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.
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.
By Danielle, Executive Director
The Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is a valuable tool for large-scale historic preservation projects. Preservationists all over the country recognize the need for this tax incentive because without it, many of the larger projects could not come to fruition. It just wouldn’t be economically feasible. The federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is under fire currently as Congress undertakes tax reform, and we’ve been advocating all year for the importance of renewing this tax credit. Rather than discussing politics though, we want to recognize a grand project in Elkins that brought several organizations together in a fantastic partnership to save First Ward School and bring it back to life by adapting it into senior housing.
In 2009, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia added the First Ward School to its WV Endangered Properties List because of its deterioration. That same year, Citizens for Historical Opportunity, Preservation, and Education, or C-HOPE, purchased the historical building for $1 from the Randolph County Board of Education. C-HOPE’s ultimate goal was to re-use the prominent structure for contemporary needs. After listing it to the National Register of Historic Places and fixing the roof, C-HOPE sold the school to AU Associates and Highland Community Builders. Under this partnership, the two transformed the building into sixteen affordable senior housing apartments for those fifty-five and older. AU Associates is a development firm based in Lexington, Kentucky, and it develops properties based on the principals of adaptive use, and has focused on opportunities for urban infill, as well as the revitalization of existing structures. Highland Community Builders is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life of residents of north-central West Virginia by developing quality housing that is affordable, and by collaborating with other agencies to provide opportunities for self-sufficiency, job training and asset building. It is affiliated with the Randolph County Housing Authority, a non-traditional housing authority whose mission is to “promote strong communities and a healthy quality of life.” Highland Community Builders worked with C-Hope to attract AU Associates to the project, and facilitated community meetings about the project as the feasibility work was being carried out.
The Total Project Cost was $3,737,000 with Sources of Funds including, Low Income Housing Tax credits of $3.3 million resulting in $2.8 million in equity; Federal Historic Tax Credits of $675,294 resulting in $594,200 in equity; State Historic Tax Credits of $337,647 resulting in $209,400 in equity; and a Development Grant from the WV State Historic Preservation Office of $59,700. The combination of the Low Income, Federal and State Historic Credits is what made this possible; it could not have been done without all three!
The recipients for this year’s Best Use of Historic Preservation Tax Credits Awards: AU Associates, C-HOPE, Highland Community Builders, and the Randolph County Board of Education.
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/
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.
The Coal Heritage Highway Authority and National Coal Heritage Area Authority work to preserve, promote and interpret the rich coal heritage of southern West Virginia. Throughout the region, there are many individuals, communities and organizations that perform that work on their own, or in partnership with the two Coal Heritage Authorities. To honor the work of these people, the Coal Heritage Highway Authority and National Coal Heritage Area have implemented an award program to acknowledge the work that is being done to preserve coal history. Once again the agency will recognize these outstanding achievements and is now accepting nominations for award winners is six different categories. Projects must have taken place within the National Coal Heritage Area which included the counties of Mercer, McDowell, Raleigh, Summers, Wyoming, Fayette, Boone, Logan, Mingo, Wayne, Lincoln, Cabell and the Paint Creek and Cabin Creek watersheds in Kanawha County or provided a benefit to these counties.
The Nick Joe Rahall Award for Outstanding Achievement in Coal Heritage Preservation: Presented to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of hard work of the men and women of past coal communities. This award is given to acknowledge years of service and dedication the individual has made to coal heritage projects that have had significant impact in the National Coal Heritage Area.
The Coal Heritage Award for Excellence in the Arts: Presented to an individual, community or organization who has captured the history of coal in artistic endeavors within the National Coal Heritage Area. This award acknowledges the creative efforts that bring coal history to life through the arts. This includes, but is not limited to, dramatic performances, music composition or recordings or the visual arts.
The Coal Heritage Marketing Award: Presented to an individual, organization or community that has created an outstanding marketing program promoting an attraction, community or event within the National Coal Heritage Area. This included, but is not limited to, brochures, print ads, web site design, television or radio ads or earned media pieces.
The Coal Heritage Interpretation Award: Presented to an individual, organization or community that has achieved excellence in interpreting coal heritage within the National Coal Heritage Area. This includes, but is not limited to, exhibits, walking tours, interpretative brochures, audio guides, travel guides, docent interpretation or guided tours.
