The Montgomery County tax records indicate the building consists of 16,235 square feet of space that sits on 0.1235 acres of land. According to the Sanborn Insurance maps, available online from the Dayton Metro Library, here's what that southeast corner at Fifth and La Belle Streets looked like in 1918:
Now we'll see what the property looks like today. In the following map, note that the surrounding properties have changed, except for the corner property, which today is the St. Anne's Hill Violin Shop. Here is an overhead map, courtesy of Google:
Tax records indicate that the building has changed hands a number of times in the 28 years since then. Several of the owners appear to have been faith-based organizations. The sales were as follows:
Recently, things have not gone well for the turn-of-the-century building. The current owner appears to have done little to maintain or renovate the building. As of this writing, there are over $43,000 in delinquent property taxes dating back to 1997. Somehow, this property has transferred 3 times without anyone paying their taxes!21-APR-84 unknown individual
02-APR-85 $21,000 individual09-NOV-90 $35,000 individual05-NOV-93 $100,000 ISLAMIC EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, INC.10-OCT-03 $175,000 HORIZON HOPE MINISTRY05-JAN-05 unknown JESUS COMBINE NETWORK INC11-DEC-07 $0 (gift) WHITE DOVE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
It is interesting to note that the last two owners shared the same mailing address on Indianola Avenue. The property located there is today owned by "Family Home Church, Inc." which itself owes over $55,000 in delinquent property taxes on that property as well. Although the Oddfellows Hall may seem abandoned, rumor has it that several people have talked to the owners over the last few years, so someone is watching.
Unfortunately, it appears that the only way to save this building is for an investor to apply for the City of Dayton "Lot Links" program, formerly known as the "Reap" program. This program allows an individual or company to force a tax foreclosure in order to remove the taxes and ultimately purchase a property through the Sheriff's auction process.
If you or someone you know might be interested in taking on this challenge, please contact the City of Dayton Planning Department at (937) 333-3670 or contact us with the St. Anne's Hill Historic Society at firstname.lastname@example.org today.