My name is Malina Suity. I’m a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and it’s becoming a pattern in my life that I just keep leaving and coming back home over and over again. I’ve left this time to serve in Preserve WV AmeriCorps at Main Street Fairmont, to learn how to, and help, preserve and develop some true architectural treasures a little bit further up the Mon than I’m used to. In the past, I left to attend Ohio Wesleyan University and receive a BA in English and Medieval Studies. I came back, left Pittsburgh again to see what life was like in New York City, and came back when I realized it wasn’t for me. I left again to pursue a Master’s degree in Public History at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. And when I came back home again, I thought it was for good. I served in AmeriCorps in Pittsburgh through KEYS Service Corps at Reading is Fundamental Pittsburgh. That opportunity raised my awareness of the crisis in education, but also in our historic neighborhoods, not just in my city, but across the region. And when I finished my term, I decided to join up again, this time with a focus on my passion: history and preservation.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation featured a lengthy article about the progress at McCoy fort.
There are some great photos, and it’s definitely worth a read.
Check it out at http://blog.preservationnation.org/2013/11/15/deconstruction-discovery-west-virginia-community-digs-fort-mccoy-colonial-past/#.Uoppi-K-fTp
The 1834 library building, located in Lewisburg, was added to the endangered list in 2010 because of deterioration. The interior floors had buckled due to water intrusion, and water pipes had burst from lack of heat. It also needed a new roof and rehabilitation of windows and bathrooms. Since being listed, the city and college have partnered on this re-use project for the library, which housed the “Library and Study for the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia” prior to West Virginia statehood in 1863. Additionally, the building served as a Union hospital and barracks and still has soldier’s inscriptions on the interior walls.
The award ceremony will begin at 4:30 on November 22, and it will be held in the Student Lounge of the New River Community and Technical College’s Greenbrier Valley Campus in Lewisburg. It will be followed by a reception and preservation tours of the library building. The event is free and open to the public.
The VISTA position is made possible through a sponsorship from the National Coal Heritage Area.
Stop by and meet our new VISTA! There will also be resources available from PAWV, in addition to those made available at the Preservation Resources Library on the first floor.
PAWV also maintains home offices in Morgantown and Slatyfork, WV. Contact email@example.com if you ever want to set up meetings in any of these offices. You can also reach us at 304-345-6005.
Photo Credit: WilliamBrandon on flickr
Read about PreserveWV AmeriCorps member, Eliza’s, recent adventure at the Old Hemlock Foundation.
We are excited to share that West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller introduced legislation, Senate Bill 1641, that would designate Appalachian Forest Heritage Area as a National Heritage Area, in addition to extending funding for two other West Virginia National Heritage Areas, Coal Heritage and Wheeling.
We encourage everyone to show their support and participation for this bill by contacting their Senators to thank them for this sponsorship, and to contact your Representatives to encourage a companion bill in the House. You can also submit letters of support on behalf of this bill. AFHA is currently updating its website to include information on the Senate bill, and to provide more information on expressing support. We urge all of you to check www.appalachianforest.us starting next week to find out how you can help.
Please see the following press release for more information about the bill.
ROCKEFELLER SAYS HERITAGE AREA BILL WILL STRENGTHEN TOURISM, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN WV
Senators Manchin, Mikulski and Cardin join bill to reauthorize funding for two National Heritage Areas in West Virginia while adding new designation for a third that includes Maryland
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jay Rockefeller today said legislation he introduced will strengthen tourism in West Virginia and Maryland by securing federal funding for existing National Heritage Areas in Wheeling and in southern West Virginia, while creating a new one in the state’s eastern mountains, as well as the Mountain Counties of Maryland.
The West Virginia National Heritage Area Act of 2013, co-sponsored by Senators Joe Manchin, Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, supports continued National Park Service funding and technical assistance for the Wheeling National Heritage Area and the National Coal Heritage Area, while designating the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area as a National Heritage Area. The new region would encompass 16 counties in West Virginia and two in Maryland.
