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Newest Facility Has a Long History


canalIn 1888, Ohioan Benjamin Harrison was elected President, Jack the Ripper was striking fear in London, Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear and the Dayton Library opened its first permanent building, a gothic structure in Cooper Park. Just a block or two away, the Sachs-Pruden Ale Company constructed a sturdy new building on the canal at Fourth Street.

In 2013, the Dayton Metro Library purchased this building to serve as its new Operations Center. The purchase was part of the countywide facilities improvement project known as Libraries for a Smarter Future, made possible by voter support of a 2012 bond issue. Prior to the Library's purchase, the building was home to the Hauer Music Company, but its history dates back nearly 130 years.

In the late 1800s, workers would have arrived at the Sachs-Pruden building by horse and buggy. The building stood during the great flood of 1913 when first water, then fire, swept through Dayton. When Prohibition forced breweries to close in 1920, the Lowe Brothers paint company purchased the building and used it as a warehouse for many years.

In 1962, a modern new Main Library had been built next to the old gothic building in Cooper Park. Books were moved by conveyor belt from the old building into the new, then the old Library was demolished. Still the Sachs-Pruden Building remained. By the 1980s it had fallen into disrepair until the Hauer family restored it and operated Hauer Music there. In 1989 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being one of the few remaining canal-era buildings in Dayton.

moving-dayAnd now it begins its newest role as part of the Dayton Metro Library. To prepare for service as the Library's Operations Center, the building has been brought up to code, a new north stairway and elevator have been added, windows and roof replaced and other improvements made, yet it retains many of its historical characteristics as well.

The Operations Center includes:

  • The Library's IT and Training Departments
  • Technical Services: Acquisition and Collection Development, Processing, Cataloging
  • Maintenance, Security and Construction Manager offices
  • A loading dock for deliveries
  • Sorting and Distribution
  • Shared conference and meeting room space

The first floor will house the Temporary Main Library and will be open to the public until renovations are completed at the Third Street location in late summer or fall, 2016.

A building with 127 years of history behind it now helps take the Dayton Metro Library into the 21st century.

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