By Danielle, Executive Director
Six historic structures, including an above-ground pool and one of West Virginia’s oldest mills, were announced as the 2014 West Virginia Endangered Properties List during a press conference at the State Capitol on February 12, 2014. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the revival of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s (PAWV) Endangered List, which is a collection of historic resources at risk of being lost from neglect, demolition, and other factors. All of the sites added to this year’s list represent a shared heritage. They are special places that helped to define us as children and unique shops that were staples of the community for years, but as times have changed, they have fallen into disrepair. However, 2014 is a turn-around year for these endangered sites, and with PAWV’s support, their owners have plans to update them while preserving our heritage. Two old schools in Fayetteville and Glen Jean, a Weirton pool, two unique commercial buildings in Belington and Wheeling, and Jefferson County’s oldest intact grist mill comprise this year’s list.
PAWV is the statewide, grassroots organization promoting historic preservation and our state’s cultural heritage. Each year, PAWV releases an Endangered List to highlight the plight of at-risk properties that contribute to the understanding of our heritage. PAWV’s field services representative, Lynn Stasick, works directly with local residents rallying to save and re-use endangered properties. Lynn provides preservation assistance, such as preservation expertise, capacity building, and advocacy. For the first time, PAWV has increased this initiative by instituting the new Five Year Plan of Rescue for endangered property stewards. Its goals are to evaluate the project’s present position, formulate a plan of action, and work to see the dream through to its end, in addition to minimizing the inevitable problems that arise in endangered property projects. “We are offering added support by giving the property stewards a plan to follow that has been proven to work for other endangered sites over the last five years. Although some projects take longer than others, this is a tried and true method that is effective,” explains Danielle LaPresta, Executive Director for PAWV.
Properties are selected for the West Virginia Endangered Properties List after a competitive nomination process on the basis of preservation emergency, eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places, and local support for a re-use project. To follow the fate of Endangered Properties, look for updates in the Saving Sites section on the PAWV website at www.pawv.org. More information about listed sites and nomination forms for next year’s Endangered Properties List are available at here.
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