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Saving Historic Buildings

Most communities have their share of historic buildings that have seen better days. Too often, the significance of some of these structures is not touted until the wrecking ball is on its way.

Meanwhile, for the safety of residents and for the sake of clearing out irreparable blight, officials are simply doing the right thing by taking action.

A painful example came in Dayton recently when the city announced plans to demolish the 129-year-old building that housed the Wright brothers’ first bike shop.

The property had been through several owners over the decades, but by the time the city was in a position to try to sell it to a developer, it failed inspection tests — the building was deemed structurally damaged and in danger of collapse.

Only when city officials were asking for permission to run the bulldozers did citizens and the Dayton Landmarks Commission speak up. Surely they must have understood by then it was too little, too late.

Look around in our communities. What buildings are also rapidly becoming eyesores and safety hazards, with time running out to reverse the process? Those interested in saving these structures should consider whether their energy would be better spent raising money and awareness now to genuinely make a difference.

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