Historic homes in disrepair can present unique and surprising challenges, but these neighbors conquer them. Burgess and Jeanine Gow of Bonner Street have been untiring in their efforts to inspire investment and pride in historic neighborhood living. In recognition, Preservation Dayton named them winners of the 2023 Excellence in Preservation  Award for Historic South Park.

Since they arrived in 2013, the Gows have thoughtfully restored thirteen South Park properties plus two in the Oregon Historic District, retaining all the Victorian-era details that old-house lovers cherish. They’ve tackled homes large and small, in all states of disrepair.







One of their South Park projects looked hopeless to everybody else. A century-old cottage on Garrett Street was nothing but a burned-out shell with a missing back half. Undeterred, the Gows obtained the property through the City’s Lot Links program and rebuilt the house. It’s a testament to their reuse of material, their creativity, and their spacial awareness around how today’s families live.

The cottages surviving wood was repurposed for interior design elements, and the building’s original trim and gables are now charming exterior details. The interior is light and livable, making the most of its small footprint. Learn more in this Dayton Daily News article.

The Gows work as a team, conceptualizing and enacting comprehensive plans for their historic rehabilitation work. Jeanine, a Registered Nurse, has an eye for detail and is a master planner who knows how to get things done.

Burgess, a woodworking professional, is also an engineer and veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He supplies technical skill, mechanical expertise, and creative solutions.

A historic brick storefront on Oak and Bonner serves as Burgess’ commercial shop, BNG Woodworking. It’s another example of the Gows’ work, featuring restored windows and doors.

Gow’s talents in demand beyond South Park

The Gows have also worked on downtown commercial properties, specifically those in renovated historic buildings.

Visit Belle of Dayton in the Oregon District or Little Fish Brewery on Webster Street and you’ll see and experience Burgess’s woodworking talents and vision. BNG milled an entire white oak tree to create the planks for the stylish patio fence outside the Van Buren Room.  At Little Fish, check out the beautifully crafted bar top, signage, tables, and barrel storage system.


Volunteering for their community

As if restoring South Park historic homes and helping new businesses thrive weren’t enough, the Gows with their daughter Kay find time to promote vibrant historic neighborhoods by volunteering.

Burgess serves as a City of Dayton Landmark Commission board member, promoting historic preservation and revitalization. Jeanine produced the highly successful South Park Murder Mystery of 2022, our first home tour in over ten years. She organized over 50 community volunteers and the event sold out to 200 happily sleuthing guests.

In their spare time, Burgess and Jeanine host regular running and walking events in the neighborhood for anyone who wants fresh air, exercise, and camaraderie.

Says one of their neighbors, “The Gows approach historic rehabilitation with a perfect combination of thoughtful conscientiousness and dynamic creativity.”  Another adds, “Jeanine and Burgess are two people who make awesome things happen in South Park, and they do everything while also being so kind and welcoming. They are amazing people, and Dayton is so lucky to have them!”

About Preservation Dayton (PDI)

Preservation Dayton, Inc. is a nonprofit grass roots organization dedicated to preserving Dayton’s historic properties.

Each year, PDI recognizes an outstanding preservationist in each of Dayton’s officially designated historic neighborhoods. The Excellence in Preservation award recognizes creative, inspirational leaders whose efforts have contributed to the protection, renovation, and revitalization of historic neighborhoods, individual structures, or strengthened the historic preservation movement or the quality of life in Dayton’s historic communities. In 2022, the award went to the Wilsons and the Regniers.


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