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16 historical sites named ‘Most Endangered’ in Ohio

Several local historical buildings made the 2016 list of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites by the non-profit organization Preservation Ohio.

Historic sites in 12 Ohio counties made the 2016 list.

Locally, that includes the Dayton Arcade, former Dayton Daily News building and Gem City Ice Cream Building in Montgomery County, and Sorg Opera House in Middletown.

Preservation Ohio says it names sites to the list for reasons including demolition threat, abandonment, neglectful owner, dilapidation, obsolete use, lack of money for repairs, out-of-the-way location or encroaching sprawl.

The group credits their efforts at raising the visibility of previously threatened buildings, which then received rehabilitation.

“Over the years, the list has proven successful in saving some of Ohio’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage,” the group said in a statement announcing this year’s list. “Recognition of the Westcott House in Springfield, a Frank Lloyd Wright design, led to a multi-million dollar restoration. The Anthony Wayne Hotel in Hamilton, the Masonic Temple in Columbus and the Unionville Tavern share similar stories.”

The 2016 list states:

“Dayton Arcade - Almost three decades of vacancy has damaged these five interconnecting, still structurally sound buildings constructed between 1902 and 1904. Plans are underway to redevelop the Arcade, but it remains threatened in the meantime.”

“Dayton Daily News Building - This 1908 building designed by Albert Pretzinger sits partially open to the elements. City officials and local preservation advocates are working to save this majestic building.”

“Gem City Ice Cream Building - The original wooden structure dating from 1886 housed the Wright Brothers’ first bicycle shop in 1892. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; however, it is currently vacant, deteriorating and recently vandalized.”

“Sorg’s Opera House, Middletown - Although hundreds of volunteer hours have been spent tending to the building in support of preservation, Middletown’s first theater (designed by Samuel Hannaford) sits vacant and exposed to further deterioration.”

The former site of the Dayton Daily News, at Fourth and Ludlow streets in Dayton, is owned by Student Suites LLC, a developer that had proposed an $18 million project there. That project has stalled, and in March a new potential investor decided not to buy the site from Student Suites.