Anyone who has ever been to the Dayton Arcade has their own perceptions of what the Dayton Arcade is.
There is the ornate and patina-green main entrance on West Third Street, the stately looking shop fronts and apartments on the West Fourth Street side, the tall apartment building on the corner of Fourth and Ludlow and the arched windows and white brick of the South Ludlow Street side.
And all of this is tied together by the 198-by 200-foot market area under the domed rotunda that is ornately decorated with symbols of food prosperity (turkeys, rams’ heads, cornucopia-like fruit sculptures).
The Dayton Arcade is a complex, so says the National Register of Historic Places Inventory- Nomination Form. The form lists two distinct buildings: Fourth Street Arcade Building and Third Street Arcade.
The Third Street Arcade interior has a 20 by 200-foot promenade with a vaulted glass ceiling. This promenade is lined with space for twenty stores, thirty-four offices and thirty-two bachelor apartments.
The Fourth Street Arcade Building occupies the entire southwest corner of the block and is the largest section of the Dayton Arcade complex. Buildings on South Ludlow and West Fourth Streets along with the market area make up this section. Entrances are located on both streets.
The Inventory form describes the buildings: “The Fourth Street Building as planned has twenty suites of offices on the second floor. The third and fourth floors are five and six room family apartments and the fifth has twenty bachelor apartments with two rooms each. The Ludlow Street wing has stores plus offices.”
The State of Ohio recently granted $5 million in historic tax credits to allow developers to move forward with renovation plans.
The Dayton arcade has been sitting empty since 1991.