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Follow-Ups On Past Endangered Sites

West Virginia Endangered Properties Progress Reports — May 2016

Properties are listed in alphabetical order.


Abruzzino Mansion, Shinnston, Harrison County – 2013 List

Statewide Field Representative, Lynn Stasick, has surveyed the house and is acting as a liaison between the current owners and contractors to gather estimates and develop a preservation plan.  Repairs on the damaged areas of the building are expected to begin later this year.



Ananias Pitsenbarger Farm, Franklin, Pendleton County - 2013 List

Kristen de Graauw and Shawn Cockrell, WVU students, spent some time at the historic farmstead in November 2015 to inspect different structures for their Historic Timbers Project - a log dating project that involves removing cores from logs and analyzing them. (Find out more about this project at http:/centralapptimbers.weebly.com.) The results of this study should be available in spring 2016. The owners hope to determine if some of the buildings pre-date the John Propst and Pitsenbarger tenancy and perhaps date to a Henry Amick construction period (late 1700s).




Arthurdale School Buildings, Arthurdale, Preston County – 2012 List

A 4-H group began working on one of the school buildings with the idea of reusing it as their museum / archive; they formed a board, gained nonprofit status, and got approval to use the current septic system. Unfortunately, they were stalled by a lack of funds, and work is currently suspended.




Beckley Courthouse Square National Historic District,
 Beckley, Raleigh County – 2015 List

Things in the district are looking up in 2016, after WVU Institute of Technology announced a move to Beckley - taking over the former Mountain State University campus. Additionally, four properties in uptown Beckley were recently purchased and will be rehabilitated by a private owner. The City of Beckley is also working to resolve issues related to how its Historic Landmarks Commission operates after a vote not to dissolve it.



Berkeley Springs Train Depot, Berkeley Springs, Morgan County – 2010 List

Substantial work has been done to rehabilitate the train depot.  The roof was completed in August 2015 after being covered in Titanium underlayment in 2011 with support from the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office and Governor Tomblin’s office.  Other grant support includes a Department of Environmental Protection grant for a new HVAC system and Transportation Enhancement grants for exterior rehabilitation and walkways. 




Blue Sulphur Spring Pavilion, Alderson, Greenbrier County - 2013 List

The Greenbrier Historical Society continues to fundraise, having received $50,000 from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and $25,000 from the Greenbrier County Commission. A soil study that they commissioned deemed the pavilion property’s soil very wet, with bedrock or stable soil 7 to 10 feet down. The society then contracted for wetland delineation, which is now underway. Once they receive a wetland report, coordinate with the Army Corps of Engineers, and make any needed revisions to their existing specifications, they will go to bid for the final stabilization of the structure. That work should make the pavilion safe enough to remove silt from inside and should set the stage for the installation of a new foundation for the pavilion.




Bowers House, Mannington, Marion County – 2009 List

The 22-room mansion is currently for sale.  



Capitol Music Hall, Wheeling, Ohio County – 2009 List

Saved and functioning as it was originally intended - a beautiful theatre for ballets, plays, and more. 




Charles Washington’s Happy Retreat, Charles Town, Jefferson County – 2010 List

Restoration work continues at Happy Retreat. A freestanding, brick garage built in the first half of the 20th Century has had its roof and windows repaired in anticipation of it becoming a visitor orientation center. A modern screened porch was removed from the side of the west wing; within the wing, modern fixtures such as cabinets, counters, and appliances were removed from a historic room (that had previously been converted into a kitchen). On the third floor of the building’s front façade, the screen that had long covered a fan-style window has been removed, allowing the architectural feature to be visible once again.

Multiple events have occurred at Happy Retreat in recent months. In October 2015, the Jefferson County Arts Commission held the ArtOber festival inside the house, with artists displaying their works and musicians playing. The next month, the National Association of State Historic Preservation Officers’ conference in the Eastern Panhandle included a tour of the property. In April 2016, Phi Alpha Theta (Shepherd University’s History Honors Society), in conjunction with the Friends of Happy Retreat and the George Washington Institute of Living Ethics, presented a two-day symposium titled “The History and Preservation of Happy Retreat.”