“Tourism is such an important part of West Virginia’s economy, creating jobs and enriching people’s lives,” Rockefeller said. “Our state has so much to offer, whether it’s a tour of Independence Hall in Wheeling, a trip back in time through the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, or a day spent fishing on mountain streams in the Monongahela National Forest. These historic, cultural and natural treasures need to be preserved for—and enjoyed by—future generations of West Virginians.”
Federal funding for the National Coal Heritage Area expired in 2012, and will expire for the Wheeling National Heritage Area in 2015. Rockefeller’s bill would continue funding for all three National Heritage Areas until 2017.
“West Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in our nation and we must preserve our many natural wonders for the next generation of West Virginians and for the visitors from all over the world who visit our great state each year,” Manchin said. “This commonsense measure is an investment in a healthy future for both our children and our growing tourism industry.”
“Strengthening the tourism economy of Western Maryland is a smart investment that will continue to draw in new visitors, new jobs and economic development to the region,” said Senator Mikulski. “Maryland is a state rich in history and culture with many unique treasures. By supporting National Heritage Areas, we will honor Maryland’s key role in American history for future generations while encouraging heritage tourists to enjoy the state’s terrific combination of natural beauty.”
“The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area supports the growing outdoor recreation and tourism economies of Garrett and Allegany counties. Importantly, it simultaneously helps to preserve the rich culture of Mountain Maryland,” said Senator Cardin. “I want to applaud Maryland’s local leaders who encouraged this new designation, understanding how celebrating the natural and cultural heritage of Mountain Maryland is good for business in Mountain Maryland and the entire region.”
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. NHAs are a grassroots, community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development. Through public-private partnerships, NHA entities support historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation, heritage tourism, and educational projects.
By Rodney Bohner, Preserve WV AmeriCorps
Thank you for letting me introduce myself. I’m Rodney Bohner, and I am a PreserveWV AmeriCorps member for Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. I grew up mainly around the South-Central area of Pennsylvania. Growing up I was fortunate to live in areas with a variety of historic resources. I even lived in two different Civil War-era houses before moving off to college. Many summers were spent biking around Gettysburg and the National Historic Park. My grandparents also lived in a Central Pennsylvania coal town where, as kids, we would explore coal dirt piles and abandoned mining sites. Most significant was my time spent living in an 1860 mill owner’s house with a State Park and restored grist mill across the street. At Penn State University, I studied recreation and parks management. After graduating, I’ve worked across the country in different recreation and youth programming settings.
By Danielle, Executive Director
The recipient of the 2013 Dr. Emory Kemp Lifetime Achievement Award is Jon Smith, a preservationist, master craftsman, and educator – a man who knows how to get things done and has the skills to do it himself. Over the span of 45 years as a master craftsman, he has been directly involved in the hands-on preservation and saving of countless historic sites in West Virginia. And, as an educator, he has ensured that the preservation ethos grows and that preservation skills are passed on to future generations.
Jon Smith started his education in Marshall County schools. As a young man, he learned teamwork and discipline as a member of the United States Coast Guard. Jon’s career as a preservationist began during an apprenticeship with Bob Weir – a master carpenter, restoration guru, and a preservationist before the word even started being used. Over the years, Jon worked at various locales, and he started at Allegheny Restoration after being referred by one of his heroes, Paul Marshall, who is also known for his contributions to statewide historic preservation as well as extensive research and writing in state history. Jon’s time with Allegheny Restoration has been a benefit to us all as he has worked with the company on some of West Virginia’s most historic places.
When PAWV asked Jon about his favorite jobs, he said it was tough to whittle it down after 40 years, but he did tell me about a few. Graceland is located on Davis & Elkins College campus. It was the summer home of Henry Gassaway Davis. On this unique project Jon assembled a crew, including future Allegheny Restoration supervisor Tom Shaffer. Working under the direction of Paul Marshall, Jon and the crew rebuilt the grand porches.
