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Ohio Modern: Preserving Our Recent Past

Ohio Modern Dayton Area Survey
Ohio Historic Inventory Forms

The Ohio Modern: Dayton Area Survey recorded 504 historic properties in the City of Dayton and selected neighboring suburban communities of Centerville, Fairborn, Huber Heights, Kettering, Oakwood, Trotwood and Vandalia. This component of the Ohio Modern initiative is the first comprehensive history-architecture survey of its kind from this time period undertaken in Ohio.

Completion of the survey of mid-20th century architecture recorded representative buildings from the recent past era of 1940-1970. The survey identified, through local examples, standard house types, non-residential building types, architectural styles, and patterns of development associated with suburbanization of this period to begin to create a common vocabulary for describing these building types. Ohio Historic Inventory (OHI) forms were completed for each property at either a reconnaissance or intensive level in order to identify and evaluate mid-20th century properties and neighborhoods.

The Ohio Historic Inventory form provides a brief description of the location, history and architecture of a building, site, structure, or object of architectural or historical significance. Approximately 200 OHI forms were completed at the intensive level of documentation which includes a full architectural description and historical documentation for the property. Some 300 properties were recorded at a reconnaissance level of documentation meaning that basic architectural information and limited historic research is recorded. Reconnaissance level forms will not have all of the fields completed. Many properties recorded at the reconnaissance level are examples of Cape Cod Cottages, Ranch Houses and Split-Levels that collectively represent repetitive house types defining several mid-20th century neighborhoods and subdivisions.

The Ohio Historic Inventory is the ongoing statewide survey of buildings, sites, structures and objects of historical and architectural significance. The OHI is used to record basic information about historic properties. Since 1974, more than 97,000 historic properties have been recorded in the Ohio Historic Inventory. The Ohio Historic Inventory is an important reference for organizing community preservation efforts.

Click on a category below to view the Ohio Historic Inventory forms completed for the Ohio Modern Dayton area survey.


Dayton and the suburbs included in the Ohio Modern History-Architecture survey experienced a tremendous amount of growth from 1940 to 1970. A wealth of resources remains intact throughout the metropolitan region, reflecting the areaís post- World War II prosperity. The resulting architecture has left a tangible legacy on each community. Many of these buildings have architectural merit and are worthy of historic preservation. They also are noteworthy in their ability to convey the regionís story of mid-20th-century development. From restrained Modernist offices to the artistic forms of Brutalism and Neo-Expressionism, to the soaring angles of Googie buildings and signs, to the rambling Ranch house, the architecture of the mid-20th century has much to be celebrated and preserved. The challenge for the preservation community is to raise awareness of the value of these resources that reflect the apex of Daytonís-- and Ohioís--manufacturing-based economic prosperity.

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