Four members of the Coopers Rock Foundation Board of Directors who are also rock climbers cleaned off the Henry Clay Iron Furnace, of Coopers Rock State Forest, on Friday September 21st, 2012. “Plants were growing all over that structure,” said Jan Kiger, one of the participating climbers. “And we’re not talking just ferns and weeds. There were lots of small trees that had taken root in the soil between the stone blocks.” Unchecked tree growth could eventually threaten the stability of the structure.
Most of those were birch tree saplings, pointed out Adam Polinski, another CRF climber who helped out that day. “They are the same kind of trees frequently seen growing on or around the rocks we climb on here at Coopers Rock.” While the ferns and weeds were relatively easy pickings, the trees were harder to eradicate. “After we cut the trees off, we dug out as many stumps and roots as we could, to prevent stump-sprouting and tree growth in the same places all over again.” The woody plants are the greatest threat to the long-term preservation of the furnace structure, explained Polinski. “The root systems expand as the trees grow, and that can slowly push apart the blocks.” Carol Tannous added that if something wasn’t done, tree growth on the furnace would lead to its disintegration. “You can see where some of the blocks have loosened over the decades. This is a famous local landmark, and we don’t want to see it fall apart.”
The climbers set up rope systems using trees nearby the furnace for anchors. “We purposely did not use the furnace structure itself for safety anchoring in any way”, explained David Riggs, the other climber who helped with the project. “We took a ‘tread lightly’ approach. This is one of the very oldest surviving structures in the greater Morgantown area, constructed in the 1830’s. We even took pains to not disturb the moss on the sides of the furnace. It looks good and doesn’t do any harm, so we intentionally left it in place.”
This was not the first time that the Foundation, and rock climbers, helped out the Henry Clay Iron Furnace in this way. 12 years ago, on July 22nd, 2000, two CRF Board members who are also rock climbers, Lisa Rayburn and Adam Polinski, were joined by 5 other local climbers in a furnace-cleaning effort: Rob Riffe, Scott Ridenour, Shawn Stafford, Bryn Perrott, and Richie Moyers. They accomplished the same task as this go-around. One of the differences between that time and this was that, in 2000, an approved herbicide was sprayed on any remaining root structures to prevent re-growth. This time, no herbicides were used, and instead, more effort went into physically removing stumps and roots. The other main difference was due to the gear and expertise of David Riggs. David is an expert caver as well as a rock climber, and he provided mechanical ascenders for the group. “The ascenders allowed us to climb up the ropes. Between those and rappelling devices, which enable one to descend a rope, each of us was easily able to go up or down a rope and single-handedly cover an entire face of the furnace.”
“It’s a real privilege to care for such an old and important part of our local history – especially in this hands-on way”, said Carol Tannous. The furnace is about 175 years old. “This work will help keep that structure standing for years to come.”
West Virginia has had its Residential Rehabilitation Tax Credit for over 10 years. With this tax credit, historic homeowners benefit from a 20% credit on qualified expenditures, which include roof replacement, electrical wiring repairs and updates, window rehabilitation, architectural and engineering fees, and much, much more. For the homes to be considered “historic”, they must be listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places or they can be listed in a National Register historic district, a collection of historic buildings in a concentrated area.
In the last 11 years, 67 historic properties have been rehabilitated using this tax credit program. In West Virginia, there are over 1,000 historic resources, and this number does not individually count each property listed in the historic districts. So, why the discrepancy in number of owners utilizing the tax credit and number of historic resources? Property owners continue to fix-up their homes, and many middle-class families live in historic districts. All of these people could benefit from this tax credit.
We at Preservation Alliance believe that two reasons the tax credit is not being utilized more effectively are because homeowners are turned off by anything to do with taxes and that the paperwork is intimidating. To counter these claims, we have created a twelve-page guidebook that explains the tax credit and walks homeowners step-by-step through the tax credit application process. Additionally, this downloadable guide explains who to contact to apply for this tax credit.
So before you start any summer renovations, take a look at the guidebook. You might qualify for this 20% tax credit! If you aren’t certain whether your property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, contact us at email@example.com. We will help you to figure out whether your property qualifies as “historic.” You can find the downloadable guidebook in PDF format at http://pawv.org/funding.htm.
