Ever since Dayton became my new home city I've wanted to document some of the incredible variety of beautiful abandoned houses it contains. This large, green-painted brick duplex is one of the best--and since it's just around the corner from our house, I thought it would be a good place to start.
My girlfriend, who has driven past 1206/1208 Wyoming Avenue almost daily for ten years, recalls huge ever-changing congregations of people lounging on the long front porch as recently as 2011 or 2012. The view from the porch would make it a great place to hang out; as with all the houses on that side of the street, 1206/1208 sits atop enough of a hill that you're looking down on the traffic. The front yard is small and slightly pitched--an effect far more pronounced for its downstreet neighbors. But it's pronounced enough that the house looms over you and appears larger than it is.
The lawn hadn't been cut in forever; it was knee-high and running wild. Obviously no one had touched it yet in 2015. But while I was inside the house for just a few minutes, a crew of three from the city of Dayton showed up and started cutting it with a riding mower. That May morning turned out to be the exact time they got around to trimming it--five minutes from when I arrived. (Public health issues are a factor when grass is neglected this badly in the city.) The crew was really cool when I came out of the house. You can actually see them at the edge of the photo below.
The porch, which runs all along the front of the house, is just as awesome as it looks from the road. The railing in particular seems original, something that was part of the design a hundred-plus years ago.
Clumps of filthy bedding, mostly blankets and sheets and clothing, are positioned like nests all up and down the porch. It's a place where the homeless can bed down out of the rain and direct sunlight without being easily seen from the road. It's a tragic sight I've seen more than a few times.
Street-side parking is freely available on both sides of Wyoming Avenue. Around back, adjacent to the narrow alley that shadows Wyoming on this side, you can park on the property--not in a garage or car port, as with so many similarly positioned houses, but simply nose-up to the back wall.
It's hard to say exactly how the big green house was originally laid out. It's possible that it began its life as one big house, though it's hard to imagine where the front door would have been. As a duplex the addresses are above each end of the front porch, making it 1206 and 1208 Wyoming Ave.
To pry the plywood off the front door and take a look inside, click the photo below.