This historic downtown Dayton building’s design was inspired by spite

6:00 a.m. Monday, May 29, 2017 Homepage

“Build me a damn bank.” 

That’s what James M. Cox angrily told the architect tasked with designing the Dayton Daily News building when the newspaper publisher was unable to secure a loan to build. 

Here are three things to know about the historic downtown building: 

1. A classical style. The building was built in the Beaux Arts classical style and is an example of architectural elegance. 

2. A double in New York. The Dayton Daily News building is a near-replica of a New York City bank, the Knickerbocker Trust Co., designed by architect Stanford White and built in 1904. The building that Cox’ seemed to mimic, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, was demolished 20 years later. 

3. Can I get some stamps? A lack of signage on the building created confusion for the public, which often mistook the building for a bank or post office. The newspaper staff kept stamps on hand for an elderly woman who would repeatedly come to the newspaper believing it to be the post office.

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