Friday June 1, 2007

Ineligible

Building 26 does not appear to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.

Building 26 does not appear to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.

"Its significance is unassailable, but having been so altered over the past 50 years, the building is unable to convey this significance," Mark Epstein, department head of resource protection and review, wrote in a letter to the University of Dayton.

The opinion verifies the ASC Group Inc. study that found the building has lost its historical integrity and is not eligible for the National Register.

"Overall, there do not seem to be any glaring factual errors in the ASC report, and no one has brought any to our attention," Epstein said. "While we may agree generally with the report's conclusion, we arrived there by a different route on our own."

UD President Daniel J. Curran thanked Epstein for his thorough and thoughtful analysis and U.S. Rep. Michael Turner for his involvement in the process.

"The University of Dayton asked the Ohio Historic Preservation Office to review the condition of Building 26. We are pleased that Mr. Epstein recognized that the University has been thoughtful and deliberative in our approach to evaluating the building," Curran said.

"In the same spirit of thoughtfulness and deliberation, we will share this report with our Historical Stewardship Group as we consider our course of action on how best to tell the story of Joe Desch and the WAVES while we move the redevelopment of this land forward."

In March, Curran formed a Historical Stewardship Group comprised of preservationists, community leaders and UD representatives. UD officials have pledged to work with the community to commemorate the activities that occurred in the building consistent with the best practices for historic preservation nationwide.

In his letter, Epstein commended UD for "seeking input from people outside the University."

During World War II, the building served as the top-secret site for NCR engineer and UD alumnus Joseph Desch's development of a code-breaking machine credited with helping to shorten the war.

For the Ohio Historic Preservation Office study, click here. For the ASC Group Inc. study, click here.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Office is Ohio's official historic preservation agency. A part of the Ohio Historical Society, it identifies historic places in Ohio, nominates properties to the National Register of Historic Places, reviews federally assisted projects for effects on historic, architectural and archaeological resources in Ohio, consults on the conservation of older buildings and sites, and offers educational programs and publications.