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Old January 13th, 2006, 03:19 PM   #1
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Dayton Estate Country

A look not at skyscrapers, of which there a but few in Dayton, but instead estates and big houses, of which there are many.

Dayton's estate country is really not that much "estate" any more as the large estates of the great industrialists where subdivided long ago. Yet the large houses remain, set in a landscape of parkland and golf courses.

The estate country extends along a belt of hills running south of the city, and is somewhat interesting as it is surrounded by very intensly developed areas to the west, east, and south. Though these pix may seem somewhat "exurban" they are all "within the beltway"...sort of an island of niceness in a sea of sprawl.

The Cox Estate (founder of Cox Enterprises media empire):

Hills and Dales Park, owned by the founder of NCR but dontated to Dayton...yet within the city limits of Kettering.

(local landmark Patterson statute)

Crossing Dorothy Lane....one of the east-west roads that bisect the area

..and heading down Southern Bouelevard to Stroop....Southern Boulevard was to be much longer, connecting back into Dayton and extending out into the country. Only this small section was built.

through whats left of the old Ridgeleigh Terrace grounds....This was once the Kettering estate.

past Kettering Hospital...

& the Aventist Church

To the end of the line at Stroop Road, with this rustic lodge....perhaps used as a station at a trolley loop...a branch line from the local interurban ended here.

and collection of little houses.... probably due to this being the end of the line of the interurban branch...

Nearby is the Edward Deeds estate, Moraine Farm.* An engineer by trade, Edward Deeds was friends and business partners with Charles Kettering, and also, later, CEO of NCR.* However, Deeds was perhaps somewhat corrupt, as he was investigated for war profiteering in WWI.* He did try to build an aviation industry here, via the big Dayton-Wright plant in Moraine City, but refocused his aviation interests to Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Connecticut, which he owned.*

Deeds was an amature astronmer, so this house has the unusual feature of an observatory tower

Moraine Farm from a distance

Views of the main house, dating from 1914, in a sort of spanish/mission revival style.*

This house just rambles on and on, so its tough to take a good all-encompassing pix of it....

a view across whats left of the grounds to the "Modern Manor" tract house development and the GM Moraine Assembly in the distance...the Machine in the Garden.* The old Dayton-Wright plant from WWI, later Frigidaire Plant 2 , has been torn down in the last few years, but was right next to the Moraine Assemebly plant

And a view south into what was once Moraine Park

Moraine Park..its hills and valleys...(inlcuding some adjacent property) was developed into a network of exclusive housing developments and country clubs.* The houses are mostly more modern, but there are some older ones dating from before WWII.

(I particularly like this one, with the big urn in front...it has an interesting "stripped classical" feel to it...very swellegant....very Hollywood or jazz age....


In the low wooded hills in the distance are even more developements...one is getting into Washington Township and the Mad River Road area there....and it all gets pretty inaccessible due to small private estates and little gated communities....tho this looks pretty rustic, we are still well within the I-675 beltway here.

Another penetration into the "Moraine Park" hill country....along Tait Road

most of the houses are modern....

With a few period reproductions, like this Shingle Style copy...

continuing to climb into the hills along the Moraine Country Club....

past this sculpture garden

view into the golf course again..

even higher into the hills....parallelling the golf course....

until we reach a gated community....road continues up into the hills, who knows how far....

There are little loops and cul-de-sacs pulling off of Tait Road, with a mix of architect-designed and spec modern houses....perhaps one of the larger collections of high-end residential modernism in the area?

...including this rather large modernist country house, perhaps owned or buit by the Dayton Power & Light (local utility company) CEO Tait.* This house dates to 1939 or 40, which makes it one of the earliest, if not the earliest modern house in Dayton.* It is sort of in the European "Bauhause" modren style, with a fiew "moderne" (and even classical) details ....like the banding at the corners.*

Not visible enough to shoot is the rear, with a large window walls and a semicircular bay with terrace on top...at the time it was built this house would have had a fantastic view over the Miami valley, with the big Frigidaire appliance plant in the center.* Great view for the executive of a power company...

and, from recent times this faux tudor revival (perhaps an ironic reference to the pelthora of tudor revival houses elsewhere West of Far Hills)...

Heading back down to Stroop Road....

The above was mostly modern.* The real charm of this area is, however, the abundance of revival architecture, some very larger versions of tudor and other revival styles...small estates in some cases.

We will start out with this house in "Short Hills".*This was the home of Charles Kettering, the inventor of auto electric systems and key ignition (vs the "crank") who founded DELCO, and was bought-out by GM. Kettering stayed on with GM, though, as chief engineer, and developed a few other things for them, like freon refrigeration, no-knock gasoline, and the "Rocket V8 engine (used in the Olds Rocket 88, made famous by the R&B song)

Kettering was quite a philanthropist and donated the hospital you saw upthread, the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, and a foundation here in Dayton. His daughter, Virginia, also contributed quite a bit locally to various things, including building Dayton's tallest skyscraper (because she thought Dayton "needed a skyscraper").

the approach.....

The Mansion on the Hill

Having sort of "F Scott Fitzgerlad/Great Gatsby" atmosphere...the country estate.....

Another suburban estate....which we have seen upthread....

And now, what you've all been waiting for,* for the Tudor gallery....Dayton's favorite revival style....plenty of great examples all over the city, but this is the south-of-town collection...

(well, this one is more "French Provinicial, ?)

.....one would never imagine one is in deep within an urban area here....

With even more big houses tucked into the woods, including this tudor one and this spanish one.

....the Spanish one reminds us that its not all "olde Englishe" in Kettering....

Some examples at the southern end of the estate country in Washtington Township. This area used to be typical Midwestern farm land but in the 1920s local buisnessmen and industrialists bought out farms and converted them into estates or hobby farms. Sort of Dayton's "hunt country".

Polen Farm, built around a Civil War era farmhouse, was the hobby farm of a buisness associate of Charles Kettering. Now a rental hall owned by a local suburb

Sweet Arrow Farm, built by the heir to the NCR fortune

A few other country estates. One of these is owned by the founder of the Ponderosa Steakhouse chain...

Normandy Farm, the Grant Estate. This was going to end up a big planned development, but instead the majority of the estate was turned into park and forest preserve! Only a few houses where built. The big house and grounds became a Methodist church

Normandy led to a brief vogue for French Chateau-esque homes in the area.

Another approach was to take the midwestern farmhouse and radically enhance it with additions and luxury finishes, like oak-panelled studies and libraries. Polen farm upthread was an example, here are a few more:

...and Quaker Hill, built in the 1790s as a log house this is one of the oldest buildings in county, but considerably expanded and altered.

Finally, the last estate....

"...Dayton, Two Exits of Fun..."

Last edited by Jeff_in_Dayton; January 13th, 2006 at 03:36 PM.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 03:38 PM   #2
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Thanks for the great pictures--nice to see the "estate" side of Dayton metro. Please do more pics of Dayton and surrounding area--the only time I've been to Dayton is downtown for business or driving on I-75 when heading south.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #3
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Incredible! And even more incredible when you consider the map, which makes it look as if the northern boundary of this area is only two miles or so from downtown. Wow--thanks for sharing!
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Old January 13th, 2006, 06:22 PM   #4
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Yes, I think this area might start two or three miles from dowtown...

Incidentally, the most famous Daytonians of all, Wilbur and Orville Wright, moved to this area...here is their estate..Hawthorn Hill....

"...Dayton, Two Exits of Fun..."
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