Wright brothers factory site in new hands

In NAHA News Release, Wright Company Factory /

For immediate release
Friday, Dec. 7, 2012

Timothy R. Gaffney
Director of Communications
(937) 219-8277 (mobile)

DAYTON, Ohio—Home Avenue Redevelopment LLC today took title to a former automotive manufacturing site that includes the historic Wright Company factory buildings.

The acquisition puts the company in position to redevelop the former Delphi Home Avenue plant for commercial use while preserving the Wright Company Factory Site for eventual public use as an element of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

The Wright Company factory buildings were the first in the united states to be built for the purpose of manufacturing aircraft, and they are believed to be the oldest aircraft factory buildings still standing.

Hull & Associates Inc. of Mason formed Home Avenue Redevelopment to redevelop the site with the help of a $3 million Clean Ohio Fund matching grant.

“The birthplace of the aircraft industry has taken a major step toward preserving an historic treasure,” Brad White, principal of Hull & Associates, said in announcing the closing.

The city of Dayton, National Park Service and NAHA have worked closely with the companies to transfer ownership of the property in a way that will promote economic development in West Dayton while preserving the historic Wright Company properties.

“It’s a significant historical milestone that after 93 years, the Wright Company Factory Site has been transferred to an entity that will work with the National Park Service and NAHA to open the site to the public,” said Tony Sculimbrene, NAHA’s executive director.

Wilbur and Orville Wright formed the Wright Company in New York in 1909 and built the first factory building in 1910. Wilbur died in 1912 and Orville sold his holdings in 1915. Aircraft production ceased in 1916. The Dayton-Wright Airplane Company made aircraft parts for its Moraine assembly plant in 1918 and 1919.

General Motors acquired the Wright brothers factory site in 1919 but soon converted it to auto manufacturing. It remained an active factory as a GM, Delco and Delphi plant until Delphi closed it in 2008. In 2009, President Obama signed an act that expanded the national park’s boundaries to include the factory site and Hawthorn Hill, the Wright family mansion in Oakwood.

About the National Aviation Heritage Area

The National Aviation Heritage Area includes Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Warren, Champaign, Shelby and Auglaize counties in southwestern Ohio. The National Aviation Heritage Alliance is a not-for-profit corporation designated by Congress as the management entity of the heritage area. Its vision is to make the Dayton region the recognized global center of aviation heritage and premier destination for aviation heritage tourism, sustaining the legacy of the Wright brothers. Go to www.visitNAHA.org to learn more.