Church of God and Saints of Christ Tabernacle - "The Blue Church",
Wheeling, Ohio County – 2010 List

Now owned by the Wheeling National Heritage Area Foundation, the Blue Church began opening its doors to the community as a performance venue in April 2015 - hosting an array of events each month. In October, the National Park Service joined with the Partners for Sacred Places, the Wheeling National Heritage Area, and the Mills Group to facilitate a dynamic and engaging series of activities and discussions about the future of the Blue Church. During this two-day event, members of the community met with civic leaders, local preservationists, and donors to identify the building’s key strengths and to discuss how these assets could be used to leverage new partnerships and engage a wide segment of the community. The design results of this charrette and asset-mapping event included concepts for both interior and exterior renovations that would keep the historic integrity of the structure while offering safe and modern accessibility to all. In that same year, the Blue Church received a Historic Preservation Development Grant through the WV Division of Culture and History to address the pressing need to repair its roof. Architectural drawings are currently being prepared, in anticipation of the project going out to bid later this year.

In honor of 2016’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, volunteers braved wintry weather to participate in the launch of an ongoing volunteer effort to address the severely damaged stained glass windows of the former sanctuary. By the end of the day, local volunteers, community groups, stained glass artisans, and AmeriCorps members had donated 154 service hours. During that time, eight of the most severely damaged windows were removed, documented, deconstructed, and completely cleaned in preparation for their restoration. Since that initial day of service, volunteer stained glass artisans have continued to meet bi-monthly to re-lead the windows. This project is ongoing; once this first set of windows has been restored, another set of sashes will be pulled, and the process will begin again. If you would like information on how to volunteer, contact swright@wheelingheritage.org





East Wheeling Historic District, Wheeling, Ohio County – 2012 List

In the East Wheeling Historic District, historic dwellings on 15th and 16th Streets were lost to demolition in the summer of 2012 to make way for the new JB Chambers Sports Complex.  Residents who were living in the neighborhood lost their lawsuit, which challenged the City of Wheeling’s eminent domain proceedings, arguing the field would be primarily for the benefit of the private Wheeling Central Catholic High School.  The City of Wheeling has not broken ground on the new sports complex, but new housing constructed by Vandalia Heritage Foundation has been completed.



Elkins Coal & Coke Building, Masontown, Preston County – 2011 List

In December 2015, the Town of Masontown and the Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission (PCPaRC) entered into a lease agreement regarding the former Elkins Coal and Coke Building. It will become a new visitor center and restroom facility along the Mon River Trail (a regional rail-trail). This purchase agreement was the result of years of preservation persistence on the part of the Mon River Trails Conservancy and its executive director, Ella Belling.




Fayette Feed & Fertilizer Building (New River Bikes),
Fayetteville, Fayette County - 2012 List

The private owner is planning for renovation.  The bike shop is prosperous and very popular for cycling enthusiasts visiting the New River Gorge National River area.




Feagans’ Mill, Kabletown, Jefferson County – 2014 List

Feagans’ Mill will be visible at events in summer 2016, with displays at the Charles Town Heritage Festival on June 18 and at the Jefferson County Fair in August. The mill will also hold an open house (with tours, a barbecue, and an art sale/exhibit) over Labor Day weekend. The site’s stewards intend to soon launch a campaign for the restoration of the mill and miller’s house. Fundraising plans include online crowdsourcing, as well as selling artwork of the mill in its current state; selling reproduction, framed, numbered flour bags, based on original ones used by the mill; and selling flour and stoneground cornmeal in replica bags. The mill’s future rehabilitation and potential operation cleared a major hurdle when the Jefferson County Commission recently granted it an exemption from the county’s floodplain requirements. The next large project will be the excavation of the hardened sediment around the waterwheel so that it can be evaluated for necessary repairs; tree removal and restoring the mill’s head race are also goals.



First Ward School, Elkins, Randolph County – 2009 List

The historic First Ward School Apartments is a low-income senior community apartment complex.This community is located in the beautifully converted First Ward School near downtown Elkins. The building has been renovated with many modern conveniences.




Glen Jean School, Glen Jean, Fayette County – 2014 List

The owners’ attempts to raise interest in and funds for the heavily vandalized, water-damaged building have been unsuccessful, and they feel that investing more time and money in the property would be counterproductive. They are now looking into demolition options.



