Wright bros' first bike shop may be demolished

Wilbur (Left) and Orville Wright sitting on a porch in Dayton, Ohio National Park Services / Wright State University Special Collections and Archives

DAYTON, Ohio - An Ohio building constructed around the first Wright brothers' bicycle shop has been declared a public nuisance and may eventually be demolished, despite a resident's effort to preserve the site.

A city planner tells the Dayton Daily News three walls of the bike shop stand inside the former Gem City Ice Cream building in Dayton.

The Wright brothers ran the shop in the late 1800s, before their pioneering flight.

An assistant city manager says the structure didn't have enough "historic integrity" to be declared a Wright site but was included on the National Register of Historic Places as part of a larger historic district.

The fourth bicycle shop operated by the Wrights, The Wright Cycle Company, remains standing. It is their only bicycle business building that has remained intact, and the place where they actively researched and developed their flying technology, according to the National Park Service. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1990.

Resident Michael Perkins is fighting to preserve the building, and he said he found a monument company and a brick supplier that can replicate the missing 1892 façade based on historic photos. However, the city says it hasn't been able to find a developer to fund the redevelopment.

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