Welcome to Beautiful, Historic Oakwood
A treasure trove of early 20th century homes, Oakwood is an architecture lover’s dream come true. Here in this city of just over 9,000, you’ll find serene, shady neighborhoods lined with an eclectic selection of beautifully preserved residences, ranging from elegant Colonial Revivals to charming Craftsman bungalows.
Oakwood has a total area that’s less than three square miles, making it one of the most compact and easily navigable communities in the region. Completely surrounded by Dayton and Kettering, it’s a centrally located city with easy access to just about everything.
This includes the campus of the University of Dayton, which is directly north of Oakwood and is actually just within walking distance of the downtown area. Oakwood’s close proximity to UD has long made real estate here a popular choice among the university’s faculty and staff.
The area now encompassed by Oakwood was once composed mostly of farms. First to establish a homestead here in 1804 was Colonel Robert Patterson, grandfather of National Cash Register founder John H. Patterson who would also go on to leave his mark in the region. More farms and quarries would be established later on, but by the late 19th century the area had become more famous for being the favored building site of many of Dayton’s wealthy families.
Summer homes and estates dotted the landscape, including John Patterson’s Far Hills (built in 1896) and Hawthorn Hill, the home of Orville Wright. The latter, an elegant neoclassical mansion, is now a National Historic Landmark and is part of the National Aviation Heritage Area. Patterson would help transform Oakwood into the city that we now know today. Apart from building his estate here, he also donated funds and land to help with the further development of the community.
Many families moved to the area during the 1920s and 30s, drawn to the higher elevation as well as the abundance of space and the beauty of the landscape. This sparked a building boom and is the reason why there’s currently a large selection of pre-WWII homes in the city.
Oakwood is justifiably renowned for its housing stock, which is made up mostly of character homes that showcase the width and breadth of the architectural styles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
If you want to get a better idea of the sheer variety of home styles here, head to the Schantz Park Historic District. This National Register Historic District features everything from Tudor Revivals to Georgians to Queen Annes and even the occasional Beaux Arts and Châteauesque.
Oakwood City Schools
Aside from its historically and architecturally significant homes, Oakwood’s schools are another one of its biggest draws. Consistently ranked among the best in the state and the nation, they are one of the primary reasons why families continue to want to move to the area.
The Oakwood City School District is in the top 1 percent in the state according to the Ohio Department of Education. It currently has three elementary schools, a junior high, and a senior high school. Oakwood High School has been named a National School of Excellence (1991) and a Blue Ribbon School (2007).
Shopping, Dining and Recreation
Despite its relatively small size, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of green spaces in Oakwood and that there are plenty of shopping and dining options as well. It has been a Tree City for over 30 years and has many parks, gardens, and sports and recreational facilities.
The city is also home to the Oakwood Club, one of the Dayton area’s consistently top-rated restaurants. It’s located in the supremely walkable The Shops of Oakwood on Far Hills Avenue, where residents often head to shop or grab a bite.