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McPherson Town Historic District facts for kids

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McPherson Town Historic District
U.S. Historic district
Houses along McDaniel Street.
Location Roughly bounded by Main St., Great Miami River, and I-75, Dayton, Ohio
Built February 1, 1845
Architectural style Stick/Eastlake, Queen Anne and others.
NRHP reference No. 88001712
Added to NRHP September 29, 1988

The McPherson Town Historic District contains roughly 90 structures located on the north side of downtown Dayton, Ohio just on the other side of the Great Miami River.


Tucked into a corner of the horseshoe area formed by a bend in the Great Miami River, McPherson Town was founded on February 1, 1845. On this date, an Irishman named Samuel McPherson filed a plat consisting of 34 swampy, wooded lots on both sides of Dayton and Covington Turnpike. The center of this plat was located at the present day North Main St. and McPherson St.

McPherson Town, and much of Dayton was devastated by the flood of 1897 and the Great Dayton Flood of 1913. Many homes were destroyed or badly damaged. Current residents still find pounds of flood mud in walls and ceilings during renovation projects.

In the years following World War II, Dayton citizens began their head-long flight to the suburbs, leaving an aging and declining inner-city, including McPherson Town. After years of neglect, the area was slated for bulldozing and urban renewal. Residential property was purchased for speculative purposes, including commercial development, highrise condominiums and an interstate highway. But in the early 1970s, a few key private investors recognized the unique historical significance of the neighborhood and began to renovate several old homes. With this, a move to obtain historic district status began.

In August, 1977 Dayton declared McPherson Town its third historic neighborhood and structures were protected from future urban renewal efforts. In 1988, McPherson Town was registered on the National Register of Historic Places, bounded by Main St., Great Miami River, and I-75 and Downtown Dayton (No. 88001712). City of Dayton Ordinance #25363.


Most of the structures still in existence today in McPherson Town were built between 1880 and 1900. The architecture of McPherson Town Historic District includes examples Stick/Eastlake, Queen Anne and others. Since 1995, several modern infill houses have been constructed to replace structures that had been lost to fire or decay, and repair the streetscape of the neighborhood. These new construction homes are designed to look period with modern conveniences.

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