By Bekah Karelis & Liz Paulhus
February is traditionally a time of love; a time when people shower those they care about with flowers, candy, and thoughtful, heart-shaped gifts. In Wheeling, a group of young preservation enthusiasts are expressing their love this Valentine’s Day . . . not for each other, but for a group of historic downtown buildings that they love.
The Ohio Valley Young Preservationists (OVYP) launched the inaugural “All We Need is Love” campaign this month. Inspired by Buffalo’s Young Preservationists’ “heart-bomb” project, and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, OVYP’s Bekah Karelis and Liz Paulhus envisioned “lovescaping” downtown Wheeling with a week-long, heart-felt demonstration of their love of history, architecture, and the spirit of the city’s historic downtown.
OVYP soon had a list of several dozen buildings within a large section of the Wheeling Historic District (a.k.a. downtown Wheeling). Members reached out to the community and invited high school classes, colleges, businesses, organizations, and families to “adopt” a building and decorate it on a temporary basis with hearts and other Valentine’s Day decorations. OVYP encouraged adopters to learn about the history of their building and incorporate it into the decorations. For example, the former King’s jewelry store has diamond-studded hearts with the saying “I was loved by kings!”, a former bank, “Tall, dark and handsome!”, and the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel building, which is currently for sale, sports hearts saying, “Brace Yourself. I’m a Steel!”
Wheeling has lost many structures on Main and Market Streets in the years since the beginning of the city’s economic decline. Most recently, the city demolished a block of buildings in the heart of downtown, and OVYP is concerned about the fate of the remaining structures. The aim of “All We Need Is Love” is to educate the broader public about the incredible history of downtown Wheeling and to show that there are individuals who love these old places and prefer to see them rehabilitated and restored, rather than fall to the wrecking ball.
Click HERE to read about the project from a crafter’s perspective, and HERE’s an article from the local newspaper, the Intelligencer.
The Ohio Valley Young Preservationists formed in October 2012. This group of young individuals (including all who are “young at heart”) from diverse backgrounds – historians, archivists, teachers, real estate developers, preservationists, artists, urban farmers, masons, and policy wonks – share the common goal of preserving the history, culture, and buildings of Wheeling and the greater Ohio Valley.
Learn more about the Ohio Valley Young Preservationists at http://www.ovyp.org/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OVYoungPreservationists
In 2010, Preservation Alliance of WV listed the Old Greenbrier Count Library on the WV Endangered Properties List, a collection of at-risk historic properties worthy of being saved. The property was especially notable for its construction date of 1834 and its original use as a law library by the jurist of the State Supreme Court of Virginia. Since its listing, this property has undergone quite a transformation and is now open to benefit the community.
In October 2012, the New River Community and Technical College Greenbrier Campus celebrated the opening of the historic structure for its college library, which serves all five campuses, as well as the general public
This project began in 2007 when the old Greenbrier County Library closed its doors, and shortly thereafter the owner, the City of Lewisburg, leased the building to the New River College. This partnership has allowed for the renovation and restoration of the building with work highlights including a new roof, new heating and air conditioning system, repaired wood floors, fresh paint, and rehabilitated historic wood windows.
Preservation Alliance is delighted to see this building reopened and the project goals come to fruition. We congratulate and commend the City of Lewisburg and the New River Community and Technical College for the reuse and return of this historic gem to its library roots. It often takes many years and much convincing for city governments to see the benefits of historic preservation. The City of Lewisburg, however, is unique in that it has supported historic preservation for many decades and encourages great projects like this one. We know why you’ve been deemed America’s “Coolest Small Town.” Keep up the great work!
If you know of a cultural treasure that meets this criteria and is listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, please submit a nomination to Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV) for it to be added to West Virginia’s 2013 Endangered Properties List, a collection of historic structures, buildings and sites threatened by demolition and/or disuse.
Organizations, owners and/or individuals associated with properties listed on the Endangered Properties List receive technical assistance from PAWV. Technical assistance involves free consultation with the statewide field representative (who has over 20 years of contracting experience), in addition to help with grant writing, as well as increased notoriety and advocacy from PAWV.
Decisions for the 2013 list will be made in December of this year by PAWV staff and the Board of Directors. Nominations are accepted until November 15th. Applications can be found HERE.
