From McPherson Town to Riverdale and back again

In 1888, McPhersontown or “McTown” was being rebranded to Riverdale. The neighborhood remained lower Riverdale until neighbors began pursuing historic district status in the 1970’s and 80’s. The article below mentions the Hawthorne School (which are condos today) and the Dayton Floral Company (where Ed Smith Flowers still pushes daisies). It also mentions the White Line, the first electric street car line in Dayton, which took riders to the neighborhood. We continue to have electric trolley bus service through McPherson Town today. As much as things change, a lot of good things stay the same here in McPT.

1st ever Gumbofest held

We are lucky to have a Louisiana native among the McPeeps! He and his family generously prepared a large batch of Gumbo for neighbors to enjoy along with carried-in side dishes and a Cajun, old time string music, Appalachian, old country jam session. The weather cooperated beautifully and good time was had by all. We’re already hungry for our next helping in 2023!

Apartments proposed at 637 N Main St

McPherson Town residents recently offer input on a new apartment complex proposed on the eastern edge of the neighborhood at 637 N. Main St by MVAH Partners. While still in the planning stages, the multi-family complex would include 40-50 1-2 bedroom units in 4-stories. The developer is currently working on securing financing for the $26 million project. Drawings have not yet been shared, however MVAH Partners already have a similar project built in northwest Dayton that offers insight into their design aesthetic.

Annual Summer Picnic Held

The annual summer picnic was held in August at the McPherson Town park. Nearly 75 residents were in attendance. All enjoyed carry in dishes made by McPeeps, as well as hamburgers, hotdogs and veggie burgers provided by the neighborhood. Fun games were held to get new neighbors connected to old, and valuable prizes were won! Thanks to all the organizers – what a fun event!

New Playset Installed in Park

After 20 years and many hours of McPeep play, it was time to replace our beloved playset in the neighborhood park. Neighbors came together to do a volunteer build of the new set on Feb.3. The new equipment was paid for with neighborhood funds raised through the bi-annual holiday tour. Since installation, it has been both kid and adult tested, and approved!

playground construction playground build

Detour to access McPherson Town

ODOT has completed the northbound lanes of the Main Street Bridge reconstruction and began work on the southbound lanes on May 3, 2019. To keep the project on schedule, it was necessary to close the intersection of Main Street and Riverview Ave. to vehicular traffic. Vehicles won’t be able to turn from Main St. to Riverview Ave. and vice versa to come an go from McPherson Town. Access is now from the west only, via Riverview Ave near the Dayton Art Institute. The closure will remain until late October, 2019. Please drive carefully!

Hawthorne School converted to condos

1e1fbbb0169a5bc81b833863f9c6761d9d165109_1024Hawthorne school, located at 226 McDaniel St. was built in 1886 and expanded in 1911. It was named after author Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist and short story writer. It was used as a school for nearly 90 years (until 1974), then transformed into a center for unwed mothers for several years and later turned into a practice space for local dance companies.

By 1987, the school was closed and in dire need of repairs. Fortunately, neighbors had successfully petitioned to have it placed on the National Register of Historic Places a year earlier (1986). The city acquired the school in 1989 in a land swap with Dayton Public Schools. Over the next several years, numerous efforts to renovate the red brick building fell through however, in January 1998, the old vacant Hawthorne Elementary school was renovated into a 20 unit apartment complex.


Twenty years later, the 20 upscale, loft-style units are being offered as condos (in an as is state) to meet the growing demands for home ownership in the neighborhood. One unit has been upgraded as a model to provide vision and priced to reflect the unit upgrades. The school embodies old schoolhouse charm while offering an affordable living alternative in one of downtown Dayton’s most in demand neighborhoods. Units range in price from $58,000 to $137,600.

IMG_5308Each condo is unique and includes reminders of late nineteenth century educational institutions, including polished wood floors, wainscoting transom windows, coat room hooks, chalkboards, and more. There are studio, one bedroom and two bedroom units. Each unit comes with an assigned parking space and an option to purchase a garage on a first come basis.

Hawthorne School is just a short walk over the bridge to downtown proper and sits half way between the Dayton Art Institute and RiverScape MetroPark – home to many festivals and events. For the urban dog lover, Hawthorne offers green space for you and your loyal companion to enjoy, and a dog park at Deeds Point is a short walk away.

Interested in making the Hawthorne School your new downtown home? Contact Steve Seboldt of Sibcy Cline to take your pick of available units, 937-609-7984.

Sample listings:

View complete information packet >>


Learn more in this recent Dayton Daily News article >>