Dayton Daily News Library

The Arcade

  One of the most distinctive, and perhaps the most loved building in downtown Dayton is the Arcade, a complex of connected buildings bordered by Main, 3rd, Ludlow and 2nd sts.
   It is dominated 70 feet above by a glass dome 90 feet in diameter which is framed by ornate art sculptures of colorful flowers, fruit and vegetables falling from cornucopias.
  The Arcade opened March 4, 1904, by developer E. J. Barney for $2 million. Orignially called the Gibbons Arcade, it was described as a "village in the heart of the city." There were 44 stores, 207 offices, and 40 apartments.
  The architect was Frank Andrews (1867-1948), who is said to have patterned the facade on a guild hall in Amsterdam, Holland. Born in Des Moines, he came to Dayton as a young man, having already designed the Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis.
In additino to the Arcade, Andrews designed:
  • The "daylight" NCR factory buildings which John Patterson wanted made mostly of glass. The buildings were revolutionary and some doubted they could be solidly engineered.
  • The Conover Building (later the American) at the southeast corner of Third and Main.
  • The central portion of the Reibold Building.
      The Arcade was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
      In the late 1970s the Arcade underwent a $15 million renovation, which was completed in May 1980. However, it struggled throughout the 1980s and was closed in 1991 by its current owner, the Danis Company.
    The Arcade in 1990 (DDN photo by Charles Steinbrunner).
    Item Number: 9905240230