The Building

 

The Dayton Arcade was a widely-celebrated achievement after its completion in the first decade of the 20th century; the structure is highlighted by a 90-foot diameter glass rotunda that many consider the most spectacular piece of architectural history in the Dayton region. But, as downtown Dayton declined in the 1970’s and 1980’s, so did the Arcade. The main building went into bankruptcy in the mid-1980’s, and was last occupied in 1990. The intervening 25 years that it has sat vacant, unmaintained, and unheated have resulted in significant damage to the structure. Today, the stunning Rotunda is a diamond in the rough, hidden behind vacant store facades, and unknown to an entire generation of passersby.  The downtown itself is also in a state of disrepair, with numerous vacant buildings, and an overabundance of half-empty parking garages and surface lots. In the past five years; however, the City’s population decline has halted, and there are signs of a renewed interest in living, working and visiting downtown.