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|June 9th, 2006, 10:11 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Dayton's gay mirco-hood, Jane Reece Terrace
The discussion on that gay pride '06 in Dayton thread has lead me to post this brief tour of a very small 'neighborhoodl', a subset of the larger Lower Dayton View neighborhood..."Jane Reece Terrace', which is really only one or two streets. Only one street, about half a block, is gay, and is perhaps Dayton's largest concentration of gays in one community.
It is directly across the Salem Avenue Bridge, west across the Miami River from downtown. The first thing one sees after crossing the bridge is this old townhouse or rowhouse building. There used to be a few of these in town on the river, and inland a bit too. Not many survive.
Then there is this neat park with various artifacts in it, leading to the terrace.
The columns are sort of a gateway to the gayborhood
Who was Jane Reece?
She was one of the very first proffessional woman photographers in the USA, a contemparary & associate of Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz. She worked in a romatic style, an American interpretation of Art Noveau, as photography.
Jane Reece was born c.1869 and lived her life in Ohio, except for a brief period spent in North Carolina recuperating from an almost fatal attack of spinal meningitis. After her recovery, she moved to Dayton and pursued a photographic career, mainly as a portrait photographer. Influenced by the Photo-Secessionist Movement, she produced work reminiscent of Clarence White, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen. Hers was a humanistic, romantic view of life, a vision tutored by pain and suffering, yet always recording beauty. She paid rigorous attention to detail, using different papers for different effects, sometimes coating imported papers to achieve a lush softness, dark and mysterious. Her sensitive portraits remind one of Corot, Rembrandt or Whistler, imbued with the beauty of the human spirit.
Reece never married.
Some of her work can be viewed at this link
When Reece returned to Dayton she converted this old firehouse to a studio and residence, which became a sort of salon for Dayton's bohemia and arts community.
After she died the firehouse was aquired by a gay couple, who continued the tradition of the arts as one is a pianist, and sponsors an annual concert here, the "Soirees Musicales", usually a selection of piano pieces performed by visiting artists. Ive been here for a 4th of July party, as the city fireworks are quite visible from the back garden.
The couple apparently had some money, as they bought up most of the surrounding buildings and rent them out to gays, lesbians, and their friends. There are often lawn partys here in the summer.
....some of our local gay rights and service groups got started in meetings in these apartments & houses. For awhile one was used as an office for advocacy group.
The rear of that rowhouse building we saw at the beginning...there are or have been gays living there, though its not a gay building.
Some infill housing.
More Jane Reece Terrace.
There is a gay guy living here, I think...
The Latern Arms. Back in the 1950s & early 60s the Salem Avenue corridor was probably a hot area, sort of the Rush Street or Gold Coast of Dayton, with a number of modernist elevator buildings going up...memories of of an earlier, maybe more "lounge/bachelor pad" version of an urban lifesytle...the Lantern Arms is from that era.
It isnt a "gay building", though gay folks lived there. The penthouse used to be home to some drag queens, or so I'm told.
Further down on Jane Reece it stops becoming gay. This is a predominantly African American neighborhood. There are some interesting houses on this street, aside from the gay angle. Like this one. An old early 19th century farmhouse that predates the neighborhood, which grew up around it.
& more old houses and a look back down the street. Park on right.
Another view of The Lantern Arms, with the new Jane Reece Terrace sign put up by the city
A view towards the Salem Avenue Bridge (built in the early 1950s) and downtown Dayton in the backround
"...Dayton, Two Exits of Fun..."
|August 1st, 2009, 09:32 PM||#3|
Join Date: Aug 2009
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OMG! This is my old 'hood! Riverview Terrace!
This is where I lived from age 3 to about age 13 or 14. We moved from there in 1966 to Meredith Street.
Jane Reece's home was "The Witch's Hose" to us kids as it looked all creepy and especially with the crab apple trees in back with the branches that were all knarled (sp?) up. We really thought she was a witch and tried to get rid of her by pouring a mixture of mud with other ingredients (i.e. leaves, mustard, ketchup, sticks, etc.). I felt so bad when we were older about it. We didn't even know she was a famous artist.
The house where I used to live has been gone for ages. Just an empty spot across from Riverview Park where we used to play.
Thanks for the memories.
|August 5th, 2009, 05:26 AM||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2008
Likes (Received): 11
Interesting. I think its funny how you specify which houses have gay people living in them.... and where the "drag queens" used to live. I'm sure eventually someone will show this web site to who-ever those people are -- and it would be interesting to see their reaction. Gay history is a good thing to preserve. It seems like neighborhoods are changing more and more and the old gay-borhoods are getting more diffused as people move out into all of the other areas in a community. Looks like a nice area - Thanks.