My Town Monday: Doorway to Domination

Dayton's Doorway to Domination

No, I’m not talking about a doorway that takes us on a shortcut to becoming the Evil Overlord, sorry. It’s the doorway to Publishing Success, although not for me, a mostly-unknown fiction writer.

This is the side entrance into the historic Dayton Daily News building, at the corner of Fourth and Ludlow Streets, in downtown Dayton. The building itself has a storied history (insert groan here – pun intended). It’s a beautiful, classically- styled office building constructed in 1910.

The Dayton Daily News (then called the Dayton Evening News) was a failing newspaper, purchased by reporter James M. Cox in 1898. Cox changed the name after purchase, and within a few years, he’d turned the business around and was ready to move to a larger facility.

He approached several banks for a loan, but none would lend him money, claiming that newspapers weren’t a profitable business. He managed to come up with the money elsewhere (I couldn’t find where). In an effort to thumb his nose at the banks who’d turned him down, he had his building designed to look like one.

The Dayton Daily News building today

The building housed the staff and printing operations of the Dayton Daily News, as well as the other newspapers it absorbed, throughout the 20th century, until the new Print Technology Center was built about 15 miles south in Franklin. The Dayton Daily News bought the Dayton Journal and the Herald, two competing newspapers, and operated all three out of the DDN building (the Journal and the Herald were soon combined, and then rolled into the Daily News in the 80’s). These were the start of the media empire now known as Cox Enterprises, which is also the parent conglomerate of several other newspapers, dozens of radio and major network and cable television stations, and online classified advertising sites.

Advertising, editorial, customer service, and all other non-printing staff were relocated in 2007 to a newly-remodeled, former NCR office building about a mile and a half away on South Main Street. The historic building on Fourth Street now sits empty, its future unknown.

Does your hometown have any famous doorways?

More at the My Town Monday blog

7 Responses to \

  1. Hey there Jen, I always enjoy your blogs and today is no different.

    Very interesting background story. I bet Mr. Cox would be laughing all the way to the bank. lol

    You know it’s different out here on the west coast. The buildings here do not have as much history as do those around the mid-west or east coast.

    But there was one really cool landmark that people in this area have been so upset about since they first tore it down. And that is, The Golden Bear. The Golden Bear or the “Bear” as it was locally referred to was like Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles. It hosted the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Doors, CSNY, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and the list goes on and on. Nobody hadn’t played the Bear.

    Sadly it’s gone. And they’ve tried to bring it back. But there’s something to be said about the old building. Without it, it’s just not the same.

    Thanks for sharing this Jen. 🙂

  2. I love reading about old buildings, Jennette. I’m from the western prairies of Canada and we don’t have a lot of old buildings, certainly nothing with the history you’ve given us here. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. I love that old building! I always did think it looked like a bank, now I know it was done on purpose, LOL! If the NCR building is the one I’m thinking of, it’s not nearly as classically nice in its architecture (it’s more mid-century if I recall correctly).

    I will say the PTC in Franklin has its own beauty with the ultra-modern glass and steel look, and the fluid lines.

    This was a fun post to read. Makes me want to take a trip up there to Downtown again. You’ll have to do a piece on the Art Institute–if ever there were a building that needed its own blog, it’d have to be the Art Institute.

  4. @Karen – you know Mr. Cox was laughing all the way to the bank! And thanks for sharing about the Golden Bear – I’d never heard of it, but such a shame the building no longer around. You’re right, a lot of times, newer buildings just aren’t the same.

    @Coleen & Sheila – I’m glad you enjoyed it – thanks for stopping by!

    @Athena – I used to work right down the street from the Print Tech Ctr. though I’ve never been inside. It’s definitely impressive! I’ll definitely do a piece about the Art Institute – they are hosting a Norman Rockwell show through February that I want to see, so I’ll give it a write up then!

  5. Nice post, Jennette. Good thing Cox diversified and got into online advertising, radio, network, and cable TV since newspapers are hurting so bad these days. It’s sad to see it happen, isn’t it?

  6. Thanks, Lynn! As much as I like reading my news online, I have to agree, the downward spiral in the newspaper business is sad. Hopefully someone will do something cool with the old building!