Additions to the Endangered Properties List are announced at History Day every February at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, where property nominators and preservation supporters are invited to attend a press conference and advocate with PAWV for historic preservation. Click HERE to see lists from earlier years.
For questions or to submit a nomination for a compromised historic property, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304.345.6005.
By Jeff Smith, Guest Contributor & AmeriCorps for Appalachian Forest Heritage Area
West Virginia is rich with natural and cultural resources. Although West Virginia’s statehood was granted in 1863, the history of her inhabitants and environs predate this particular moment in time. Most documentation that recorded the multitude of events that occurred in peoples’ lives are stored in libraries, court houses, archives and other such repositories. However, through a West Virginia Humanities Foundation grant, the public now has full access to view the wealth of documents, images, and geospatial data on their computer or similar electronic device via the West Virginia GeoExplorer Project (WVGP).
The WVGP is comprised of multiple participants including the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, ShepherdUniversity, American Public University System, the Harper’s Ferry National Historical Association, and the Middleway Conservancy among other local government offices and historical societies. These institutions have been working on this project since the West Virginia Humanities Foundation awarded the original grant in 1996.
The group’s primary function is to make available electronic access to those significant documents that pertain to the areas of history, cultural resources, and architectural resources of West Virginia, and more specifically at this point in time, Jefferson County. Documents such as the original image of the 1757 land grant from Lord Fairfax to John Abrell are viewable as is the transcription of this primary resource document. Proving online access to these land grant documents and other primary and secondary resources is a powerful tool for scholars of West Virginia or early American history as well as those tracing family genealogy while further shrinking the digital divide that still exists for those individuals who don’t own a computer or for those communities without a local history collection.
The GeoExplorer database is built upon Geograpic Information System (GIS) technology with additional layers added as the project progresses. At present, searchable fields include, but are not limited to the GIS GEOlocator information, event, author, subject/keyword, and article/book title. In addition, search results can also be filtered by these and other fields. Although still in its “infancy” stage, this project has vast potential to be the go-to resource for many users in the historic preservation community.
Preservation Achievement Award
John C. Allen, Jr.
John C. Allen, Jr. is an architectural historian dedicated to the preservation of West Virginia’s historic treasures. In the past decade, he has led a wealth of preservation projects in WV including the creation of the Beverly Heritage Center, the development of Jefferson County’s historic website and the re-activation of Jefferson County’s Historic Landmark Designation program. John has also been involved in the preservation of multiple West Virginia landmarks County Poor Farm and the Peter Burr House. All of these outstanding accomplishments are worthy of the Preservation Achievement Award, but John was chosen for this award for his work as an architectural historian and author of Uncommon Vernacular: Early Houses of Jefferson County, West Virginia, 1735-1835.
A culmination of work from an exhaustive eight-year survey of 250 of Jefferson County’s domestic buildings, John’s book is the most comprehensive, accurate, beautiful, and important study of historic houses in any county of West Virginia ever published. John not only documents the buildings with beautiful photographs, but he also connects the housing of the area to the rich history of the Shenandoah Valley in a flowing, comprehensive narrative. The book has been described as “aesthetically stunning and historically important,” and we could not agree more.
Community Preservation Award
American Public University System, Charles Town
When American Public University System decided to make its headquarters in Charles Town, WV, the school was conscious of the historic nature of the town and the unique beauty of the surrounding areas. Rather than destroy existing green space to create an “office-park-type” structure to house its offices, APUS undertook a comprehensive multi-building reuse policy in Charles Town’s downtown historic district.
In 2003, APUS purchased its first historic building for its corporate and administrative offices. Now known as Etter Hall, the mid-1800s structure was originally built as the private home of local physician Charles Taylor Richardson and eventually housed Charles Town’s first hospital. This property sat vacant for several years prior to APUS buying it, and the renovation of this building attests to the university system’s preservation spirit.
Gray Hall is prominently located at the corner of George and Congress Streets. It was built in 1940 by the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of the New Deal Program to house Charles Town’s first municipal building. APUS purchased the property in late 2004 and, after an extensive renovation utilizing historic preservation tax credits, the building is now the university’s Human Resources Department. In keeping with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation, APUS preserved and restored many original key features of the building such as the original wooden double-doors and opaque glass.
