Arcade gives public tours Saturday as part of Art in the City festival

Members of the public were able to tour the inside of the Dayton Arcade for free on Saturday as part of the Art in the City festival downtown.

Megan Dunn Peters, Arcade community manager, said the Arcade Festival was a throwback to when the Arcade first opened in the early 1900s. Those interested could sign up online for a free ticket to a self-guided tour, and those who hadn’t gotten tickets could stand in a second line for the same tour. ThinkTV was also showing screenings of its documentary “Dayton Arcade: Waking the Giant,” which follows the restoration of the Arcade.

“We’re really excited to show everyone what’s been going on inside the Arcade, and we look forward to having more public events of this in the future,” Dunn Peters said.

People were able to tour the bottom floor of the Arcade, including the Rotunda and The Hub At The Arcade, which is a partnership with the University of Dayton and The Entrepreneurs Center.

People were also able to tour part of the Arcade that is still under construction. Guests could still see storefronts and view Arcade memorabilia from its heyday.

Dave Williams, senior development director for Cross Street Partners, the developer involved in the project, said this is an opportunity to see the Arcade and celebrate its progress.

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“As retail continues to grow in here, then we may open lot more,” Williams said. “But until the retail is strong, it doesn’t make sense. So we wanted to have an open event.”

The second phase of the Arcade, which involves the north side of the property, is ongoing. The Arcade already has housing and art spaces open, in addition to The Hub.

Beth and Tom Stubblefield both toured the Arcade. Beth Stubblefield said she remembered coming as a child but had not been back in decades. The restoration was “absolutely beautiful,” she said.

“I’m glad it’s going to open,” Tom Stubblefield said. “We need something on this side of downtown.”

The Arcade reopened virtually in March for the first time in 30 years. The Arcade has had several events already, including a gala this past Friday that allowed ticketed guests into the Rotunda with live music, drinks and food.

On Saturday, Fourth Street was closed between Main and Ludlow Streets. Food and merchandise vendors were outside along with other community partners.

For information on future events, go to https://www.arcadedayton.com/events/

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