Ranked: Hewitt Soap Factory biggest eyesore in Dayton-area

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The strong economy and housing market has had an impact on the look of Dayton-area, but there are still problem properties.

Spots like the North Plaza Inn off Dixie or The Executive Inn off Needmore and I-75, are now gone. The Sunshine Biscuit Company building off Cincinnati and Watterson streets was vacant for years, but is now a Lewis and Michaels Inc. warehouse.

But major eyesores are still out there. Here’s a list of some blighted local buildings.

Hewitt Soap Factory, Linden Ave.:

The property is in rubble after two fires in 2016 and 2017. Hewitt was bought out by Bradley Soap International in 2004, according to Dayton History Books Online, and was shut down in 2006. (There was a correction made to this entry, for more information read below).

Kramer Brothers Foundry, Dell and Deeds Avenues:

The Kramer brothers were innovators in concrete tools, but their old building has fallen on hard times. With much of the property used as a scrapyard, and with houses on the street sitting just feet away from the building, the dilapidated structure sits almost hidden from the rest of town. The building is among several parcels with separate owners. Kramer Brothers and their popular Gem Cement Tools were bought out by Bon Tools in 2004.  

Stomps Chevrolet, 225 S. Main St.:

The large brick building sits in a prime area, on the west side of Main Street across from the RTA station on the south end of downtown. Plans may be in store for the property – the Montgomery County Landbank sold it to the City of Dayton in May. Stomps Chevrolet was a favorite dealer for Dayton musclecar enthusiasts during the 1960s.

727 E. Fourth Street abandoned building:

Across the street from the Yellow Cab Tavern is a multi-story former factory building. No records exist for the building, which is demolished in certain sections and has also been divided into parcels. The building is noted for having several trees growing from its top floor through the roof.

Graphic Arts Building, 221-223 South Ludlow.:

The city was awarded $400,000 last month by the state to help fund a planned renovation of the building. Built in the 1920s by a Christian publishing company, the building was declared a historic site in 2009 according to OhioHistory.org.

Elder-Beerman Furniture Gallery, 2700 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd.:

Before Elder-Beerman closed its anchor store at the Dayton Mall, the company’s furniture outlet was shut down in 2007. According to officials in Miami Twp., the building located east of the mall on the south side of 725, will re-open by the end of the year as a Big Sandy Superstore, selling furniture and appliances. 

570 West Stewart, Dayton:

The now vacant building was the practice for Dr. James Matthews MD. A Roosevelt High School graduate, Matthews served as a brigade surgeon and paratrooper in Vietnam, until 1967. He returned to Dayton and served as a doctor in West Dayton until he retired in 2010. Dr. Matthews died in 2017 at age 79.

CORRECTION: The story originally stated Dayton Flats LLC from Toronto owned the Hewitt Soap Factory. Dayton Flats LLC owns 333 Linden Ave., which is the next building to the west and is the current home of 333 Ministries.

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