In 2009 APUS acquired and preserved several more historic properties in the downtown area, including the early 20th century dwelling now known as the Dr. Leah Mildred Williams House, the Thomas Green House, and a private home built in the late 1800s by descendants of Samuel Washington, George Washington’s brother.
In creating its campus in downtown Charles Town, APUS has also bought and undertaken renovations of buildings with much shorter histories. Known at APUS as the TrefryTechnologyCenter, the former ACME grocery store was built in the 1950s and is now home to the APUS Information Technology team.
By locating its offices in the downtown historic district, APUS has been a model for new business development in a historic setting. We commend APUS for its thoughtful and sensitive approach to community preservation, enhancement, and development.
Accepting the Community Preservation Award on behalf of APUS was Dr. John Hough. Dr. Hough is the Vice President of Community College Relations and Outreach at APUS and is involved with several local organizations including the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society, Friends of Happy Retreat, and the Ranson Economic Development Authority.
Most Significant Property Save
Fisherman’s Hall, African American Community Association of Jefferson County
Located at South West and Academy Streets in Charles Town, Fisherman’s Hall was built by the Charles Town Industrial Association in 1885 for the local tabernacle of the Grand United Order of the Galilean Fisherman, a benevolent order which stressed equality for men and women and catered to the financial and commercial needs of its members through the creation of banks and insurance companies well before the turn of the twentieth century. Built specifically to educate and to assist former slaves and their children after the Civil War, the building is one of the first examples of self-help centers among African-Americans after the end of slavery. Over the years, the building, originally known as the Morning Star Temple, has served as a Black community center and a meeting place for many groups including the Star Lodge Masons, Knights of Pythias, and American Legion Post # 63.
In the 1980s, Fisherman’s Hall suffered from neglect and disuse, but in 1994, a group of concerned citizens formed a committee to determine the building’s history and to mount an effort to both restore and preserve it. For over 18 years, the African American Community Association of Jefferson County has worked to restore the building and continues to use it as a community center for meetings, art displays, forums and educational programs. Restoration has been done in several phases and was completed in 2005, keeping four key goals in mind: youth involvement and development, health and environmental education, cultural awareness, and historical dissemination and documentation.
PAWV recognized several movers and shakers who made this project possible.
Harold Stewart honored him for being instrumental in the successful restoration of Fisherman’s Hall. Harold attended one meeting, became a member of the African American Community Association of Jefferson County, and was soon elected treasurer. As project administrator, Mr. Stewart has worked tirelessly over the years to obtain contractors’ bids while volunteering countless hours painting the building, cutting the grass, and fundraising.
James Tolbert accepted the award on behalf of the African American Community Association of Jefferson County. James has been involved in the restoration of Fisherman’s Hall since the very beginning and has served as a board of directors’ chair for many years. During his research, he has uncovered fascinating information about the building and the Galileans, which has been used in the National Register Nomination, the Charles Town walking tour, and Jefferson County’s African-American Heritage Trail.
Walton Danforth “Kip” Stowell is best known for his career with the National Park Service as an architect and historic preservationist on projects including Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Everglades National Park. In the last decades of his life, Kip made his home in Jefferson County and he had a tremendously positive impact on the community. He drew up the first architectural plans for the renovation of Fisherman’s Hall. As an expert building surveyor, Kip was able to assess the building and create specifications that would save the historical presence of the building. On Friday, we memorialized Kip as an expert in the field and for his work on historic Fisherman’s Hall with the Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Emory Kemp Lifetime Achievement Award
Over the last 35 years, David Kemnitzer has been a model historic preservation architect and is recognized both domestically and internationally as an expert and lecturer on best practices in historic preservation. PAWV honored David for his stunning and on-going career through which he has helped to preserve some of our nation’s greatest landmarks, as well as many of West Virginia’s historic treasures.
David’s career began in his home state of Ohio at the University of Cincinnati where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. Shortly after graduating, David was offered a job with the Veteran’s Administration renovating and modernizing hospitals and nursing home buildings. David’s network grew with his reputation, and job offers came pouring in until he left the Veteran’s Administration to work for a prominent firm in WashingtonD.C. David’s new employer was awarded the contract for the renovation of the OldState, War and NavyBuilding next to the White House, and he had assignments to work with some of the most elaborately decorated spaces in the building with superb structural, mechanical and electrical engineers.