Golden Rule Building, Belington, Barbour County – 2014 List

Woodlands Development Group and the Belington Revitalization Committee have been raising funds for the purchase and rehabilitation of the building. They have now filled the gap between the property’s appraised value and its acquisition price and will be using a low interest loan from CommunityWorks for the appraised value. Utilizing architectural plans from Van Nostrand Architects, they have finalized plans to turn the building’s upper floors into 10 housing units, while the ground floor will have space for the Durbin-Greenbrier Railroad, a cooperative artists’ market, a small eatery, and a community events space (the latter in the former grist mill). They are currently deciding whether to do the development in stages or apply for Low Income Housing Tax Credits.



Hawks Nest Museum, Ansted, Fayette County – 2010 List

The restoration of the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum at Hawks Nest has been put on hold until additional funding is secured.



General Albert Gallatin Jenkins House/Plantation, Lesage, Cabell County – 2012 List

The US Army Corps of Engineers has completed necessary repairs to the first floor joists and the structural loading capacity meets the International Building Code for “Assembly” areas.  The archaeology site is also preserved and protected.  The Corps is looking for a tenant for the building.




Little Kanawha Bank, Glenville, Gilmer County – 2010 List




Lynnside Manor, Sweet Springs, Monroe County – 2012 List

As of 2015, progress has been made on detailed plans for Lynnside Manor, the central building in the Lynnside Historic District. Work has also begun on the landscaping of the historic district. Existing heritage trees were pruned and about 30 new trees were or will soon be planted.



Mannington Railroad Depot, Mannington, Marion County – 2011 List

The Mannington Main Street staff located an artist who volunteered his time to complete
the interior rehabilitation of the depot. He held a grand opening for his new gallery in February 2016.




Margaret Mansion Weir Memorial Pool, Weirton, Hancock County – 2014 List

The Marland Heights Community Organization is looking for donations or grants to help restore and reopen the pool. Meanwhile, the organization has completed remodeling the men's and women's outdoor bathrooms and has started getting estimates for the pool’s filtration system. They are also assessing the condition of the pool’s paint.




McCoy Fort, Williamsburg, Greenbrier County – 2012 List

McCoy Fort was disassembled in Summer 2013, and the fort’s steward is now preparing to move and reassemble all of the pieces—including the foundation stones—on a new site two miles away.




McCreery Hotel, Hinton, Summers County – 2009 List

MountainPlex Properties, LLC has transformed the hotel’s first floor into the McCreery Conference & Event Center. The venue, which can hold as many as 250 people, offers a ballroom, lounge, and dining room as rentable event spaces (with full catering available).




Mt. de Chantal Visitation Academy, Wheeling, Ohio County – 2011 List

Lost and demolished in November 2011.  The owner of the old school and site, Wheeling Hospital, has not announced plans for rebuilding on the site.




Old Ansted High School, Ansted, Fayette County – 2011 List



Old Brick Church, Union, Monroe County – 2012 List

The Monroe County Historical Society will begin repairs on the Old First Baptist Church in the Spring of 2015. Work will include repairing the columns and repointing the brick.




Old Clay County Courthouse, Clay, Clay County – 2012 List




Old Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville, Fayette County – 2014 List

In early 2016, Michael Mills of the Mills Group completed drawings and floor plans will guide the rehabilitation of the school building, funded with a gift to the Town of Fayetteville of over $162,000 from the Matt and Dorey Edwards Estate. The school’s roof has now been replaced, and the school building board (established by a townA ordinance in 2015) will next be addressing mold removal/abatement and further restoration – including the second floor classroom and the ceiling and floor that collapsed into the first floor’s library room.



Old Glenville Bridge, Glenville, Gilmer County – 2009 List

A short section, which connected the embankment and the bridge, collapsed after a winter snowstorm in February 2010.  The site has been cleaned, and the salvageable materials were retrieved from the wreckage.  Some wooden sections have been rehabilitated to be used to stabilize the Duck Run Bridge in Gilmer County.  The trusses still need to be transported from the site to a nearby storage unit.



Old Greenbrier County Public Library, Lewisburg, Greenbrier County – 2010 List

The City of Lewisburg leased the historic pink library to the New River Community and Technical College Greenbrier Valley Campus for its college library.  Through this partnership, the old library and annex have been preserved and renovated.  In October 2012, the college celebrated the reopening of the library and annex as the College Library, which will serve all five campuses and be open to the public.




