South Park Historic District (Dayton, Ohio)

South Park is a 24-block, 150-acre area of more than 780 structures primarily dating from the 1880s to the early twentieth century. It is located south of downtown Dayton, Ohio, just north of the University of Dayton campus and Woodland Cemetery, and east of Miami Valley Hospital. Mainly residential in character, South Park is significant because of the variety of its architecture, which includes vernacular, cottage, and high style examples, and because of its association with John H. Patterson, founder of the National Cash Register Company.

South Park
Houses on Perrine Street
Coordinates39°44′54″N 84°10′44″W
Architectural styleSecond Empire, High Victorian Italianate, Queen Anne, Federal and Romanesque Revival
NRHP reference #84003794[1] (original)
88000857 (increase)
Significant dates
Added to NRHPAugust 23, 1984
Boundary increaseJune 16, 1988

Slidertown and Patterson

When Patterson began to develop his factory complex on South Main Street, the area now called South Park was a neighborhood of shacks and shanties called Slidertown. Patterson began to have trouble with boys from Slidertown who broke the glass windows on his new factory, and so, determined to give the boys something else to do by sponsoring community gardens and other beautification projects for the neighborhood. Eventually South Park developed into a pleasant, garden-filled community where factory workers lived side-by-side with supervisors and Patterson's right-hand men. The late Frederick Law Olmsted, walking along the streets of this quarter, declared that, considering the size of the lots, it was the most beautiful street he had ever seen.[2]

Until the advent of the automobile enabled NCR workers to move further afield, the neighborhood continued to be associated with Patterson's firm, and many company picnics and other functions took place on Park Drive Boulevard in the heart of the district.[3]

Historic district

On August 23, 1984, South Park was registered on the National Register of Historic Places, bounding streets Park Dr., Morton Ave., Hickory St., and Wayne Ave. (No. 84003794). On July 16, 1988, this expanded to encompass Wyoming St., Nathan Pl., Oak St., Alberta St. and Blaine St. (No. 88000857).[4] City of Dayton Ordinance #26219.[5]

In 2007, South Park was chosen by the Dayton chapter of the American Institute of Architects as its community partner. This resulted in the creation of housing designs and landscaping concepts consistent with South Park's participation in Rehabarama in both 2001 and 2007.[6]

Actor Martin Sheen was born in Dayton and raised in the South Park neighborhood on Brown Street.



The architecture of South Park includes examples of Second Empire, High Victorian Italianate, Queen Anne, Federal and Romanesque Revival in one- and two-story structures of brick and frame. South Park still preserves a sense of close-knit neighborhood whose residents cooperate to maintain the many neighborhood parks which give the district its special flavor.


Commissioned by Patterson, John Charles Olmsted was responsible for the layout of Park Drive's landscape. This boulevard once adorned a fountain centerpiece and waterway running through its middle.


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. Stone, Susan F. (1904-05-01). "The Craftsman: The Town Beautiful". United Crafts, Syracuse, N.Y. pp. 125–126. Retrieved 2007-01-15.
  3. "Dayton Daily News: Buck Pasture and Slidertown, A Part of Dayton".
  4. "OHIO - Montgomery County - Historic Districts". Retrieved 28 August 2006.
  5. "City of Dayton - Historic District Map" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  6. "Historic South Park". Retrieved 21 May 2007.
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