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Historic Dayton mansion severely damaged by fire

A historic brick and stone house is charred and heavily damaged from smoke. A yellow caution tape surrounds the house and the roof is gone.
Desmond Winton-Finklea
A fire caused heavy damage to the historic Traxler Mansion in north west Dayton on Sunday, April 23, 2023. Dayton firefighters fought the flames for nine hours and say the house is likely a total loss.

A historic mansion on Dayton’s northwest side that was just days away from an auction was severely damaged after a fire over the weekend.

Dayton firefighters fought the flames at the Louis Traxler Mansion on Yale Avenue for nine hours. The property is likely a total loss, the city says.

The Traxler Mansion was on Preservation Dayton’s list of most endangered properties.

The home was scheduled for a foreclosure auction and sheriff’s sale on May 4. Preservation Dayton says a buyer was ready to acquire the property and invest in it.

Orange temporary fencing surrounds the charred remains of an ornate brick and stone historic mansion. The roof is gone and the home is surrounded by green grass and trees.
Desmond Winton-Finklea
Dayton firefighters fought flames at the historic Traxler Mansion in north west Dayton for more than nine hours on Sunday, April 23, 2023. The building is likely a total loss, firefighters say.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the home has been broken into in the past.

The house was built in 1912 and purchased by mercantile businessman Louis Traxler, who moved to the Dayton area from Austria in 1899.

Preservation Dayton says it was designed by Harvey Hiestand, the founder of Miami University’s College of Architecture.

It was later purchased by David Pickrell in 1929 who owned a plumbing business and was president of the North Dayton Savings Bank. The house was divided into apartments in World War II.

A chance meeting with a volunteer in a college computer lab in 1987 brought Mike to WYSO. He started filling in for various music shows, and performed various production, news, and on-air activities during the late 1980s and 90s, spinning vinyl and cutting tape before the digital evolution.