A historic West Dayton mansion recently ravaged by fire went unsold at auction this week, but the required minimum bid will drop drastically if it is not bought next month.
The Louis Traxler Mansion was not bid on Thursday at a sheriff’s auction that had been scheduled before the fire happened. Dayton fire officials said the blaze made the Yale Avenue structure built in 1912 — and listed on the National Register of Historic Places — likely a total loss.
The minimum required bid was $38,439.11, the total of taxes owed and court costs, according to the Montgomery County treasurer’s office.
The same amount will be required at a second sale in June, said Jennifer Connelly, a county tax delinquency supervisor. If not sold next month, the minimum bid at a third sale would drop to court costs, commonly about $2,000 to $3,000, she said.
“This one may be a little bit more … But it’s going to be a significant difference,” Connelly said.
She said about $36,771 is owed in taxes and delinquencies on the property, owned by William Moore and Doris Moore, county real estate records show.
This week’s lack of bids was expected by Preservation Dayton Inc., which had listed the site on its most endangered properties list before the fire.
“We’re not surprised at all,” PDI President Monica Snow said. “To bid $38,000 on it in its current condition, why would anybody do that? Especially not knowing about the structural integrity.”
Snow said before the fire, her organization had lined up a buyer interested in restoring the large historic home, which has been vacant for several years.
But fire officials responded to site around 3 a.m. April 23 after it was fully engulfed. An investigation into the cause is ongoing, Dayton Fire Department Capt. Brad French said Friday.
Snow said her organization has been working with a firm in hopes of getting a structural engineering assessment done, possibly next week.
“Our ultimate goal would be to save as much of the exterior as possible, rebuild it as close to the original as possible and then put in steel residential construction behind it,” she said.
“That’s where we’re at,” Snow added. “We’re still trying to move forward with saving what we can of this amazing, important historic property.”
The 8,221 square-foot home with four fireplaces was valued last year at $245,950, according to county real estate records.
The county holds auctions the first Thursday of each month, Connelly said. If a property is not bought by a fourth sale, it is forfeited to the state, she said.
The mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places individually in 1979 and again in 1984 as part of the Dayton View Historic District, according to Preservation Dayton.
The Flemish Chateauesque-style building was built for Louis Traxler — president of the Traxler Department Store — and Adeline Traxler. It was reportedly designed by Harvey Hiestand, founder of Miami University’s College of Architecture, according to Preservation Dayton.