It is only about 20 miles from Tombstone to Bisbee, but culturally it is a world away from the old west gun crowd. Bisbee is known as an artistic town, full of free spirits, having been named the ‘Best Hippie Town in Arizona’.
It was founded in the late 1800s as a mining town, and there is evidence of that everywhere, with the town situated in a steep valley with a 1 street commercial district, and houses scattered up and down the hills.
Many of the houses and commercial buildings have interesting architecture, but the crown jewel is the Art Deco Cochise County Courthouse.
When the mining eventually died out in the 1970s, the artistic crowd found the town perfect for them, with a fantastic climate, interesting architecture and affordability. Today the town thrives on as one of the destinations in Southern Arizona.
The National Historic Registry shows more than 100 buildings in Dayton on their list. These include:
The Benjamin Kuhns Building. Opened in 1883, the Kuhns Building is in the Romanesque Revival style.
ATT Building – While not on the historic registry, the ATT building is in the classic Art Deco design.
Old Post Office and Federal Building – Construction on this building started in 1912, and it was still under construction during the great flood of 1913. It was finally opened in 1915.
It remained the main post office until 1969, and the Federal Court until 1975.
Dayton Daily News Building -(foreground) and Sacred Heart Church (rear) – Legend has it that the founder of the Dayton Daily News (James Cox) was turned down for a loan by a local banker, he told an architect to ‘build me a damn bank’, so the newspaper office was modeled after the Knickerbocker Trust building in New York City.
It was completed in 1910, expanded in 1920s, 1950s and 1970s, and abandoned in the 2007. The newer sections have been torn down, leaving only the 1910 portion.
The Commercial Building – Completed in 1908 next door to the Dayton Arcade, it was designed by Albert Pretzinger who is known as the greatest architect in Dayton history. It is being restored as apartments.
Dayton Arcade – Completed in 1902, the Dayton Arcade is an ornate complex of buildings topped by a glass domed rotunda 70′ high. It is said to be patterned after a guild hall in Amsterdam. It has been disused for a couple of decades, but new proposals are being put forth to restore it.
Below is a view of the interior and dome as it looked when it was first opened in 1902. The building consisted of two floors of commercial businesses, and two floors of apartments.
The Conover Building – A mish mash of styles and construction materials, the Conover was modified over the years, as evidence from the 1903 photo from Shorpy below.
American Building – One could argue that only the façade of this building is on the registry, as it was moved from a historic building to this building after the other was demolished.
Engineers Club of Dayton – Dating from 1918, this building was dedicated in a ceremony that included the reclusive Orville Wright speaking.
Dayton Memorial Hall – This William Earl Russ designed hall was opened in 1910. It is constructed of a brick exterior, ceramic tile roof, and highlighted by terra cotta and stone.
Easily one of the oldest buildings in Ohio is the Victoria Theater, dating from 1866. It burned in 1871, and was rebuilt and re-opened in 1885.
Another building that is not on the registry but should be is the Miami Conservancy District. Named after the nearby Miami River, the conservancy was founded after the disastrous 1913 flood.
Highbanks Metro Park, with the first tree changing colors for fall
Big Meadows in Highbanks
The sheep farm across the road from Highbanks Park is the last bastion of the former rural atmosphere. The entire area around it is now suburbia.
The largest office building in Ohio – a horizontal skyscraper. The Chase offices in Polaris has 2 million square feet of office space. To compare the tallest building in the state is Key Tower in Cleveland (947’/289m) only has 1.5 million square feet.
Note the entire roof is covered in solar panels and the parking lots and garages to the right are being covered in solar panels.
Ohio gets cold, Ohio gets snow, but alas – no mountains, so this qualifies as a ski resort. Snowtrails near Mansfield.
A covered bridge in Union County.
Just down the road from the covered bridge is this corn maze (Maize maze?)
A berry field with a pumpkin sales.
A grain elevator in Urbana, Ohio.
Literally turning to the right you get a view of the old train station, the vacant factory and the rest of the town.
A massive shrub nursery surrounds the town of New Carlisle.
Deceased people and cars.
This view of Madison County shows Interstate 70 along the upper right, US 40 (The National Road) through the left middle, and an airport runway running along side – all in perfect East-West orientations.
