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Fall of the last holdouts: The MVH empire grows agai

The Brown-Warren business district used to be almost continuous from Stewart straight into downtown. I came to Dayton long after 35 slashed across the south side of Downtown creating yet another mystical barrier defining downtown as a small little island disconnected from the rest of the city.
About four years ago- the powers at city hall finally saw that their insane 6 lane one way from 35 to downtown on Warren/Jefferson was making going from Downtown to UD a major pain- and had strangled the business district into submission- making it easy for MVH to buy the remnants at fire-sale prices- they reversed their folly and made it two way from Patterson on under the highway.
MVH had by this time- thwarted a prime location for a new Kroger utilizing the former Cliburn Manor site- a plan advanced by local developer Jeff Samuelson (who had turned turds into gold on the West side of Brown from Stewart down almost to the hospital).
The biggest holdouts remaining were the lone Wah-Fu and Jimmy’s Cornerstone tavern.
They had held out when MVH had wanted to re-route Wyoming for its new hospital expansion- but apparently- now the price is right, as sources tell me that they have both succumbed to the Premier checkbook and at least Wah-Fu will be out in the next two months.
The march of progress continues, with the “non-profit” buying up even more land that was generating tax revenue- for the empire dreams of the people who think that it’s OK to pay its CEO $4 million a year- while claiming non-profit- and constantly raising rates to all- to the point that we can’t afford insurance anymore.
If there was one thing that Wa-Fu provided, it was a low-cost place for those of us who can’t afford to be hospitalized to eat. Now, that too is going away in the march of the empire.

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Shortwest Rick

David, Care Flight flies out and back over my house numerous times a day, as it does yours. I’m not sure who makes the decision as to what emergencies it responds to but I don’t believe I’ve ever read where Care Flight responded to a shooting, mostly car crashes and heart attacks where someone is sure to have insurance. One day it was flying fairly low and I’ll swear there was a tiger flying the helicopter.

Another Civil Servant

Ahhh, Miami Valley Hospital…  If nothing else, they do stay dear to their word.  I recall, years ago, sitting in a meeting of a fledgling neighborhood organization when the topic of MVH expansion came up.  At that time, the hospital official who was present at the meeting assured the residents that there were no plans whatsoever to move across Wyoming Street and that far-reaching future planning would also keep the facility completely on the North side of Wyoming Street.  (Fast-forward 8 years….)  No longer being involved in the organization of neighborhoods in Southeast Dayton, I found myself driving down S. Main Street one day as the construction on the new Emergency wing was beginning.  Well, absolutely true to their word, MVH did not at all cross Wyoming Street!  They did, however, move Wyoming Street to the South to accomodate the new construction!  Gotta give them all the credit in the world for keeping their word on that one!!!

Will Brooks

When I visit your site my CPU usage goes through the roof. You may want to have a look on your server to make sure all is well.

Jeff Dziwulski

I have fond memories of the area around MVH as it was a place I hung out at a lot.  There was two used bookstores at the Wyoming/Brown/Warren intersection, one in the old commercial corner across from Cornerstone (at that time Walnut Hills) and  across the street.  I bought a used copy of Spoon River Anthology in one, and a fascimile of the 1875 Dayton/Montgomery County atlas in the other.  This was probably 1988/89/90.

At Wyoming & Main was the Steak & Eggs, which was a good alternative to the gay Dennys after doing the gay bars downtown.  I used to go there a lot with my late partner and a mutual freind, Ben Levy.  The waitresses where East Dayton good ole gals.  

 Ben lived  in an old brick four-plex just down Main a few blocks.  He had a good view over the rooftops of the Fairgrounds neighborhood since he was on the hill.  Yet he claimed there was poltergeists there.  I told him “no kidding..the property he was on used to be an old cemetary”…true story. 

We used to hang out on his porch a lot.  Ben worked at MVH kitchen but was an art student @ Sinclair.  Like a lot of folks his of generation  he relocated out of town, first to LA then to San Francisco. 

The neighborhood…Bens place, neighboring buildings, the Steak & Eggs, the commercial corner with the used bookstore, etc…all has been wiped out by MVH expansion.  

Someone (maybe me?) needs to do a Dayton Documentation Project to photograph or otherwise docement the city, the urban fabric, as it gets eroded away into quasi-suburban blandness (or urban prairie, take your pick).  I think that would be a worthwhile project since so much is being pulled down.

We are losing the old pre-war city. 

Ice Bandit

I miss the old Todd Burlesque…(David Esrati)
“This week only at the Todd Burlesque, the superstar of X-rated cinema, Marilyn Chambers. And next weekend, only at the Todd on Brown Street, alive and in person, adult stars Candy Barbour and Raven DelaCroix. After the show, stop next door at the Bouzouki Lounge for a beer and a sandwich…..”
Yeah, dear David, the memory machine was going full bore when you brought up this topic. It was the early 1980s, and the Old Bandito’s job was one that took him into that Brown Street establishment about three times a week. Perhaps the most interesting thing about entering the old Todd was not knowing who one was going to see there. The Old Bandito once ran into his old college president therein, and it was hard to tell who was the more red-faced. Also got to meet several giants in the porn industry while there, and what was amazing was how apparently normal and down-to-earth they were. The VHS tape was the death of the adult cinema business, giving consumers the ability to indulge without leaving their homes. And MVH did their bit of urban renewal the right way; instead of hectoring the police or zoning boards to close the businesses (which included UD watering hole Alexanders), they purchased the properties, leveled the buildings and have left them vacant (though a Rallys  briefly occupied that lot). The last of the old school burlesque houses, the old Todd will never be forgotten…….

Jeff Dziwulski

The Todd Burlesque was before my time. …buuuut…we could have “The Last Egg Roll” dinner at Wah-Fuh and, of course, Last Call at the Cornerstone.   

 …and yeah, I’ve used Streetview for some stuff I am doing on Linden Heights for a friend.  Turns out things torn down on Xenia where captured onS treetview before the demolitions…might be more of that?

Jeff Dziwulski

@Jeff- I was in Cleveland over the weekend for my 30th HS reunion. I was reminded of what a city that kept some of it’s old oddness was like- and it felt healthier.

I am going to be up in Clevo for a good part of a week come October for the “Reclaiming Vacant Properties” conference (will be in that Terminal Tower complex on Public Square).  Seems there will be a lot of Cleveland content, and I have some good recommendations on the place, and Akron, too (believe it or not they (Akron)  have their own clothing store…Rubber City Clothes….
..now why can’t we do that in Dayton?


I’m a former MVH employee and my husband is going on year #37 there. PHP has about as much warmth for their own “family” as they do for this city.
Wonder if the placement of the new towers were to purposely cast a shadow over the city at all times. A giant sundial of greed.

Hudson Rush

I understand losing the cities identity and past.  But, in a city that is losing jobs and people at an alarming rate, isn’t MVH expanding and creating jobs a good thing?