Lewisburg, Greenbrier County
March 2019 Update: The Greenbrier County Commission recently enclosed the building with siding. It is still vacant.
2017 Update: No updates have been made available to PAWV in 2017.
As of the last update to PAWV in 2016, the Lewisburg Historic Landmarks Commission noted that there was no preservation progress on the building in 2016. The house, which is being adaptively reused by a county agency, is still in need of paint and maintenance.
2013: The youngest of the newly-listed endangered sites is the “Westly”, a Sears Kit House located in the Lewisburg Historic District between the Greenbrier County Court House and the Governor Price House in Lewisburg (Greenbrier County). The “Westly” was one of the most popular kit homes sold through the Sears, Roebuck, and Company mail-order catalogs in the early-twentieth century and was made available to residents in Lewisburg with the expansion of the railroad from 1905-1907. The “Westly” and all Sears’s kit homes are special because they were delivered in over 10,000 labeled pieces with assembly instructions. In 1924, the original owner purchased and assembled the home himself. In 1941, the Greenbrier County Commission purchased the dwelling and used it as the office for the West Virginia University Extension Service. In recent years, the building has sat vacant, and although it is deteriorating, it maintains the original floor plan and is in good condition. The Lewisburg Historic Landmarks Commission and the Lewisburg Preservation Alliance nominated the site to bring awareness to the significance of these unique kit homes. The groups are engaging the Greenbrier County Commission to locate a new use or sensitive buyer to preserve and reuse the dwelling.
Blue Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County
March 2019 Update: There has been no real progress on the rehabilitation in the last year. The Greenbrier Historical Society has raised some more money and submitted grant applications, and their goal is to bid some foundation work in the late summer.
Community support remains strong and the structure is stabilized but that will not last forever. More funding is needed.
2017 Update: There has been no new progress since completion of the first phase of the site’s enormous restoration project in December 2016. A Transportation Alternatives Grant application has been submitted for the next restoration phase. If awarded, the pavilion will be a third of the way to completion. The remaining projects include repairing and waterproofing the foundation, installing a new floor and a roof, and other finishing touches.
2013: The Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion is located approximately 9 miles north of Alderson (Greenbrier County) in a cattle pasture surrounded by mountains. The Greek Revival pavilion, or springhouse, was constructed in 1845 and was the heart of a mid-nineteenth century resort complex at Blue Sulphur Springs where Dr. Alexis Martin was the resident physician. Dr. Martin administered the first mud baths in the United States at the resort while also treating patients with the mineral waters and other remedies. The pavilion and former resort also served as a bivouac and hospital for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War until being burned by Union troops. The deteriorating pavilion is the only structure remaining of the once fashionable resort and has not been maintained for many years. Now the Greenbrier Historical Society is working with the current owner to obtain ownership of the pavilion and some surrounding acreage and is already making plans to reuse and develop the site for heritage tourism purposes.
Williamsburg, Greenbrier County
March 2019 Update: The Williamsburg District Historic Foundation is looking for a licensed and reputable contractor to assist with the reconstruction of the log structure, which has been disassembled since 2013. The logs are stored exposed to the weather and will not continue to be sound. Inspection a year ago by an historic archetectural engineer found them to be useful at this point, but each year that passes will cause further decay.
A group of volunteers is gathering to raise the logs this coming summer. They have put together donations for the foundation construction. Currently a stone mason is being sought to estimate this work. The original stones are on site, but the location requires a concrete footer as well.
2017 Update: No updates have been made available to PAWV in 2017.
As of the last update provided to PAWV in 2016, PAWV conducted a two-day, Preserve WV AmeriCorps civic service project at McCoy Fort in July 2016, with multiple AmeriCorps members and community volunteers working together. The fort’s logs (which had been disassembled in 2013) were moved from their original site to the Williamsburg District Historic Foundation’s museum grounds. There, the logs were measured, surveyed for damage, photographed, and stacked onto pallets by type. In November, the fort’s original foundation stones were moved for reconstruction as well. An architect has been selected to draw up reconstruction plans, which will integrate the original fort logs with hemlock logs cut for the purpose.
2012: Fort McCoy (Greenbrier County) is a log fort constructed by the William McCoy Family, around 1770. It is currently situated inside a wood barn that is near collapse. The fort and its surrounding site are potentially rich in archaeological information that could provide further documentation about Native Americans and early white settlers’ non-militia, privately constructed forts. The Williamsburg District Historical Foundation is slated to lease the fort and a few acres of surrounding property from the current property owner. The Foundation, in addition to the Williamsburg Community Action Group and Greenbrier Historical Society, aim to complete an archaeological dig of the site but must first remove the barn, dismantle the fort, and store its elements to be reconstructed after the completion of the dig. The Badlands Bluegrass Festival will be held in June of this year to benefit the project.
2011: Shanklin’s Grand Theatre in Ronceverte (Greenbrier County) was designed by John Norman Sr., one of the first of West Virginia’s African American architects. Built circa 1937, it is best remaining art deco theater in the county. The Ronceverte Development Corporation intends to purchase the property, which sits in the heart of the downtown, to protect it from demolition. Future plans include restoring the theater for public use and as a community college cinema arts classroom. The old WRON Radio studios on the second floor will be converted for use as a recording studio.
2012 Update: In October 2012, the New River Community and Technical College Greenbrier Valley Campus celebrated the opening of its new college library in the historic pink library building. The college library moved into the historic buildings in the summer of 2012 with the intention of serving all five of the college’s campuses, in addition to being open to the public. After being listed on Preservation Alliance of WV’s 2010 Endangered Properties List, the City of Lewisburg replaced the roof, installed a heating and air conditioning system, and rehabilitated the wood windows with the help of Lynn Stasick, statewide field representative. The City of Lewisburg leased the library and annex buildings to the College, which finished the renovations. The main library building was built in 1834 to be used as a law library by the jurist of the State Supreme Court of Virginia, and the annex was a former slave house.
2010: Greenbrier County Public Library is a 1834 Adams style building in Greenbrier County and was significant as the “Library and Study for the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia” prior to West Virginia statehood in 1863. The building served as a Union hospital and barracks and still has soldier’s inscriptions on the interior walls. Owned by the town of Lewisburg since 1935, it was the Greenbrier County Library from 1941 until 2007. The building is reasonably stable, but interior floors have buckled due to water intrusion, and water pipes have burst from lack of heat. It needs a new roof and rehabilitation of windows and bathrooms. The New River Community and Technical College is interested in creating a student fine arts gallery and arts library here.
Endangered Properties List
If you are interested in assisting with any of these preservation projects, contact the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org.