The Martinsburg Train Station was another favorite. Allegheny Restoration received an American Institute of Architects award for craftsmanship of the porches. This project was also Jon’s first job working with Tom Anderson. Not only did Tom pitch in with a hammer he went on to build the company that is the pride of Jon’s career. Together, they went on to restore the Oakland Maryland B&O station, “another AIA award,” Eight covered bridges – mostly with the assistance of Dr. Emory Kemp’s drawings – The West Virginia state Capitol, including the main building, the East wing, West wing, Holly Grove, and the Executive Mansion Windows.
But two of Jon’s absolute favorites are the water tank at Cass, and the Tower at Droop Mountain. Both jobs were done with a skeleton crew of craftsmen and apprentice. In the case of Droop, it was just Jon and his apprentice starting with a pile of logs, to re-construct that iconic tower. Utilizing century-old techniques, every cut of those logs was made by hand. It was the student and the teacher, covered in sawdust, standing atop one of West Virginia’s majestic mountains. Droop Mountain was a job that dreams are made of, and Jon says he was living it in the daytime.
Jon’s most Humbling job is as an Instructor at Belmont Community Technical College. For the last ten years, Jon has been sharing “tales of the old superintendent” with students from around the world, and he has impacted countless lives. Jon is known all over the country for his skills and work, and it was our honor to recognize Jon for these accomplishments and present him with the 2013 Dr. Emory Kemp Lifetime Achievement Award.
By Danielle, Executive Director
Historic downtowns are making a comeback and proving to be centers of growth and hubs for business development, the arts, and social activities. The people at Main Street Morgantown realized the potential of downtown revitalization decades ago, and that is why we are honored them with the Downtown Preservation Award.
Main Street Morgantown is a nonprofit organization founded in 1984. It is dedicated to the continued revitalization of downtown Morgantown and the Historic Wharf District. Since 1984, Main Street Morgantown has been involved in the creation of 1300 new jobs, the opening of more than 200 new businesses, and over $126 million dollars in investments. It is a grassroots organization working primarily in the areas of historic preservation and economic development, and it has received numerous local, state, and national awards, including the Great American Main Street Award in 1998.
Main Street Morgantown has worked on many historic preservation projects over the years. Tonight, we will highlight some of its proudest achievements. The Main Street Morgantown Audio Walking Tour was created in collaboration with the Walkabout Company. It is a two-hour audio walking tour with 51 stops, and it can be travelled with the use of MP3 players available at our current venue, the Hotel Morgan. It also includes a 28 page guidebook which explains architectural styles and terms referring to the historical and political period in which the buildings were built.
Main Street Morgantown has also been involved in the preservation and adaptive re-use of historic buildings in downtown Morgantown. The W.E. Price House located at 270 Walnut Street is a Romanesque Gothic Style structure. As a downtown economic development organization, Main Street Morgantown helped to move the Appalachian Gallery into this building.
The Metropolitan Theatre at 371 High Street is one of the greatest achievements for Morgantown’s downtown revitalization. With the help of Main Street Morgantown, the theatre has been restored and is a hot spot for nightlife and an economic engine for downtown growth.
The driving forces behind Main Street Morgantown are its two key staff members: Barbara Watkins and Terri Cutright. Barbara Watkins started with Main Street Morgantown in 2002 as the Administrative Assistant. She was promoted to the Assistant Director of Main Street Morgantown in April 2009. During this time Barbara has helped Main Street Morgantown triple its event attendance for Chocolate Lovers’ Day, Kids’ Day and Arts Walk. She has helped create two new events: Art is Food and Small Business Saturday. Terri Cutright has been Executive Director of Main Street Morgantown since April, 1990. Under her leadership, Morgantown was the winner of the Great American Main Street Award in 1998, and was selected as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destination in 2007. Since 1991, Morgantown is the most decorated Main Street program in West Virginia with over 75 individual, committee, and project awards. Under Terri’s direction, the Morgantown Main Street District has had over $75 million dollars of reinvestments, 216 new businesses open, and 1,500 new jobs created.
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