Scioto Downs Horse Race Track and Casino (newer building on the left)
The 105,000 seat Ohio Stadium. The GPS in the drone would not allow me to fly any closer without seriously violating FAA rules (which I did not!)
Franklin Park Conservatory
A view along East Broad Street in Columbus
New apartments surrounding Columbus Commons Park.
We end this tour with a view of downtown Columbus, including the State Capitol surrounded by 30 to 40 floor buildings.
In the 1800s Springfield was known as the City at the End of the Road, since the National Road ended there. Eventually it was extended and most people kept going, bypassing Springfield. Still it grew into a medium sized city with about 100,000 people in the area.
As with most Ohio cities of this size, the buildings tend to be older; built during Springfield’s heyday. This former church is now a community center.
This mural celebrates Springfield’s entertainment history. It covers the entire 6 floors of the back of the Regent Theater.
The side of the YMCA has another great mural.
The former city hall now houses the Clark County Heritage Center. Completed in 1890 the clock at the top must be adjusted manually during the spring and fall time changes.
Ironically despite the fact it was built to house the clock, it was 34 years before they had an actual working one – prior to the it just had a clock face painted on.
As usual I was on the lookout for ghost signs, this one on a building with a perfectly symmetrical, but sketchy looking, fire escape.
The Clark County Literacy Coalition is located in the former Warder Public Library building. It’s patron was from local industrialist Benjamin Warder in 1890. Warder made his money with the Champion farm machinery company, later becoming International Harvester.
The building is built of Ohio sandstone with Worcester brownstone trim, and a fantastic red slate roof.
The view across the street of St Raphael Church is framed by the main entrance’s archway.
Situated on a small hill, St Raphael is very prominent on the skyline of the city.
It is 156 steps to reach the top of the 184′ tower, but much easier to send the drone up for a closer view.
We leave Springfield with three great advertising signs – two old signs – one ghost signs, one in perfect condition, along with a great Big Boy!
Todays road trip through the country takes us to the town of Urbana, county seat of Champaign County. Full disclosure – some of the photos are likely from border counties as I was on country roads without county line markers.
Each little town seemed to have a commercial block of 100 year old buildings, this one with a restored clock tower.
Talk about a barn find for the Ohio countryside – an old Mercedes with late 1980s license plates!
An abandoned school in a crossroads town.
This stylish little building was in the small town of Mechanicsburg.
Normally ‘Quilt Barns’ are much larger than this, but the contrast of the farm implements added to the look of this one.
Not too many farms date from 1814 in Ohio.
Eventually I reached the town of Urbana. As with most county seats it seemed to have the best collection of buildings in the area. Some nicely restored, some not so much, it was worth the stop.
The Hotel Sowles dates from around 1800, it is said to have hosted every Ohio governor from the beginning of the state until 1900. A community effort resulted in this great old building being restored.
This former bank in an Art Deco look is now a law office.
The Perpetual Federal Savings and Loan has been located in Urbana for 140 years. The building is generally designed in a Roman Corinthian style, but with classical touches. A true midwest building it is built out of Minnesota granite and Indiana limestone situated in a small Ohio town.
Personally I think the Yellow Mini sets it off nicely.
This classic Gulf Gas Station from the 1970s is still in use as an auto repair shop.
The local airport is home to a small museum where they are restoring a B-17.
This small theater started life in 1904, However in the 1930s it was destroyed in a fire, and was rebuilt in 1941 – hence the Art Deco look.
It is currently undergoing restoration.
Urbana has a number of great ghost signs.
This vacant, decaying building once housed a company that provided galvanized iron for railroad use.
Just across the street is the former train station, now a coffee shop. This station served the Pennsylvania Railroad for many decades.
Mansfield, Ohio is another old industrial city, where much of the industry has left. Mansfield, unlike many of those towns, has managed to keep much of their downtown buildings in use and in excellent condition.
We start with an impressive old house that is currently undergoing restoration – it will be grand when finished.
St Peters Catholic Church
The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building
The tallest building in town – the Farmers Bank Building
This building dates from 1926.The upper level cornices are very detailed.
Mansfield is very proud that the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed in the area, including Central Park.
Around this nice space are a couple of Art Deco style buildings.
We end our tour with a number of restored buildings along North Main Street.