Eventually, David started his own firm and his expertise with old and historic buildings made him a popular choice for United States Government agencies. David’s resume includes some of our nation’s most elaborate and famous monuments including the United States Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery, the Department of Commerce Library, Dolley Madison’s House, and the Old Executive Office Building, to name only a few. Over the years, David has been recognized time and time again for his excellent work on projects like the Restoration of the 1879 Office of the Secretary, a project that included both restoration and replication of the ornate stenciled walls in the office, which has been occupied by every vice president since Lyndon Johnson.
David has not only achieved prominence in the Washington D.C. architectural world; he has also impacted historic preservation in West Virginia. Since he has made his home in Shepherdstown, West Virginia has benefited greatly from his residency. The infamous Marion County Courthouse in Fairmont and the historic Jefferson County Courthouse are well-known projects of his. Many may remember David’s influence on one of his favorite projects, the Metropolitan Theatre in downtown Morgantown.
David has also been involved in many nonprofit and community development organizations. He has been a friend of Preservation Alliance of WV since the late 1990s. He has also been a member of Historic Shepherdstown, where he served as the President from 2004-2006, as well as the Shepherdstown Planning Commission, Association for Preservation Technology International, the International Committee on Monuments and Sites, the Columbia Historic Society, and the Metropolitan Club of Washington D.C. David has reached exemplary status in the field of historic preservation.
The Arsenal Square site is historically significant as the storage facility for arms produced at the Federal Armory at Harpers Ferry begun during the last decade of the eighteenth century. The Arsenal was also the target of John Brown’s infamous raid in 1859 and is the current, although not original, location for the Armory Engine House; renamed “John Brown’s Fort” after Brown was captured there during the raid.
Arsenal Square is the location of the earliest NPS archeology in Harpers Ferry, starting in the late 1950s. A significant archeology collection from this early excavation is managed by the park’s museum staff. The site is also managed as a cultural landscape. An interdisciplinary approach has enabled the NPS to protect and preserve the archeology site, interpret the major structures from the Armory period, and provide access for park visitors. The site is far from static and has undergone a number of changes through the years. The decision-making process for the development of the site will be discussed and a question and answer session will be included.
Register for the PAWV conference today.
Early bird rates end September 14th.
The PAWV historic preservation awards banquet program began in 2009, and we are in our fourth year of honoring preservation achievements across the state. Join us for this year’s banquet on Friday, September 28th, in Harpers Ferry, WV. If you can’t make it to the conference, be sure to look for new posts about the banquet and conference in October.
In 2011, PAWV spent the awards banquet in the Downtown Historic District in Charleston, the WV state capital, at the Scottish Rite building. PAWV was delighted to present Senator Brooks McCabe with a Preservation Achievement Award for his work with the redevelopment of the downtown Charleston Historic Village District. Browse through the gallery and scroll down to read more about the award winners. In 2011, PAWV honored many wonderful projects, which reflects a surge in preservation projects. Cheers to that!
Preservation of Historic Downtown Areas – West Side Main Street, Pat McGill
West Side Main Street has actively participated in a number of façade renovations along the Washington St. W business corridor by offering grants to business owners who are looking to improve their property.
One project was completed by a group of young entrepreneurs who not only improved the façade of a dilapidated building in the Elk City historic district, but also developed the interior to house two new businesses and a loft for living space.
Tighe Bullock, his sister Megan Bullock and her business partner Josh Dodd, along with a host of friends and family, uncovered transoms, removed old signs, and rebuilt and preserved the original windows, doors and woodwork to make the building modern on the interior, while preserving the history and character of the building throughout.
The building now houses Spa Elements on the first floor, MESH Design on the second floor and a two bedroom loft for living quarters. West Side Main Street provided a $5000 façade grant and is pleased to welcome these young professionals to the West Side.
