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A New Building

By Mark Martel

The local firm of Schenk and Williams designed the club building, and also supervised construction. The architects included the latest city steam heat and ventilation, with automated valves and regulators plus electric lighting. They built well, knowing they would hear about any problems. They were members.

Still, the work wasn’t perfect. Long-term deficiencies in the roof truss design have led to repeated problems in recent years, addressed as funds become available. A Roof Fund has been established to plan for full replacement.

 

The reserved Orville Wright broke his perennial silence, speaking publicly at the opening on February 2nd, 1918.

 

To get things rolling quickly, Deeds and Kettering paid for the building themselves in excess of $300,000 and subsidized its maintenance and operations for the first decade. By then membership had grown to the point that the club could be self-sufficient. Talk about self-starters!

 

High tech fixtures

The new club building incorporated a number of innovations. A built-in master vacuum cleaning system bore similarities to Orville Wright’s self-designed system at the Wright mansion, Hawthorn Hill. A pneumatic system synchronized the club’s clocks through a bellows, which advanced the minutes & hours via suction or puffs of air. Buttons for the servant enunciator network are still visible around the building.

 

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When the waters were

Dried and the Earth did appear,

The Lord He created

The Engineer.

     —Kipling

From a 1939 Newsletter cover (25th Anniversary year)

 

St. Clair & Monument View a photo gallery of the Engineers Club Through the Years>>

 

 

Related

Opening Day Brochure PDF

Review in Architectural Record PDF

 

External Links

The 1913 Dayton Flood

A Pictorial History of the Great Dayton Flood

Miami Conservancy District

Dayton History

Ohio History Central