Arcade rehabilitation set to begin

New owners still interviewing contractors, but restoration of the facade to start in August.

Restoration of the facade will begin in August with power washing of the exterior as a way to announce the arrival of work crews.

“We want to impress the city,” said Gunther Berg, who along with partner Wendell Strutz bought the Arcade at a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office tax lien sale on March 12.

Berg said he is researching different types of glass to replace windows in the arcade’s landmark dome, 70 feet high and 90 feet in diameter.

The glass has been changed several times in the rotunda since its construction around 1902. None of the original window panes remain.

Berg’s research points to use of a slightly clouded glass to resemble the original, but the new glass will be double-paned and energy-efficient.

“It won’t be clear, but it will be nice and bright,” Berg said. “We need to match the needs of the building with historic requirements.”

The arcade owners also have been interviewing contractors to work on the estimated $30 million restoration, and applicants are being evaluated.

Last week, Berg, of Plymouth, Wis., traveled to Dayton to meet with members of the Friends of the Dayton Arcade, the nonprofit, volunteer group that has advocated to save the complex.

“On the one hand, you have news like NCR leaving. On the other hand, you have people who still believe in Dayton like the friends of the arcade,” Berg said. “Our team was very impressed with the warm welcome we received. A lot of volunteers have offered support.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2362 or

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