Many of the Middletown landmarks that existed during the time we attended Middletown High School have disappeared or have been significantly altered.  Shown below are some of them along with some photos of new Middletown landmarks.  Many of the old familiar Middletown businesses have been sold, closed or relocated
1955 Aerial of Downtown Middletown
Middletown Carnegie Library on First Curtis St.  The library opened in 1913 and was expanded in 1936 & 1939.  The building is currently in very poor condition and was purchased in 2007 by the Citizens for Historic and Preservation Services.  This organization intends to rehabilitate the building.  
New Middletown Library, built in 1982,is located on Broad at Second Ave.  The Library Lion, sculpted by Nancy-Carolyn Smith, and entitled "Where Shall We Travel Today?", was donated in 2003 by "Friends of the Library" with financial support from the Miriam Knoll Foundation., Middletown Community Fund, Arthur Harvey Foundatiion. and the Barnitz Fund of Bank One.
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
1937 photo of the old YMCA on Broad Manchester Ave.  The main building was constructed in 1923 and later several additions were made.  In 1985 the last and largest addition was made to the west onto the old North School site.  In 2005, the above building was demolished leaving the 1985 addition as the current Middletown YMCA.
On the left is the new YMCA, built in 1985 as an addition to the original YMCA at Broad and Manchester, located on the site of North School at the corner of Manchester and N. Main St.  Under the Y sign, behind the hedge, is a monument, seen on the right, to the original school on this site which was known as the Old Brick School.
Manchester Hotel  on the corner of Manchester & Broad across the street from the old YMCA.   The hotel opened in 1922 and was purchased by Armco in 1936.  Armco briefly closed the hotel in 1985 for financial reasons and soon after, Barry Levey, local businessman and Ohio state Senator, purchased the hotel from Armco and reopened it. Several local businessmen, Perry Thatcher and Bill Akers, became partners with Barry Levey and their company was named Manchester Enterprises LLC.  Barry Levey and Perry Thatcher have died and on January 3,2011 the executors of Perry Thatcher's estate and the Akers family announced that the hotel was closed. In October 2010, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College announced plans to open a branch campus in Middletown and use the Manchester as the hub for its culinary arts and hospitality programs. The hotel has fallen on hard times due to the economy, the fact that there are fewer major businesses in town bringing in overnight guests and competition from national hotel chains located near I-75.
Corner of Broad and Central.  The beige building in the background is the old Gallaher Drug Store building.  The building on the left with the red awning, was once the John Ross Store, then Mabley & Carew and later was purchased by Armco Steel for their corporate Purchasing office.  The building is currently being renovated and will become the Pendleton Art Center
Looking east from Broad and Central towards Verity Parkway and the former Central Store.  Most of the store fronts along this part of Central are now vacant although some are being rehabbed.
The Liberty Restaurant , with a for sale sign in window, which has been closed for several years but still owned by the Valen family
C. E. Greathouse & Sons was last located on Central Ave.  It was started in 1885 by C.E. Greathouse.  Mr Greathouse's grandchildren, C.Richard Greathouse, Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Greathouse Montgomery, were owners of the store when it closed in 1982.

