The popularity of Historic preservation continues to grow in West Virginia. Not only do we have dedicated preservationists to thank for this development, but we recognize the positive influence the media has in celebrating historic preservation and in bringing tourists to historical sites.
This year, our award recipient is notable for her dedication to the ongoing conservation and the dissemination of West Virginia’s culture, as well as the promotion of West Virginia’s heritage tourism sites and businesses through multiple magazine publications.
Nikki Bowman is a West Virginia native and the founder and owner of New South Media, Inc., which publishes the critically acclaimed WV LIVING, WV WEDDINGS, and MORGANTOWN magazines. She graduated from West Virginia University and received her master’s degree in Writing from DePaul University in Chicago. Nikki is a member of countless professional and community organizations and travels the state promoting West Virginia events and historical sites.
We recognized Nikki’s heritage tourism efforts through WV LIVING magazine. It is the state’s leading regional publication. It celebrates modern day life in West Virginia and showcases the best the state has to offer with positive stories about our small towns, heritage tourism sites, special events, charming shops, cutting-edge restaurants, and talented craftsmen. Nikki’s publications single-handedly reach more potential tourists with heritage tourism articles than any other West Virginia magazine and has recently featured stories about Helvetia, the lantern tour in Historic Beverly, the Historic railroad town of Hinton, and the Elkhorn Inn and Theatre. WV LIVING has a readership of 80,000 and is sold in more than 24 states and in Canada. It is this readership that is boosting our heritage tourism economy in the state.
Check out the WV LIVING website at http://www.wvliving.com/
The PreserveWV AmeriCorps program is bringing eleven individuals from all over the country to serve historical and economic development organizations in their historic preservation projects. The purpose of the PreserveWV AmeriCorps program is to promote historic preservation and heritage tourism in West Virginia through historic resource re-use, improvement, and development. Particular focus will be placed on non-profit capacity building through organizational policy development, volunteer management, and community engagement. AmeriCorps members’ service will contribute to West Virginia’s economic development and environmental stewardship through historic resource improvement and capacity building.
Members applied with the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, and after a competitive application process, were selected and placed for one year of service at the following sites: Adaland Mansion in Philippi, the Cockayne Farmstead in Glen Dale, the Craik-Patton House in Charleston, Main Street Fairmont, Main Street Morgantown, the Marion County Historical Society, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, and the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation.
Members received training last week and officially begin service at their sites on Monday, October 7. Members will be meeting community residents throughout their year of service and engaging them to take part in extant and new community events. They also will be meeting and working with community residents to help with economic development and historic resource re-use projects. One of their goals is to involve local residents in these projects in order to meet community needs and promote local ideas. Contact email@example.com for information about the service sites, projects, and ways to get involved with these projects. All are encouraged to participate.
This service initiative is administered by the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, the statewide grassroots nonprofit dedicated to the support and promotion of historic preservation in the Mountain State. The PreserveWV AmeriCorps members develop and participate in a variety of community projects related to historic resource improvement, historic preservation, heritage tourism development, and nonprofit organizational capacity building. For more information, visit www.pawv.org. PreserveWV AmeriCorps is funded in part by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service, and by the Commission for National and Community Service.
The Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center has released a Request for Proposals for the upcoming 2014 Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated (BAD) Buildings Program. Click here to download a copy of the RFP.
The BAD Buildings Program, which is funded through a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, is a statewide initiative which provides technical assistance and site analysis tools to develop and enhance abandoned/dilapidated buildings programs in West Virginia communities. The program also addresses barriers to identifying, prioritizing, and redeveloping BAD buildings. Click here to download a copy of the BAD Buildings Model Program Guide.
The BAD Buildings Model and tools support WV communities with limited local capacity and no abandoned/dilapidated buildings program. The model is based on the NBAC’s effective approach to brownfield redevelopment throughout the state. While not all abandoned/dilapidated buildings are brownfields, all brownfields can be viewed as abandoned/dilapidated buildings. The same challenges and opportunities surrounding a brownfield project are commonly encountered when addressing BAD Buildings.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
Eligible applicants include the following:
Communities which have an existing abandoned/dilapidated buildings program are encouraged to apply. The BAD Buildings Program is designed to offer technical support to communities at varying stages of local redevelopment and with differing levels of local capacity.