The Coal Heritage Preservation Award: Presented to an individual, organization or community for an exceptional project that preserves artifacts or structures relating to coal heritage within the National Coal Heritage Area. This includes, but is not limited to, historic building renovation or restoration, adaptive re-use of historic buildings, designation of historic districts, artifact restoration or display, or oral history collections.
The Coal Heritage Research and Documentation Award: Presented to an individual, organization or community for an outstanding research project that includes areas within the National Coal Heritage Area as part of the focus area. This includes but is not limited to articles, books, oral history projects, websites, or photography collections.
In 2013, the awards will be presented at the 2013 Miner’s Celebration Conference at a special reception to be held on October 3, 2013 at the Tamarack Conference Center. Nominations will be accepted for any worthy individual, organization, group or community. Nominations must be received by August 2, 2013 An entry form to submit a nomination for one of the above categories is available by calling the office of the Coal Heritage Highway Authority at 304-465-3720 or by emailing Linda Hawkins at email@example.com; or can be found here
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc., is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for “No More Wiggle-Tail Water:” Interpreting the History of Morgantown’s Water Supply.” The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 68th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
The award recognizes the eight interpretive signs that were erected in the Spring of 2012 and related programming to tell the story of Morgantown’s early water supply, especially focused on the resources at the West Virginia Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden located at 1061 Tyrone Road in Morgantown includes the now-drained reservoir that supplied water to Morgantown from 1912 to 1969 as well as the land protecting the reservoir basin. The West Virginia Humanities Council funded the design and construction of the signs. The extant features related to the reservoir include the main earthen dam and embankment, spillway, outlet tower, diversion dam and accompanying pipe to the reservoir basin, wooden pilings for the treatment pond, and foundations of the chemical feed house and reservoir manager’s house. Barb Howe, the WVBG board member who directed the project, said, “We designed the signs to help visitors understand how the extant features related to the natural environment as shaped by successive water companies; by ‘benign neglect’ after 1969; and, since 2000, by the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc.” The signs were developed by Erin Smaldone, education director at the WVBG with assistance from Dave Smaldone, associate professor of recreation, parks and tourism at WVU using the research compiled by Howe and historian Michael Caplinger. The award nomination also included an article by Howe and Caplinger entitled “’No More Wiggle-Tail Water’” in the Papers and Proceedings of the Monongalia Historical Society (December 2010); an article on the project in History News: The Magazine of the American Association for State and Local History (Autumn 2012); and a forthcoming article on the Botanic Garden in Wonderful West Virginia (August 2013). The West Virginia Botanic Garden also now has an entry in e-WV, the on-line encyclopedia of the West Virginia Humanities Council. The West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc., is a 501 ( c ) (3) organization that manages the Botanic Garden under a lease from the City of Morgantown, which owns the property, and the Morgantown Utility Board. The Botanic Garden is open daily from dawn to dusk free of charge. More information is available at www.wvbg.org.
This year, AASLH is proud to confer eighty-eight national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2013 AASLH Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday, September 20. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.
The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also brings public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to http://www.aaslh.org.
The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, and monthly newsletter. The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting.
Mark your calendars for the Mini-Conference September 20-21 in Morgantown, West Virginia.
We are excited to announce the release of our 2013 Mini-Conference Brochure this week. We have two days of informative workshops and lots of fun activities. We’ll be in downtown Morgantown the entire weekend, and you’ll have the prime opportunity to dine and shop in many locally owned restaurants and stores.
View the full brochure and register online HERE! Early bird registration ends September 6th!
Want to Volunteer?
Volunteer registration opportunities available! Help us with a few tasks during the mini-conference and enjoy an extremely discounted entry fee!
Special Sponsorship Opportunity Available for the Awards Banquet
For the awards banquet, sponsor a table for you and your friends, and you’ll receive 8 prime seats at the banquet and 8 free entries to the Saturday workshop of your choice. Learn how HERE!
Need to Stay Overnight?
Special discounted hotel accommodations available for out-of-town attendees. Book a room at the Hotel Morgan prior to August 15th under the PAWV block to receive a discounted price of $99 + tax/night.
Reservations are available for Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21. Enjoy suites with Wi-Fi, king-size beds, spacious bathrooms, and a continental breakfast. Call 304.292.8200 to book your room today!
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