Wright-Patterson AFB Weighs Options for Future of Historic Homes

Officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside of Dayton, Ohio, held two public forums this week to gather input on the future of 89 historic brick homes that are among the Air Force’s last remaining government-owned housing.

The homes in the Brick Quarters Housing District were built from 1934-1937 and are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Wright-Patt needs 30 homes for “key and essential” personnel — senior military and civilian leaders required to live on base. The installation’s portfolio of privatized housing does not meet the needs of key and essential personnel as those residences are not large enough or are located too far away from work locations.

Officials, who also have held discussions with developers, are considering a variety of alternatives, including retaining government ownership and privatization, reported WHIO. Other options include demolition, renovation, constructing new homes or a combination of approaches.

The installation is planning to renovate the Foulois House, which was built in 1874, and to demolish 10 homes along Yount Drive built in 1975.

A major renovation could cost up to $700,000 per home, and less extensive renovation focused on repairs could cost about $150,000, according to Michael Ackerman from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.

The Tudor Revival-style brick homes are significant not just because of their age and character but because of the contributions of the early leaders who lived in them, according to Tony Sculimbrene, executive director of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance.

“Those buildings play a big role in the story of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and we want to see demolition minimized to the maximum extent possible,” said Sculimbrene, a former base employee who oversaw housing maintenance in the 1980s.

Dan Cohen
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