HOW TO APPLY
Begin your application process by downloading the Request For Proposals and the Program Guide.
Completed applications may be submitted on or before Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 by U.S. Postal Service, commercial delivery service, or electronically.
HARD COPY SUBMISSIONS
BAD Buildings Program
Attn: Luke Elser Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center
385 Evansdale Drive, Suite 201 (for commercial delivery service)
PO Box 6064 (for U.S. Postal Service)
Morgantown, WV 26506-6064
October 3, 2013 · by preservationallliancewv · in Historic Architecture, Miscellaneous. ·Citizens and merchants of Historic Harpers Ferry, whose national park lays claim to historic 18th and 19th century events, including John Brown’s raids, are working together to keep the park open.
According to Gary DuBrueler, President of the Harpers Ferry Merchant Association, merchants and other locals are coalescing so visitors can have the memorable experience they expect and deserve. “They will also give information normally provided by Park Service employees,” DuBrueler says.“Our merchants will inform visitors of historic sites, walks for families, and places to eat…If they don’t have answers to visitors’ questions, they’ll leverage their networks and try to find someone who does.”
In addition, locals have solutions to the following challenges:
Closed: Federal parking lots and shuttle buses parking lots closed due to the shutdown, identifying and negotiating for spaces within walking distance of the historic district.
Open: Parking is still available at lots in Historic Harpers Ferry and West Virginia’s nearby visitor center as well as additional spaces locals have identified or negotiated to use – the majority within walking distance from the historic section of town.
Closed: Federally funded trails.
Open: Yes, trails large and small are open! Locals will gladly point them out, including those on the Appalachian trail and C&O path. Further, according to Executive Director/CEO Ron Tipton, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry remains open and will give visitors advice as to the many trails available to hikers. “Much of the Appalachian trail is state funded,” he says, “and open.”
Closed: Public bathrooms.
Open: Portable toilets will be available to visitors thanks to a collaborative effort on the part of the Town of Harpers Ferry, the Harpers Ferry Merchants Association, and the Harpers Ferry Historical Town Foundation.
Closed: Museum exhibits.
Open: Since many of the sites are outdoors, visitors can still explore them and the West Virginia visitors’ center is open with maps and advice. To complete the experience, merchants offer the chance for visitors to experience a wax museum depicting John Brown’s raid, ghost and historic foot tours from a local historian, a hands-on art center where visitors can create take-home memories, a Steampunk art gallery, and the nation’s only historic confectionary shop, carrying 18th and 19th century products, with free talks about each one.
To make the trip additionally memorable, some merchants are offering discounts and special deals on products, food and activities, many with local or historic themes.
Harpers Ferry lies on the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers and one of the stops along the Appalachian Trail. Known for its beauty and historic relevance, it was visited by Thomas Jefferson, was the site of John Brown’s raid, and played a pronounced part in the Civil War. A short drive from Baltimore, D.C. and other hubs, it welcomes visitors from all over the world.
Heritage tourism has proven to be a valuable and major industry for West Virginia and is centered on the preservation of historic traditions, sites, music, stories, and more. Each year, we recognize a project, site, and organization that is making a significant contribution to the heritage tourism industry in West Virginia.
Mike Gwinn of Beckley nominated a new coal heritage site that memorializes the twenty-nine miners who lost their lives in a coal dust explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine on August 5th, 2010 in Montcoal, WV. Coal heritage is an important part of the tourism industry for West Virginia, and the Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial in Whitesville epitomizes the significance of this heritage. The memorial is unique, also, because it recognizes the actions of first responders and mine rescue teams.
This memorial would not exist if it weren’t for the Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group. It formed in February of 2011 with a plan to secure funding for a permanent memorial to honor the miners killed at Upper Big Branch. This permanent memorial would replace a makeshift memorial in a gazebo that served as a place for family, friends, and the community to gather to remember and reflect on the lives lost in the days following the explosion. The memorial group’s goal in designing the Upper Big Branch Memorial was to replicate the gazebo’s appeal but in a more permanent and appropriate way.