The old Central Store on the left, as it looked in the mid 1950s and on the right the way the building looks today
The old Post Office as we knew it in the 1950s, was located on the corner of N. Main and Manchester Ave.  It opened in 1917 and was in use until Nov 1962 when it was replaced by a new post office on Verity Pkwy at Reinartz Blvd.  In the background, to the right, can be seen the Sorg Paper office building.
The Sorg Paper office building.  Sorg Paper was purchased by Mosinee Paper of Wisconsin in 1983.  In 1997 Mosinee was acquired by Wausau Paper, also of Wisconsin.  This building, and Mill #1 and Mill #2 buildings of Sorg seen behind were closed in 1988 and later demolished.
Corporate Headquarters of Armco Steel Corp on Curtis St. with the statue of founder George M. Verity in front. This building dates from 1916.  During the 1980s, Armco began to fall on hard times and began to sell off major segments of the company in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.  In 1989, Armco entered into a 50-50 joint venture with the Kawasaki Steel Corp.of Japan.  In 1994 the joint venture became AK Steel Corp,  
Old Middletown Railroad Depot on Charles St. between Central and Manchester Avenues.  It was built in 1909.  The Penn-Central, later the New York Central railroad offered passenger service to Middletown unit the late 1950s. In 1981 the depot became the Whistle Stop Shop.
In 2005 AK Steel relocated its corporate office to the West Chester area about 15 miles south of Middletown.  AK Steel offered to give the old corporate office building to the city of Middletown.  Middletown had no use for the building and declined the offer. AK Steel then had this building and several others along Curtis St., including the Armco International Headquarters demolished.  The above photo was taken in Nov 2010 as the old Armco Headquarters was being demolished.  Thanks to Smudge Wilson for sending this picture along.
In 2008, AK Steel had the G M Verity statue removed from in front of the Corporate headquarters, cleaned and then donated to Miami University Middletown where it now sits near the entrance to the campus off of Manchester Ave.
New AK Steel headquarters building in West Chester in 2010
The original Sorg Tobacco factory at Central and Charles across the street from the train depot.  It was later known as the Polar Bear plant of the P. Lorillard Tobacco Co.  This plant was closed in 1951 and torn down in 1958
The Middletown Journal building at the corner of Broad St. and First Ave. This building is now empty as the office has moved to another Middletown location and the paper is now printed at a Cox Publishing facility near Franklin
This is an exterior and interior shot of the former location of the G C Murphy Store, at Broad & Central in downtown Middletown.  It  is now home to the BeauVerre/Riordan Stained Glass Studio that originated in Middletown about 25 years ago. The business, started in the 1980s by Jay and Linda Moorman, has been at this location since 2005.  The old Murhpy building had been empty for many years and was given by the city of Middletown to BeauVerre to encourage them to move their business downtown.  The Moormans spent a considerable amount of money rehabilitating the interior and exterior of the building.  They were able to salvage some of the woodwork from the McKinley School before it was demolished and use it in the rehabilitating effort.  This is where we plan to hold our Friday night social as part of the 60th Reunion on Oct. 7, 2011.
The Aeronautical Corporation of American (Aeronca) opened at the Middletown airport in 1940.  The above corporate headquarters as it looked in 1956,  replaced one built in the 1940s.  This office building and part of the original plant, was torn down in 2005 & 2006.  Aeronca is now a division of  the Magellan Aerospace Corp. of Ontario, Canada which now operates the plant making parts and assemblies for aircraft manufacturers and military contractors.  You may remember Carter Beverage Company that was located adjacent to Aeronca and the Avalon Dairy that was located across the street from Aeronca.
Gardner Board and Carton Co. located on Charles St. is now owned by Graphics Packaging International.
This is what the corner of Broad and Manchster, where the Post Office and Sorg office once stood, looks like in 2010.
Mosinee, and later Wausau, retained part of the old Sorg Paper Mill and today basically produces paper towel stock sold under the name of Bay West 
On the left is a 1959 picture of Middletown Hospital main entrance and on the right is an aerial photo of the hospital as it looked in 2005 after many additions including a parking garage. The hospital was closed in December 2007 and all of the patients, and much of the equipment moved to the new hospital, named the Atrium Medical Center, located about 5 miles to the east near I-75. 
This is a 2010 photo showing what the Middletown Hospital site looks like after the hospital and the attached parking garage were demolished.
The new hospital serving Middletown and much of Butler and Warren counties is now know as the Atrium Medical Center and is located east of I-75 in Warren County.  The Atrium Medical Center is part of a campus specializing in Cardiac Care, a Cancer Center, Dayton Children's Specialty Care Center, Atrium Family YMCA, a branch of the Middletown YMCA, the Greentree Health Science Academy and Avalon by Otterbein, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center.  All of this is within the city limits of Middletown as the result of a number of annexations of Warren County land into the city over the past 10-15 years.  Atrium joined the Premier Health Partners organization in Dayton, which includes Miami Valley and Good Samaritan hospitals.
Middletown seems to have always played second fiddle to Hamilton as far as Butler County government is concerned but it was able to land the 12th District Court of Appeals which is in a new building on Reinartz Blvd not too far from the Middletown City Building and just a couple of blocks from the  location of the old Sorg Paper plant. 
The Albers Supermarket, which previously was located on Charles St, as it looked in 1958 when it was located in the Middletown Shopping Center on Breiel Blvd near Grand Ave.  This was Middletown's first shopping center.
The Armco Baseball Park as it looked around 1940.  It was located at the corner of Grove St and Parkview Ave. behind the Armco Corporate Office 
The Ortman-Stewart buses used to operate from the intersection of Broad and Central.  Middletown city buses now operate from a new bus station located on South Broad St behind the old Gallaher Drug Store building.
Middletown Hospital Before and After
This building, formerly the JC Penny store on Central Ave. at Verity Pkwy., is now the home of TV Middletown.  This is the same Penny's location that is depicted in the City Centre Mart sketch above.
On the Verity Pkwy. side of the TV Middletown building is this beautiful mural depicting the Miami-Erie Canal which came through Middletown along what is now Verity Pkwy.  Notice the side entrance to TV Middletown just below the canal boat.  The artist is Eric Henn who has gained an excellent reputation for his murals, many of which can be seen in the Middletown area.
Another Eric Henn mural on the back (west) side of the First National Bank building at Main St and Central Ave.
Some believe that this Eric Henn mural, on the side of the Huntington Bank building in Franklin, is his very best
Middletown Landmarks - Past and Present
MIddletown, (Ohio) Public Library
1955 aerial photo of downtown Middletown

<<< <<<  Sorg Paper Co. Plant & Office with Post Office in front.

