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Wright Brothers' Factory Could Become Part of National Park System

Jerry Kenney

An effort to preserve the original Wright Brothers airplane factory got a boost Wednesday when Governor John Kasich signed the state’s 2014 capital budget. The historic site could become part of Dayton’s national aviation park system. 

Demolition has already started at the former Delphi plant on Home Avenue where the Wright Factory is located. The National Aviation Heritage Alliance hopes to purchase the historic buildings and 20 surrounding acres. A private developer owns the land now. 

Tony Sculimbrini with the Heritage Alliance says the $250,000 dollar earmark from the state moves the project in the right direction, but there’s a lot more money to raise.

The executive director said, "It's immensely helpful when you can tell a potential donor that this is important to the state, it'll clearly help our private and philanthropic fundraising efforts as well."

The Heritage Alliance also thinks the world’s first airplane factory could be a draw for a modern day aerospace company in search of land to develop.

After the old Delphi buildings are demolished, the 34 acre property next to the Wright Factory will be looking for a new tenant. 

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.