Preservation of Historic Downtown Areas – East End Main Street, Ric Cavender and Mary Ann Crickard
Since their inception in 2002, the staff and hard working volunteers of Charleston East End Main Street (EEMS) have dedicated themselves to economically revitalizing the city’s most historic and diverse neighborhood and business district. As of September 2011, there had been over 40 historic preservation consultations provided at no charge to business and property owners and over $3.4 million in exterior façade restorations have been completed using East End Main Street’s façade and sign grant programs. EEMS led the charge in transitioning development ethic in the district and the city to focus solely on preservation-based rehabilitation. Key properties restored to their historic status, include the old State Theatre building which is now the home of the WV School Service Personnel Association and the Charleston Fire House which is now home to Charleston’s premiere Little India Restaurant.
EEMS also led the charge in saving and preserving historical architectural salvage from old East End residential properties through their “LemonAID” project. EEMS teamed up with the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority to sell historic mantles, baseboards, floors, transom windows, glass doorknobs, and much more out of homes in the district slated for demolition. Over 400 different pieces of salvage were removed, sold, restored, and recycled back into the surrounding community to be preserved for years to come.
Heritage Tourism Award – West Virginia Division of Tourism, Jane Bostic
The Civil War Trails program has been recognized as one of the most successful and sustainable heritage programs in the country by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Civil War Trails project was created to provide a unified identification for significant Civil War sights throughout WV, VA, MD, NC. State lines mean nothing to a tourist and this program proves that. It was also a way to get the small communities involved in the 150th Commemoration of the Civil War.
The WV Civil Wars trails program, is a partnership between the West Virginia Division of Tourism, Civil War Trails Inc., and the local communities. It has helped to identify, interpret and create driving tours centered on 150 Civil War sites and stories statewide; there are ten markers interpreting the Kanawha Valley stories. Currently, there are over 1000 sites in the program and more than 3,000 map guides are downloaded weekly from the program’s web site, www.civilwartrails.org. WV Tourism is being awarded for going above and beyond the call of duty to market tourism sites. This program actually created these 150 Heritage Tourism sites to tell the story of a “state born from a nation torn.”
Heritage Tourism Award – Independence Hall, Travis Henline, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and McKinley Associates
Beginning in 2008, the WV Division of Culture and History undertook much needed restoration work at WV Independence Hall in Wheeling. The restoration included the installation of a new HVAC system, replacement of the leaking roof, stone repair work, plaster repair work and painting. A fire suppression system was also installed throughout the building. In addition, all the building’s windows were restored and period appropriate glass panes installed. On the second floor, two unfinished rooms were completely restored with new plaster walls, ceiling and cornices, new flooring and decorative wood graining. On the building’s lower level, walls were built for a new gallery and theater. The concrete gallery floor was “marbleized,” and the theater received carpeting.
This November the WV Division of Culture and History will be restoring the artwork that was original to the historic courtroom at WV Independence Hall.
Best Use of Historic Preservation Tax Credits Award – Riverview at Clendenin School, AU Associates and Terrell Ellis & Associates
Riverview at Clendenin School was the fusion of multiple complex federal programs in order to bring life back to Clendenin, WV. 25045 A New Clendenin Inc., is a private nonprofit organization that sought the most innovative group of housing and economic development professionals to support the adaptive reuse of the historic former Clendenin Middle School building as a mixed-use facility that will provide much needed health care to the region and safe, quality, affordable housing for independent seniors in the area.
While the project was complex, the goals were not. The two projects were physically intertwined but financially separate. By combining Federal Stimulus money and USDA funds aimed at improving the quality of Community Health Clinics and also using NSP funds aimed at revitalizing areas hard hit by vacancy, delinquency and foreclosure, Riverview at Clendenin School maximized the leverage of the community and its funding dollars. Most significantly, by flowing all of these funds through a taxable entity, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits can be generated that pay for 20% of the project in the form of equity while allowing the grand, historic building to be resurrected as a cornerstone of the community.
Historic Landscape Restoration – New River Gorge National River, Richard Segars
This colliery and settlement of Nuttalburg was established by John Nuttall, an Englishman who first shipped coal out of the gorge in 1873. The first two years, 17 two-family dwellings and 80 one-family residences were erected. By 1880 the Nuttallburg Coal Company was the largest producer in the New River field; it remained under control of the Nuttall family until 1908.
