Demolition of a former Delphi building easily visible off U.S. 35 has started.
The building, off Abbey Avenue in Dayton, is the former headquarters of General Motors’s Inland Division near the Wright brothers’ first airplane factory, which itself is still visible from Third Street, but not yet from U.S. 35.
The work is part of a $5 million effort to redevelop the site while preserving two buildings of the former Wright Co. factory, said an announcement from the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, which preserves and publicizes key Dayton-area sites in the history of aviation.
Home Avenue Redevelopment LLC, the site’s owner and redeveloper, expects to finish demolition by mid-summer and sell the property, the alliance said.
The alliance is working with the company, the National Park Service, the city of Dayton and the Dayton Development Coalition to find government and private funds to acquire the Wright Co. parcel for use as part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
The state capital budget bill now in the Ohio legislature includes $250,000 for this, the alliance noted.
What the national park will do with the site is still to be determined.
“This is our 100,000-square-foot blank canvas,” Dean Alexander, superintendent of the national park, told the Dayton Daily News in 2012.
“The Wright Co. factory is the birthplace of America’s aerospace industry — the first American factory built for the purpose of producing airplanes,” the alliance announcement said. “It’s also tied to Dayton’s automotive history.”
Orville Wright sold the company in 1915, and the Dayton-Wright Airplane Co. bought the buildings to make military aircraft parts in World War I. GM acquired Dayton-Wright in 1919.
Once demolition is complete, motorists should be able to readily see the former Wright factory from U.S. 35.