The group partnered with Rob Dinsmore of Chapman Technical Group in St. Albans, to design the memorial. It consists of three distinct sections: The Upper Big Branch Miners Monument; the First Responders Bronze sculpted by West Virginia artisan Ross Straight; and interpretive signage that serves as a gateway to the memorial plaza.
What makes this memorial so special is that it was designed to be more than a gravestone and historical marker. Every aspect of its design was planned with economic development and tourism in mind, as well as the intention of providing an educational experience. The information included on the interpretive signs was provided by the famous coal heritage historian Davitt McAteer and the Governor’s Independent Investigation of the Upper Big Branch Disaster.
The economic impacts of the memorial are already being felt in Whitesville and the surrounding areas. The group has leveraged social media to promote events at the memorial. It is working with Coal Heritage Area to expand the memorial’s print and online ad campaign and is reaching outside of the state to tourists through travel magazines and websites. Additionally, it is an official geocache site and has quickly become a popular location for motorcyclists and former West Virginians who are home visiting family in the area. The group has even held meetings with local business owners to network and encourage them to target memorial visitors during the summer as tourist traffic increased. Through its website, the group has introduced a community page that exists as a travel resource for visitors and lists local restaurants and convenience stores in Whitesville. It also lists the names and contact information of other coal related tourism sites in West Virginia in the hopes of attracting more visitors from greater distances. It takes a strong-minded and dedicated group of individuals to withstand such great loss and create something positive from it. It was our pleasure to present the Heritage Tourism Award to the Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group. Accepting the award were Sheila Combs, Pamela Miller, and Adam Pauley.
This is the first article in a series about our 2013 Historic Preservation Award Winners.
To a preservationist, it is always exciting to come across a neighborhood during one’s travels and find that many of the unique buildings are historic. Even better is when they are preserved and restored to their original fineness and being re-used in a new capacity that benefits the community. In West Virginia, we are lucky to be able to honor a different organization or business for its role in preserving and re-using multiple buildings in one community every year.
This year’s Community Preservation Award winner recognizes the efforts of several organizations collaborating to develop the Beverly Heritage Center. Mary Kay Bidlack of Beverly submitted this nomination.
The Beverly Heritage Center is a multi-year effort to develop four significant historical buildings into a major heritage tourism attraction for Randolph County. The Beverly Heritage Center rehabilitated the 1808 Randolph County Courthouse, 1850’s Bushrod Crawford Building (McClellan’s headquarters), 1900 Beverly Bank, and the 1912 Hill store building. A new gallery addition connects the buildings and provides an attractive accessible entrance without modifying the historic facades. The buildings house permanent and rotating museum exhibits, a gift shop, an archives and resources library, visitor facilities, event and meeting space, offices, and collections care facilities.
Visioning and planning for the project began in 2001 with support from project benefactor John C. Allen, Jr. and under the guidance of heritage tourism consultant Scott Gerloff. Victor Greco of SMG Architects was chosen as architect and has guided the project throughout. Construction began in 2004 and has continued in phases based on funding availability. The Visitor Center remained open to visitors throughout the project, moving from building to building as work progressed. Major contractors were Allegheny Restoration and Steorts Contracting. The primary facility with gallery and exhibits was completed and open for visitors in 2010. One final phase of construction is still underway to complete additional interior build out, landscaping, and to rebuild the cupola on the Courthouse.
Operating partners for the project are Historic Beverly Preservation and Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation. Many other organizations contributed assistance, including the Randolph County Historical Society, Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance, Beverly Historic Landmarks Commission, and the Town of Beverly. Staff, consultants, and volunteers who had a significant role in shepherding the project through have included Darryl DeGripp, Terry Hackney, and Michelle Depp, executive directors; Victor Greco architect and Gabe Hayes landscape architect; exhibit team David Vago, Hunter Lesser, and Robert Whetsell, with film by Walkabout Company; and the boards of the core organizations represented by Phyllis Baxter of Historic Beverly Preservation; and Richard Wolfe of Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation.
