1953 - Present
John Gower is a life-long Dayton resident who has devoted his career as an urban planner to preserving Dayton’s history and making it a more enjoyable place to live. His advocacy for Dayton began as a student at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, when he volunteered weekends in Dayton to board up abandoned homes in his Dayton View neighborhood. He has worked as Dayton’s downtown planner, director of community development, urban design coordinator, and most recently as reimaging strategist. The Living City Project he led has been called a catalyst for revitalizing downtown housing. He led architectural preservation efforts that resulted in the city’s Historic District Zoning and Landmarks Commission. His preservation advocacy continues even in retirement, and he has been a leading advocate for restoring the downtown Dayton Arcade.