Old White House, Mt. Nebo, Nicholas County – 2015 list

Work is progressing on the site. Collections management is occurring with the artifacts inside the house, which is being prepped for renovation. Roof repairs have been completed to seal the envelope of the structure, and a non-historic porch on the back of the building has been removed. Trees that might have been a threat to the site have also been cleared. In the coming months, the owner plans to contract with a mason to work on the house’s foundation.



Riverside African-American School, Elkins, Randolph County – 2010 List

A series of live music concerts were held to benefit preservation of the building, and basic roof and structure stabilization was accomplished. Further reconstruction has lapsed, however.




Second Presbyterian Church, Wheeling, Ohio County - 2013 List

Early on February 29, 2016, Wheeling’s Second Presbyterian Church suffered a catastrophic roof collapse during a period of heavy rains and high wind warnings. After the city deemed it unsafe, the 1850, Greek Revival style building was demolished. PAWV had added the vacant church to its Endangered Properties list in 2013 after a partial, less damaging roof collapse due to truss failure. Since that time, a state historic preservation grant had assisted in the roof’s repair, using local timbers and volunteer labor, while the interior had recently been cleared of debris. The church’s current owner, the Near Earth Object Foundation, was preparing to transform it into an urban observatory and educational facility. Although hopes for the church’s reuse are now over, certain key elements were able to be salvaged during the demolition process, including some stained glass windows and the original church bell.




Shanklin’s Grand Theatre, Ronceverte, Greenbrier County – 2011 List



Staats Hospital, Charleston, Kanawha County – 2012 List

In January 2016, Crawford Holdings, owner of the former Staats Hospital, celebrated the unveiling of a historically-accurate renovation of the building’s façade. The façade is almost an exact rendition of what was built nearly 100 years ago. This is a major achievement in the progress of preserving the Staats Hospital building, which has been featured on the West Virginia Endangered Properties list twice (2005 and 2012) and was vacant for over a decade. Crawford Holdings is revamping all four floors of the building to be used for offices, retail space, and housing. It is an exciting project for Charleston’s West Side and is made possible through support from the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office, the Charleston Area Alliance, and West Side Main Street. In May, PAWV will hold its 2016 Endangered Properties Announcement Event at the building.



Quarrier Diner, Charleston, Kanawha County – 2010 List

Saved and open to serve great food in downtown Charleston.




Tyler County Home, Tyler County – 2009 List

Although the original organization devoted to saving the property disbanded, after the County Commission proposed demolishing the building, a new group formed. The group is now trying to locate funding to preserve the building.



Waldo Hotel, Clarksburg, Harrison County – 2009 List

The Waldo is currently mothballed, awaiting redevelopment. In 2014-2015, the property was under contract for sale, with the potential new owners planning to rehab it as a boutique hotel / condo development. Due to financing issues, however, the sale fell through. Still, part of the deal required immediate repairs, which led to progress – including the hotel’s interior being cleaned out, non-historic additions being removed, and temporary roof repairs being made. The Vandalia Heritage Foundation is now applying for historic tax credits and is searching for a capable development/construction team that can help the foundation renovate the property.




“The Westly”, Sears Kit Home, Lewisburg, Greenbrier County - 2013 List

The house is now being adaptively reused by a county agency. It is still in need of painting and exterior repairs.



Whipple Company Store, Scarbro, Fayette County – 2011 List

The Whipple Company Store & Museum will be open for guided tours from May 1 to November 1, 2016, from 11am to 6pm daily (except Tuesdays). Spring events include a Mother’s Day tea and fashion show on May 7 and a car show on May 28.

With the assistance of PAWV’s Field Services Representative, the Whipple Company Store’s windows, doors, and roof have been weatherproofed. A crew of volunteers painted the exterior of the building to preserve the wood. The grounds have also received attention, including the addition of a victory garden, a picnic area, a simulated coal mine, and a small, outdoor amphitheater.




William & Mary Queen Store, Crum, Wayne County – 2012 List

Coalfield Development Corporation took ownership of the William & Mary Queen Store Building in January 2015. Funding sources have been secured to adaptively reuse the property as mixed-income apartments. CDC is looking into additional funding for a library, fitness center, and Wayne County tourism kiosk.




WV Colored Children’s Home, Huntington/Guyandotte, Cabell County – 2011 List

Lost and demolished in May 2011 to make way for the new Huntington East Middle School.



WV Northern Railroad Water Tower, Kingwood, Preston County – 2012 List




Wyco Church, Mullens, Wyoming County – 2009 List