If you’re reading this blog for discussions of fancy European cities, sorry, this post will not meet your expectations. However…
I spent time in Dayton, Ohio recently, and got some visit time in with family. I did sneak in one decent walk, and that walk prompted these observations (and photos)…
- On the surface, Dayton and Akron (where I live) are very similar – mid-sized midwestern towns, each of which is close to a major city. Both have industrial pasts
that are part of their glory days, both have been (and still are, sort of) the corporate headquarters of major manufacturing companies, and both are relatively famous for major icons – Dayton is of course where the Wright Brothers got their start, while Akron is the birthplace of Lebron – j/k, the folks at Goodyear, with the still well-known blimp. Both have legitimate claims to being hotbeds of innovation in the industrial past of the US.
- These similarities made me of course lump them together in my head, a lump that was knocked out after spending a couple of days. The cities have some pretty distinct differences in architecture and infrastructure, and
the differences are interesting and say a lot about some of the socioeconomic development of the two cities.
- In fact, some of Dayton’s architecture reminds me of Cincinnati, with the narrow houses built because the hilly city made cheap house construction difficult without terracing (in itself expensive).
- An exhaustive study is outside my realm of expertise (nice dodge that), but both are struggling with lots of the same issues – how to increase population, how to develop a solid economic base, how to keep young people in town. And, as in Akron, I saw lots of folks determined to make good, to help their city remain viable, livable, and functioning into the near future.