A warm Labor Day morning was the perfect opportunity to walk among the shade from the downtown buildings with very few people around.
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.
And with that our day in Dayton is done.
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.
Our time in Urbana is over, time to move on.
Larry Klermont is a 90 year old who made a fortune in real estate in Chicago. With this money Larry started collecting cars, but not until he was in his 70s. His collection is housed in a 100,000 square foot former printing facility (that at one time printed Playboy!).
The collection includes many of the classic, but also a number of cool and quirky cars. As noted on the previous posting this is day 1 with a new point and click camera, so it gave the chance to have many more low angle photos.
The Palacio Barolo is actually a misnomer, it is not a palace in the sense of the others in the city, it is an office building.
Not just any office building, the structure was built in reference to the Divine Comedy by Dante. The building is 100 meters high, one for each canto.
Our tour guide Isabella was helpful in provided many of the design details of the building.
The building’s 22 floors are divided into three sections. The basement and ground floor are ‘hell’, floors 1-14 are ‘purgatory’, and finally 15-22 are ‘heaven’.
It is truly a unique design throughout.
In addition there is a plethora of representation throughout the building, such as the letter A in the Ascensor (elevator) being the Mason’s symbol.
There are great views of Buenos Aires from the upper floors.
The Palacio Barolo – one unique building.
The town of Colonia del Sacramento was founded in 1680 by the Portuguese in what was then a southern territory of Brazil. Over the next 140 years it changed hands numerous times between the Portuguese and the Spanish, always remaining an important port.
The historic district is designated by UNESCO as a World Site. Many of the cobblestone streets date from the 17th an 18th century.
The buildings, while not as old, are still very historic.
The Basilica dates from the early 1800s.
Nearby are the foundations of the buildings from the 1600s.
After visiting the church we continued our tour of the old town.
The lighthouse is situated next to a 17th century convent remains.
Portions of the original city wall remain, having been restored.
We ended our walk around town crossing through the gate that lead originally to a drawbridge.
While we had a fail on Saturday with a tour of San Telmo, our day Sunday turned out much better with a tour along with Silvia from Buenos Aires Eclectic of the Barracas Barrio.
We started out at La Casa De Los Leones, the House of the Lions. Home to Eustoquio Diaz Velez, who was a rich land owner in the 1800s. Legend has it that Diaz Velez kept lions on the property, and one night one escaped and killed a boyfriend of one of his daughters.
Across the street is the historic house Ingles Montes.
Many of the buildings along the street have great detail.
Dating from the late 1800s the Santa Lucia Church graces the street amongst the 15 floor apartment buildings.
The area has gone through some gentrification, with these 30 floor apartment buildings standing along side 1800s buildings.
A Buenos Aires staple, the Aguila Chocolate factory was a major neighborhood employer. The company still exists, but the iconic factory is now a grocery store.
As with most Buenos Aires neighborhoods, there is some interesting graffiti.
Lanin Street is so cool I have dedicated an entire posting to it – following this posting.
Plaza Colombia has this great sculpture and flagpole.
While nearby is the spectacular Santa Felicitas Church. Built in German Gothic style it is one of, if not the only, example of this style in the world.
The courtyards are elegant.
The basement has what is known as the Tunnel Museum, with the history of the church and the neighborhood.
They had a collection of nun wardrobes!
Much of the museum was dedicated to the immigrant community.
A local cooking legend, Dona Petrona, was also featured.
The upper level had a nave, but is no longer used as a church – it now serves as a community center.
Many thanks to Silvia for an informative and entertaining tour.
Out of sheer good luck we happen to be in Buenos Aires for their Open House. Their motto is 1 City, 2 Days, 140 Buildings and 760 Volunteers.
Without much notice I missed the sign up period for many of the more popular buildings, but we were still able to see some interesting examples of BsAs architecture.
Our first stop was the Casal de Catalunya. Built in the Barcelona style, the building dates from 1886. It has been home of the Catalan community in Buenos Aires for 130+ years.
Another building from the 1880s is Casa Bolivar. It is designed in a ‘Casa Chorizo (Sausage) style, so named as there are numerous small wings connected through a common hallway, much like links of sausage hanging in the butcher shop.
Casa Bolivar is in San Telmo, which was the main immigrant neighborhood for 100 years. These type of houses served as the first home for hundreds of thousands of immigrants – now it has been refurbished into an art studio and AirBnB.
The Instituto Superior Octobre is located amongst a number of 100 year old buildings, and from the outside fits in perfectly.
Inside is a completely different look – With the openness of the center court, and the steel and glass throughout, it is thoroughly modern.
The Teatro (Theater) Gran Rex is located along the main theater street in the city – Corrientes. It is modeled after Radio City Music Hall. I am unable to identify the statue in the lobby but for now we will call him the Argentina Dean Martin.
As noted previously it was designed to be similar to Radio City Music Hall with the shell roof, and lack of ornate decorations.
With over 3000 seats, it is one of the larger venues in town. On this day the roadies were setting up for a concert.
Our final stop was the Palacio Municipal, or City Hall. It is connected to the Edificio Del Diario La Prensa (a newspaper). Together they make up the Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture).
They are very impressive, ornate buildings.
A sunny Sunday in the city – a perfect time to go to Coney Island.
Even though it was warm the beach was almost vacant.
As was the boardwalk.
A perfect time to stop for some Nathan’s Hot Dogs.
Back on the boardwalk we met a zombie baseball team.
There is currently a large collection of very unique murals on walls placed around a common space. The artists came from all over the world.
It was time to get back on the train to Manhattan….
But not before stopping at the Brighton Beach station where the MTA museum was running a number of vintage trains.
A great way to spend a few hours at the beach – Brooklyn style.
A quiet Saturday morning was a great time to take a guided tour of Retiro Station – in Spanish!
The station actually is comprised of 3 separate terminus’. The largest and most grand is Retiro Mitre, named for the line that terminates there.
The center concourse has an excellent vaulted ceiling.
Nearly all of the trains departing from here are commuter rail, so they come and go frequently. It is easily one of the busiest in South America (but not so much on a Saturday morning).
Why are we outside a Burger King?
And why is our tour all looking up?
At this amazing skylight in the middle of Burger King. Obviously it used to be a much more grand restaurant than Burger King, but at least they have retained it.
The second, much smaller terminal is Retiro Belgrano.
The final is Retiro San Martin – graced by a statue of the father of Argentina, General San Martin.
They have kept a great old schedule board.
But it is time to kiss this place goodbye.