Save Shawen Acres!

Located north of downtown Dayton on Main Street at Merrimac Street. Owned by Montgomery County.

Shawen AcresShawen Acres, last used as the headquarters for Children’s Services was originally designed as an orphan’s home. Dr. Charles Shawen donated 19 acres to the county March 21, 1926 for “wayward and homeless children.” The complex was built in 1926-27 and was used as an orphan’s home until the late 1970’s. The 19-acre center consisted of a main building, annex, gym, and 10 quaint, English-style cottages in a park-like setting. The center received recognition because the center’s structures are an example of English cottage architecture and represented the reform movement that was predominant in the 1920’s. The cottage complex was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

2 thoughts on “Save Shawen Acres!

  1. UPDATE:
    PDI is currently working with Montgomery County officials to find creative strategies that will result in the preservation and adaptive reuse of these historic cottages.

    Originally, Montgomery County Children’s Services had announced the intention to demolish these important structures, in order to provide more parking and green space for the recently constructed administartion building at the rear of the property.

    PDI proposed an alternative strategy, one that would allow the County to (a) meet urgent parking needs for the new Children’s Services Building on the site; (b) demolish non-historic structures; and (c) provide PDI with a three-year time period in which to come up with acceptable preservation and reuse strategy for the cottages.

    The County and PDI are currently still trying to negotiate and the situation remains in flux. Keep your fingers crossed that PDI cn help work out a preservation-friendly solution.

    In December 2001, Shawen Acres was added to the Ohio Preservation Alliances Most Endangered Historic Sites list.

  2. UPDATE:
    Mongomery County has just about completed a new parking lot that flanks the eight historic, English style cottages that have now been boarded up for several years. The County is unwilling to talk about adaptive re-use.

Leave a Reply