Nuttallburg had one of the earliest union organizations in the gorge. The Knights of Labor, National Trade Assembly 135 had a local there during the 1880s. The strength of the union may account for the visit of “Coxey’s Army” in 1894. On their march to Washington, Jacob Coxey’s army of unemployed workers slept in the coke ovens at Nuttallburg.
In 1920 Henry Ford purchased the lease and equipment of the Nuttallburg Smokeless Fuel Company to provide coal for his Michigan auto plant. Ford modernized the colliery with a state-of-the-art steel tipple, a new steel head house and retarding or “button and rope” conveyor. Ford’s venture proved short-lived, however, and the company sold the lease in 1928.
The community of Nuttallburg had a population of 335 in 1920. It was linked to South Nuttall on the opposite side of the New River by a suspension bridge, built by the John Roebling and Sons Company, builder of the BrooklynBridge.
Nuttallburg continued to be a productive colliery through the 1930s and World War II years, but declined in the late-1940s. The mine was closed for good in 1958.
Listed in 2007, Nuttallburg is the only National Register Property in New River Gorge National River with National Level Significance. It is significant for all four criterion: A: Business for its association with the Fordson Coal Company’s innovative system of vertical integration; B: Industry for John Nuttall, coal mining entrepreneur; C: Engineering as a rare surviving example of a state-of-the-art coal mining facility with remarkable integrity – It is one of the most complete coal-related industrial sites in the United States; D: Archaeology for its potential to reveal significant information regarding the town of Nuttallburg.
Initial funding for Nuttallburg was from a Congressional Earmark sponsored by Senator Byrd. Funding to complete the work was from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 sponsored by Congressman Rahall.
Most Significant Save of an Endangered Site – Quarrier Diner
The Quarrier Diner opened in 1946 as a family friendly eatery for downtown Charleston.; in 2010 it was listed on the PAWV Endangered Site list. Later that year it was purchased by the Pollitt family with the intent to return this art-deco darling to its former use identity as a family owned and operated establishment to be managed by their son, Timothy; as an authentic part of the community.
Anna credits foremost, the dedication and professionalism of David Marshall, Architect for his vision, direction, planning and continuous support. He was an integral part of the project, designing and revising plans for complete rehabilitation of the building while maintaining its historical significance. David Kingry and his crew, handled so capably all the many different construction issues from plumbing to electricity, from windows to refrigeration, from destruction to recreation and beyond. He has been an amazing contractor.
After the death of Timothy Pollitt, Ashley Smoak, became the our Chief Chef and General Manager of this endeavor. As an accomplished chef with many years of experience Ashley has without hesitation jumped right in with the spirit of making the Diner the best place to dine and unwind in Charleston, WV.
Most Significant Save of an Endangered Site – Kanawha Trestle Trail, Friends of the Kanawha Trestle Trail
The Friends of the Kanawha Trestle Trail have worked since 2003, and have raised over $3.4million to create a trail system of accessible and safe routes for bikes and pedestrians. This rail trail system will preserve and restore two historic and unique rail structures that are eligible to be listed on the National Historic Register.
The Whipple bridge was built in the heyday of the Industrial Revolution as part of an ever expanding national rail network. At 20 year old is was obsolete and after a new RR bridge was built beside it. Then the Whipple began a new life carrying passengers on the Charleston Inter-Urban Trolley system. Service stopped during the great depression and the dissolution of the trolley company gave all trackage to the city of Charleston.
The WhippleBridge is an important link across the Elk River for the proposed trail system. The structure is one of the few surviving examples designed and patented by Squire Whipple of New York, notable in that his bridges were the first bridge engineering guidelines arrived at by mathematical formulae.
Charleston is blessed with having not one but 2 unused rail bridges. Built in 1907, the Kanawha Trestle is an impressive and highly visible span connecting Charleston to her sister-city South Charleston. It functioned as a multi-purpose link purpose for many years since a wooden structure cantilevered over the side served as a pedestrian and automobile bridge. Parts of this structure still remain.
The plans of the Friends of Kanawha Trestle Trail are to incorporate these historic structures into a multi-use non-motorized recreational trail from the Mound in South Charleston to the State Capitol.