The Beverly Heritage Center continues to bring visitors to Randolph County, and to serve them with an innovative facility, quality museum interpretation, and a hearty welcome. It is open seven days a week through the summer, and five days a week – including weekends – the rest of the year. The Center sponsors frequent events, ranging from Civil War reenactments to community potlucks, and attracts a wide range of visitors including scenic byway travelers and Civil War enthusiasts. Accepting awards were representatives from Historic Beverly Preservation, Rich Mountain Battlefield, and Victor Greco of SMG Architects for the Beverly Heritage Center.
A new exhibition at West Virginia University’s Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum explores the lives of miners and their families in the coal towns of Appalachia.
“Outside the Mine: Daily Life in a Coal Company Camp” focuses on four central components of our region’s coal communities—commerce and the company store, religion and faith, domestic work and activities and social time and leisure. The exhibition features historical artifacts and photographs from the days when coal was king.
From the late 19th- to the mid-20th centuries, self-contained communities called “coal camps” sprang up across the Appalachian landscape.
“Coal companies built homes, churches, schools and stores in the region’s remote coalfields to attract miners,” said Danielle Petrak, curator. “Although mining operations sustained these towns’ existence, there was more to life in coal camps than laboring underground.”
“Outside the Mine” illustrates how the spirit of hard work and sense of camaraderie typical among miners impacted the development of a distinct coal camp culture. Often isolated by geography and limited in their means, camp residents relied on coal companies for their basic needs and found creative ways to relax, socialize and entertain themselves. Company-provided amenities, including barber shops and post offices, fulfilled practical purposes but also served as social gathering spots. Many company stores contained saloons or social halls, and churches often sponsored youth socials and picnic dinners. Children created makeshift playgrounds out of mining equipment, while women kept each other company by tackling household chores with friends and relatives.
“Outside the Mine” is on view through July 2014. The Watts Museum is located in Room 125 of the Mineral Resources Building on the Evansdale campus of WVU. The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 1–4 p.m., and by appointment.
Admission is free, and parking is available at the WVU Coliseum. For more information, contact the museum at (304) 293-4609 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Housed in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, the Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the social, cultural and technological history of the coal, oil and natural gas industries of the state of West Virginia through the collection, preservation, research and exhibition of objects relevant to these industries.
See more at:
The bid opening date is 10/08/2013 at the Department of Administration, Purchasing Division in Charleston, WV. For questions and a full copy of the RFQ contact Connie Oswald by September 18th at email@example.com.
The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers will hold the 2013 State Brownfields Conference on September 12-13 at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, WV.
The West Virginia Brownfields Conference is an annual statewide event that combines exceptional educational programs with outstanding networking opportunities between communities, development professionals, and service providers. The 2013 event will include sessions covering all aspects of redevelopment, interactive workshops on project funding, specialty training on remediation, a project showcase banquet, and much more!
Economic Development professionals can receive 10 LED Continuing Education Credits for attending. Find more information at the WV EDC website.
Visit the 2013 WV Brownfields Conference page for more information and to register.
The West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office, in conjunction with the National Park Service, Department 0f the Interior, is sponsoring a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Training Workshop for local preservation commissioners and staff, architects, engineers, consultants, real estate professionals and other individuals interested in preservation.
LEED is an internationally recognized program that promotes a Whole-building approach to sustainability in architecture by recognizing performance selection and indoor environmental quality. The LEED rating system was developed in 2000 t0 provide means of certifying the “greenness” 0f certain projects, but has not always worked cooperatively with projects trying to meet the Secretary of the Interior ’s Standards for the Treatment Properties.
The two-day training Workshop will educate those who would like to learn more about the program’s interconnection with historic preservation and the Standards. The workshop will focus on general sustainability in the context of preservation, and will also include training and preparation for anyone wishing to take the LEED Green Associate exam.
The workshop will be held Sept. 9-10, from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Culture Center in Charleston. It is FREE for members of Certified Local Governments and $100 per person for others. Registration is due by Monday, August 26th. To register and for more information, contact Pam Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 304-558-0240.
News and Notes
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