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From futuristic coffee shops, drive-ins and shopping centers to soaring glass curtain walled skyscrapers to the homes, schools, and churches of postwar suburbs, examples of mid-20th century architecture convey the hopes, challenges and successes of our recent history. These reminders of our recent past are as important to a community’s sense of place and memory as early farmhouses and Italianate town squares. Now is the time to pay attention to these modern buildings and places and what they tell us about our history and culture.

In 2009 the Ohio Historic Preservation Office launched the Ohio Modern initiative to identify important social, political, and economic trends that shaped land use decisions, architectural styles, property types and building technology in Ohio from 1940-1970 and record related properties.

Ohio Modern products to date include a statewide historic context publication and a history-architecture survey identifying and evaluating mid-20th century properties and neighborhoods in Dayton and neighboring suburban communities including Centerville, Huber Heights, Trotwood, Fairborn, Kettering, Oakwood and Vandalia.

Click on the links below to view the context document, the survey report or view the inventory forms that resulted from the Dayton survey.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Office received a Preserve America grant from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior to carry out Ohio Modern: Preserving Our Recent Past project. Additional support and partners include the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Development, Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the City of Dayton, the Unversity of Dayton and the Historic Preservation Fund, National Park Service.

The three links above connect you directly with specific sections from the Dayton Area survey report.
The information and examples broadly apply for this time period.

For more information about the Ohio Modern: Preserving Our Recent Past projects contact Barbara Powers, Department Head, Inventory and Registration, Ohio Historic Preservation Office at or

Click here to return to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office front page.

Thank you for your interest in The Ohio Historical Society!

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