Header Graphic
A Piece of History Will Be No More

This article appeared in the Journal Herald August 24, 1961


A Piece Of History Will Be No More

Old Market House Coming Down To Make Room For Route 35


By Rex Broome

Journal Herald Staff Writer


     The carved stone sign reads “Wayne Market.”

     The painted one underneath reads “City of Dayton Traffic Shop.”

     In between the two lie 46 years of history.

     The state has bought the old Wayne avenue market building for $55,465, and yesterday the city commissioners OK’d a bid of $7,950 from the Alladin Contracting company to tear down the 51-yeard-old brick structure.

     In less than a month the Wayne avenue market will be no more.

     The city’s sign shop, where 22 men work, will move during the weekend to 520 Kiser street.  It will be the last exodus, completing a cycle which started Feb. 25, 1956, when marketing operations there were closed.

     The East Dayton Community council had its offices in the building, but they, too, are gone from 663 Wayne avenue.

     Certainly Edward E. Burkhart, who was mayor in 1910 when the building was erected, could not have foreseen that the imposing structure with the Ionic columns on either side of the main entrance would give way to U. S. Route 35 a half century later.

     John C. Ely, Charles A. Harbig and Edward K. Parish, the board of public service under whom the building was constructed, must surely have felt more grandiose things awaited it than the heavy iron of the wrecker’s ball and bar.

     Frank L. Sutter, the architect, didn’t design the many-windowed edifice to become a pile of ruble in just over 50 years.  He expected it, as it did for 46 years, to help in the age-old struggle of man to survive, bringing together the farmer and the consumer, the supplier and the demander.

     Built on the site of the ill-starred Selly’s ditch, the present building replaced one which had stood for more than 30 years.  It, in turn, was raised in 1886 only after farmers had conducted open-air market operations on the site since 1851, when the city acquired the property.

     The Wayne avenue market which stood between 1866 and 1910, when the soon-to-be-demolished building was opened, was the city’s second true market.  The only other, begun in 1820 at 22 South Hain street, succumbed to progress in 1956 after two structures there had been used for market operations.

     In one respect, the building of U. S. Route 35 expressway at the Wayne avenue market site may vindicate the judgment of Morris Seely, who started the ditch bearing his name in 1830.

     The ditch, which never fulfilled Seely’s plan to use it as a transportation route, branched off Wayne avenue from where it intersected with the Dayton-Cincinnati leg of the Miami-Erie canal.

     Adjacent plots were marked off for warehouses, factories and docks, but nothing substantial ever developed at the site until the city bought it and started the Wayne avenue market.

     U. S. Route 35’s expressway, however, scheduled to go into operation late next year or early in 1963, may prove that Mr. Seely’s difficulty came only from being born 130 years too early.