The Historic Armory


2001 Ionic Columns Heritage Award
Montgomery County Historical Society

Located on the western fringe of the Oregon Historic District, the Armory Building has a history that is unique to this predominantly 19th century residential district. The building was constructed in 1893 by John A. Schenk, who purchased the property in September of 1892. The structure was completed quickly enough to be featured in the 1893 publication, New Dayton Illustrated: The Gem City Through A Camera. As its historical name indicates, the building was primarily constructed to house the drilling exercises of Dayton's Ohio National Guard regiments. But from it's earliest days, the building also had industrial tenants, not surprising given its proximity to the canal and other industrial interests.


2000 Enterprise Spirit Award
Dayton Business Journal

The earliest tenant found was the Borchers Carriage Company (listed in 1909-1910 City Directory), which subsequently became the Borchers Automobile Company. The military associations of the building appear to have been relatively short-lived, for by late in the second decade of the twentieth century the building was no longer listed in the Public Building category in the city directories and on the 1918 Sanborn Map it is labeled a "Paper Warehouse".

At this time the building was occupied by the Buyers Paper Company which during the late 1920's, was joined by a tobacco company and elevator manufacturing company as tenants of the building. Another paper company and a janitorial supply company were the tenants during the mid-twentieth century.


Community Preservation Award
Preservation Dayton, Inc.

Although the building is linked to the military and industrial history of Dayton, rather than to the Oregon district's dominant character of middle-class homes dating from the second half of the nineteenth century, it is an important architectural landmark in the district and provides an added dimension to the district's history.