How to Contribute

How to get involved

  1. Show your support by joining PDI. PDI acts on your behalf to work with organizations and individuals to educate and negoiate on preservation issues. We need a strong membership to show that the community is behind us.
  2. Look, listen, and speak out. There are pieces of Dayton history quietly being threatened everyday – you can read about it in the newspaper, see it around the corner in your neighborhood and hear about it in your schools or offices. Once you are aware – let someone know you care. Contact PDI, call the building owner, write a letter to the editor, attend a meeting and speak out, organize your neighbors. Be heard.
  3. Advocate better policies. Government policy profoundly affects preservation. Tax codes, funding decisions, and zoning laws can revitalize traditional downtowns, protect historic buildings, and improve conditions in our national parks–or they can encourage wasteful sprawl, damage established neighborhoods, and lead to the abandonment of historic treasures. Write your government officials in support of preservation issues (saving specific structures like Shawen Acres, or in general movements like the demolition of most of Dayton Historic Schools), link to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Advocacy Page, or visit Heritage Ohio’s website for more Ohio specific information.
  4. Buy a historic home or building and restore it – it’s fun! Dayton’s aging building stock needs you! Reconsider suburban living and check Dayton out – whether a loft or historic home or business – after all, it is the city of neighbors! (and your can get much more house for the $$$ than in the suburbs) Check out our Dayton Historic Neighborhoods home page.
  5. If you are already a Dayton resident, maintain and take pride in what you own. Buildings become a problem and need saving because of neglect. Maintain your properties now and they won’t have to be saved later. In this same spirit, adopt an are of your neighborhood to keep clean. Walk the area twice a month and pick up trash and pull weeds. A clean neighborhood is attractive to visitors and potential residents.
  6. Stay involved in your neighborhood, community, and school. Strong neighborhoods encourage residents to care for their properties and become long-term property owners. Transient neighborhoods breed neglected properties. Help an elderly neighbor clean gutters or assist with storm windows.
  7. Patronize historically sensitive and downtown businesses. Reward them for their dedication. (each year PDI recognizes businesses as part of the Preservation Awards – check out PDI Awards)
  8. Go to church downtown. Over twenty urban churches are threatened by declining attendance and skyrocketing maintenance costs. These magnificent structures are a wonder to see, and the communities who take shelter in them always welcome visitors.
  9. Plan a family outting within the city limits. Dayton offers many parks, museums, and cultural festivals. Even if you just visit a part of town you have never been to before to explore the architecture, you will develop a better understanding of what dayton has to offer. Be sure to share stories of your adventure with your co-workers to promote the various attractions in our great city.

Looking to research a specific historic structure in Dayton?

PDI is a grassroots organization with limited resources and no central location for historical artifacts or records. Board Members are volunteers who are passionate about preserving Dayton’s architectural heritage. We do not have an archive of historical or structural facts for buildings other than those on our list of most endangered structures.

You may find some additional historical information from Dayton History, which has extensive records and a full-time staff or the Montgomery County Library. PDI also has contacts that will perform research for you for a fee. Please email us for specific contact information if you are interested in pursuing this fee-based research.