What Happened to the Dayton JCC?

My siblings and I attended the Dayton Jewish Community Center in Northwest Dayton from the 1960s to the 1990s.  We went to the spacious JCC complex for swimming, basketball, racquetball, tennis, and summer camp.   My sons also grew up spending time at the JCC, from the 1990s until 2001 when the campus was sold to the United Theological Seminary (after 50 years, the Jewish demographics in the Dayton area had changed with most families moving south of the city).

My sons often spent the summers with their grandmother at the JCC pool.   When my then 10-year-old son discovered that the JCC pool was closing, he called the local TV station.  He was interviewed for the news piece and shared his disappointment that his grandmother wouldn’t have a pool to meet with her friends.

I recently stopped by the old Dayton JCC campus to see how it has progressed after it ceased to be a JCC.  A couple of embedded photos below show how the facility and grounds have deteriorated over the last 20 years.  The entrance to the pool looks nearly the same as it looked 50 years ago when I first start visiting the Olympic-sized swimming pool.  However, it’s now overgrown with weeds, tree saplings, and physical disrepair.

The old tennis courts are now covered with brush and garbage, and all of the baseball diamonds have reverted to overgrown fields.

The last photo is from a family video of my two sons playing on those previously very well-maintained tennis courts almost 25 years ago.

Incidentally, one of my sons and I visited the interior of the JCC- Jesse Phillips building back in 2011 to see how it had changed.  You can read about that in a posting here.


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