DAYTON, Ohio—The next monthly tour of the historic Wright brothers’ factory is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, April 21, 2016.
The brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright formed the Wright Company in 1909. They built their first factory building in 1910. It was the first American factory built for airplane manufacturing. They added a second building in 1911. The buildings later became part of the Delphi Home Avenue auto parts plant. It closed in 2008 and is now owned by Home Avenue Redevelopment LLC, a redevelopment company.
With the cooperation of Home Avenue Redevelopment, which owns the property, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) opens the site once each month for a free public tour. The purpose of the tours are to raise awareness of the factory and build community support for its restoration. Here are some photos from the March tour by Dayton photographer Terrell Flucas.
The factory sits in the middle of a 53-acre site that has been razed and prepared for redevelopment. NAHA’s vision is for the Wright factory to be restored as a national park unit and for the remainder of the site to be redeveloped as an aerospace education, research and manufacturing hub.
In 2009, Congress authorized the National Park Service to restore the factory as a unit of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The Fiscal Year 2017 federal budget request proposes $450,000 in funds for the National Park Service to use in acquiring the factory buildings. NAHA is seeking public and private funds to secure the entire site.
Because the buildings are not restored, visitors must sign a hold-harmless agreement before entering them. Closed-toed shoes are required, and no restroom facilities are available. The buildings are unheated, so please dress for the weather. Flashlights (or cellphones with flashlight apps) are recommended as certain areas are dark or dim.
The factory entrance is off West Third Street just east of Abbey Avenue. The gate has no specific address, but GPS users can find it by navigating to 2940 W. Third St.
2940 W. Third St. Dayton, OH 45417