<<<<<<  Manchester Hotel with the old YMCA across Manchester to the left. Behind the YMCA can be seen the North School at Manchester & N. Main.  To the left of the YMCA is a parking lot and then the Paramount Theater and then Dohn's Hardware.
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
MIddletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
The west side of Broad St. looking to the north with the Manchester Hotel in the background.  The picture on the left was taken in 1962 and shows  Dohn's Hardware and the Paramount Theater in the foreground.  To the left of Dohn's is the Troup Furniture Store.  The picture on the right was taken in 2010.  Everything from Central Ave. to the Manchester Hotel has either been torn down or, in the case of Dohn's, gone out of business.
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library

We are indebted to Mr. George C. Crout, longtime Middletown educator, author and historian, for many of the photographs contained in this Middletown historical presentation.  The Middletown Public Library, which now has the rights to the Crout collection, has given us permission to use some of these photographs.  The Middletown High School Class of 1951 thanks the Middletown Public Library for granting us this permission. The photos from the Crout Collection are identified by the notation "Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library" under the picture. 

Pictured above is a reconstructed Lock Tenders house opened in 1982 as the Canal Museum by the Middletown Historical Society.  It is located at the intersection of Tytus Ave. and Verity Pkwy on the side of what was once the Miami-Erie Canal.  Immediately behind the Canal Museum is what was once the Hydraulic Canal which supplied water to Sorg Paper and other Middletown paper companies.  Water was diverted into the Hydraulic Canal by a low level dam, known as the State Dam, on the Miami River just upstream from the Middletown Airport.  The State Dam collapsed in May 13, 1993 and water stopped flowing into the Hydraulic Canal.
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown radio station WPFB went on the air on Sept. 1, 1947 and was owned by Paul F. Braden.  One of the great services provided to Middletonians was the broadcast of the Middies football and basketball games  That recently came to an end on February 1, 2011 when the Braden family sold their AM & FM stations to Northern Kentucky University and NKU announced that the station would no longer carry the Middies games.
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
In the 1960s & 70s, many downtown businesses closed or relocated to the eastern edge of town to be near the I-75 highway. The Towne Mall was built and some of the downtown businesses moved to the new mall.  In an effort to revitalize the old downtown area, Middletown city council decided to turn the heart of the downtown area into a mall to become known as City Centre Mart.  This was started in 1972 and completed in 1974 and was paid for mostly with federal tax dollars.  Central ave.from Verity Pkwy to Main St. and Broad St. from Manchester Ave to just south of Central were covered with a canopy which tied into the store fronts creating an air conditioned mall.  A parking garage was also built adjacent to the mall as well as a Swallens Dept. store. The architect's drawing on the left above shows a view to the west down Central ave from Verity Pkwy.  This venture was a disaster and never accomplished the intended purpose.  Consequently in 1999 the canopy was removed and Central ave and Broad St. reopened.  In 2010, the parking garage and the Swallens building were demolished.
This fountain was built in the mall at what was previously the center of the intersection of Central Ave. and Broad St.
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
M i d d l e t o w n  C i t y C e n t r e   M a r t
Middletown, (Ohio) Public Library
In the early 1990s, Middletown became famous for sponsoring Hot Air Balloon competitions.  For three years, 1992-1994. the Balloon Federation of America held their U.S. Hot Air Balloon Championship at Hook Field/Smith Park in Middletown.  100 of the nation's best balloonists competed and a similar number of balloonists, not in the competition, also flew during the 3-day event.  The above 1992 picture shows balloons lifting off from Wildwood Golf Course
Some new ventures for Middletown 
Light Up Middletown, started in 1998 in Smith Park, is set up and managed every year by volunteers.  It opens the day after Thanksgiving and runs through New Year's Eve.  In 2010, they reported that over 500,000 visitors had gone through the exhibit during its 12 year history.  The lighting display covers almost 100 acres.  The lower picture above shows some of lights reflecting in Smith Pond.
This page was last updated: November 24, 2016