Dayton, National Aviation Heritage Alliance revitalizing a piece of the city’s aviation history

DAYTON — Dayton is breathing new life into a huge piece of the city’s aviation history.

The city is getting millions of dollars to restore the Wright Brothers’ airplane manufacturing facility on W. Third Street.

The facility is where Orville and Wilbur Wright formed their aircraft manufacturing business after their first flight. It has five separate hangars, but the two closest to W. Third Street is where the work will be done.

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Veronica Morris, Economic Development Supervisor for the city of Dayton, told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell that the site was the oldest aircraft manufacturing facility in the world.

The city announced it would be partnering with the National Aviation Heritage Alliance for the project. They received a large grant to revitalize and restore the area.

“We are really looking to give it a campus feel,” Morris said. “We are really looking to stabilize the hangars, the historic hangars are one and two.”

Some residents in West Dayton, like Joanne Monie, said they were not aware there was this history in their backyard.

“I thought it was the old Delphi site,” Monie said.

News Center 7 surveyed the site and found just one banner on the fence that talks about “Come Discover Flying,” but it doesn’t specifically mention the Wright Brothers. That is something the city plans to change. Signage about the project and work with the National Park Service were said to be the first steps of a long transformation, which will begin this fall and next spring.

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“They will build out the space of hangars one and two,” Morris said. “Our job is to come and stabilize it.”

Morris said the city will look to redevelop hangars three, four and five, and possibly bring other businesses to the site, along with a lot of community greenspace.

Residents, like Monie, said they were excited to see the investments in the community.

“Things need to be revitalized,” Monie said.

The Wright Brothers Hangars are already on the National Historic Site Registry, but once they are restored they will work with the other historic sites to give everyone a great look at Dayton’s aviation history.