been officially eligible for listing since the 1980s but no one has ever taken the initiative to pursue a district. New census data has revealed that Park Ave. (admittedly one of the wealthier neighborhoods in the city) is now in a census tract that qualifies for the NYS tax credit programs. That was the motivation that we, as homeowners who are spending an inordinate amount of income on old house repairs, needed to begin the daunting task of getting a nearly 2000 property district listed.

ParkAve-Rochester-2016_05

With my partner and YUP co-founder, Caitlin, leading the charge, we’ve begun the long process of getting our neighborhood listed as a historic district. We are starting by getting estimates from consultants and reaching out to homeowners (both in the existing East Ave district and the potential Park Ave district) to inform them about tax credits and the National Register listing process. Rochester has so many amazing neighborhoods, and I believe the impetus is on us, the citizens,to be good stewards of the amazing neighborhoods and spaces our city has to offer for future generations.

ParkAve-Rochester-2016_07

Pittsburgh Brews on Tues: #LoveYourHD Edition

Pittsburgh Brews on Tues: #LoveYourHD Edition

By Mike Panzitta Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

We love our historic districts for so many reasons, from their unrivaled architecture to their well-established communities to their human-scale intimacy. But there’s another thing we here at the Rust Belt Coalition love about our historic neighborhoods: the blue-collar tradition of the local tavern. And we feel that here in the Rust Belt more than any other region, the unpretentiousness, sense of community, and ubiquity of the neighborhood bars allow them to be meeting places welcoming to everyone.

Pittsburgh, as an old mill town, has no shortage of these taverns where you’d feel just as comfortable ordering a West Coast fancy beer as an Imp ‘n’ Ahrn. We’re going to look at a couple bars in Historic Deutschtown in Pittsburgh’s North Side that are upholding this great tradition.

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A cool dude across the street from the Park House in 1947. Photo credit: Park House

 

The Park House is a Pittsburgh institution, and for good reason. Housed in an 1890s-era storefront in the main business district of Deutschtown, the bar has been continuously operating since the end of Prohibition. Though its narrow footprint makes for tough navigating when it’s packed, the small size of the bar lends to its local feel. And the place does get packed – One of the most well-known Park House tradition is the free bluegrass Wednesday with the Shelf Life String Band, which fills the bar each week.

Plus, Park House always has free popcorn and peanuts, which is awesome.

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One of my favorite things about Max’s are the amazing stained glass light fixtures throughout the bar. Photo credit: Max’s Allegheny Tavern

 

Max’s Allegheny Tavern puts the “Deutsch” in Deutschtown (and I can’t believe I just wrote that). Its German menu is well known in the city, and at least I can attest that their potato pancake reuben is out of this world. Max’s, with significantly more space than the Park House, has a more relaxed, sit-down vibe, and it’s definitely more of a bar/restaurant feel. But that doesn’t make it any less cozy or intimate…wooden booths, gorgeous stained glass light fixtures, and a working player piano give the tavern a welcoming and historic feel. Order their German beer sampler flight and you can’t help but think of the German immigrants who built the North Side and gave it that distinct feel you can’t find anywhere else in the city.

ACBrewing

Allegheny City Brewing is one of the newest businesses putting up shop in Deutschtown. A brand-new brewery from a few Pittsburghers who spent some time in Colorado, ACB looks to have the potential (from the couple times I’ve been in their shop for tastings) to be a new anchor institution in the North Side. Their beer list is incredibly extensive and they have a real connection with the neighborhood and its history. They’re looking to open within a month or so, so keep an eye out!

The Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists loves beer. And we (obviously) love historic districts. So you can imagine how excited we get when a historic district has a robust bar scene like Deutschtown in Pittsburgh. Be sure to hit us up next time you’re in town – we’ll show you around the neighborhood!

#LoveYourHD: Pittsburgh

#LoveYourHD: Pittsburgh

By Mike PanzittaYoung Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

Though we don’t have the same urgency of potential threats to our local historic districts and landmarks as seen recently in Michigan and Wisconsin, Pittsburgh residents have to navigate through some legal hurdles to push for preservation in our neighborhoods. Whether it’s the City Code, zoning restrictions, or other obstructions, sometimes YPA has a great plan to save a site, only to be stymied by legal issues.

An interesting example of such legal issues is the Albright United Methodist Church. Some of you came by to snap a photo the Sunday of the RBCoYP Pittsburgh Summit…ugh, Ok, let me figure out how to embed Instagram photos…Ok, here it is:

The Albright Church and its congregation has a rich history that is inextricably tied with Pittsburgh’s own  – a great summary can be found here. The congregation formed in 1843 and is one of the oldest continuously worshiping religious groups in the city, having moved from the heart of Downtown during the early 20th century to the then-developing East End as the city expanded. The congregation worshiped in the building at Centre and South Graham for over one hundred years.

Sadly, a mold issue in 2013 forced the Albright Community to stop using the structure, and a developer has struck a deal with the Western Pennsylvania United Methodist Conference to demolish the historic church and construct a suburban-style, single-story commercial building with parking lot and drive-through in its place. When we heard about this story and plan, YPA decided to work with the nonprofit Friends of Albright to save the building from threat of immediate demolition by supporting a city historic designation.

The only wrench in the works is – and I’m gonna get a little into potential “boring” territory here – City of Pittsburgh Code, Section 1101.03, which says that religious structures must be nominated for historic designation by their owners. Friends of Albright has used the fact that the Western PA Methodist Conference has been on record that the structure, as it is no longer used for religious worship, isn’t a religious structure, and the statute doesn’t apply. Regardless, after the city Historic Review Commission recommended it for Historic Designation, the Methodist Conference decided to sue the city, Friends of Albright, and a few local residents.

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Albright United Methodist – A beautiful church on a beautiful day. Photo credit: Adam Sellers

 

Nevertheless, the push for historic designation moved ahead, and yesterday (May 3) afternoon, the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to back the designation. The next step, then, is City Council, and if they have no objections, Albright will be a city Historic Structure (yay!). Aaaaaaand then the lawsuit will likely commence (boo!).

So we at YPA don’t know what will come of the suit or the city code that impedes citizens from nominating religious structures to historic designation. But we plan to back the Congregation and Friends of Albright through the mess and prevent this gorgeous and historic structure from being replaced with drive-through, suburban-style “development.” I hope you all are interested in following the push for historic designation! We’ll be posting about it on the RBCoYP Facebook page, and follow Friends of Albright on their website.