Preservation Achievement Award – Senator Brooks McCabe
As the guiding force behind McCabe-Henley and the McCabe Land Company, Brooks McCabe has been credited by some to be the impetus behind redevelopment of the downtown Charleston Historic Village District. Over the years, the firms have completed nearly one dozen projects in downtown Charleston.
When older stock could not be adaptively re-used, new buildings were designed to compliment and confirm to Historic District standards. A 39,000 square foot Class A office building in the center of the Charleston Business District. Summers Square was constructed in 1994. This project was a major redevelopment of the Summers Street section of downtown Charleston. It replaced seriously deteriorated, marginal-use structures with a Class A office building constructed with a facade designed to be architecturally compatible with the Historic Village District buildings in the immediate area.
Downtown area residences have also benefited form the historic preservation ethic of Senator Brooks McCabe, who identified apartment buildings on Charleston’s residential east end that were in poor condition, had a high-crime rate, and were a detriment to the entire east end neighborhood. The properties are part of a condominium referred to as Maple Terrace Condominium.
Imperia lTower is a 121 unit, 18 story, high-rise apartment building. McCabe-Henley organized a partnership to purchase and convert it to condominiums catering to professionals and retirees. In less than 12 months, McCabe-Henley negotiated the sale of all units and completed the conversion process.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Emory Kemp
Dr. Emory L. Kemp is an internationally accomplished structural engineer, a historian of technology and an industrial archaeologist who is best described as a modern-day “Renaissance Man.” His amazing career, which spans 50 years—and still going strong, began at the University of Illinois, where he graduated summa cum laude in civil engineering in 1952. Following military service, he did postgraduate study at Imperial College, University of London. While in London, Kemp joined leading consulting firms to work on engineering projects in Britain and overseas, including the landmark Sydney (Australia) Opera House.
After receiving his Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois in 1962, Dr. Kemp came to West Virginia University to develop a program in structural engineering. He taught for many years in the College of Engineering at WVU and served as chair of the Civil Engineering Department. Kemp went on to establish the Program in the History of Science and Technology at WVU in 1976, and then founded the Institute for the History of Technology & Industrial Archaeology in 1989. Fostering the use of material culture for the study of our industrial past, he has researched and preserved historic industrial sites around the globe. Whether in the classroom or out in the field, Dr. Kemp has always stressed the importance of interpreting the artifact for the public. Now retired from the academy as Professor Emeritus of History, he remains actively engaged in writing and consulting on historic structures.
Dr. Kemp is a founding member and past president of the Society for Industrial Archeology, and past president of the Public Works Historical Society. As a “founding father” of Preservation Alliance of WV, he was present at the creation of this organization in 1981. He served as a fellow at the American Council of Learned Societies at Imperial College in London; as a Regents Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, where he researched the history of suspension bridges; and as a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2000, West Virginia University bestowed on him its highest honor for outstanding service, the Order of Vandalia. The American Society of Civil Engineers bestowed its most prestigious designation, Honorary Member, on Dr. Kemp in 2004. As of September 2011, only 615 professionals have earned this distinguished honor out of a membership of 137,000.
Dr. Kemp specializes in the history and preservation of historic bridges. He has been involved in dozens of projects to document, restore and interpret historic iron & steel truss bridges, wooden covered bridges, cable suspension bridges, stone arch bridges, and more. A much abbreviated list of his numerous bridge projects includes: the(National Historic Landmark) 1849 Wheeling Suspension Bridge, Philippi Covered Bridge, Barrackville Covered Bridge, Milton Covered Bridge, Humpback Bridge (in VA), Duck Run Cable Suspension Bridge, and the Glenville Truss Bridge. In addition to hands-on bridge preservation activities, Kemp has also authored numerous books and articles on the topic, including Wheeling Suspension Bridge (co-authored with Beverly Fluty) in 1999, Proceedings of an International Bridge Conference to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Wheeling Suspension Bridge in 1999, and American Bridge Patents: 1790-1890 in 2005, as well as dozens of journal articles.
In 2010, the awards banquet was held during the biennial historic preservation conference. Preservation Alliance was in Fairmont that year, and it was wonderful to be there because Main Street Fairmont had recently received the Great American Main Street Award as one of the most outstanding Main Street programs in the United States. Naturally Fairmont was the focus of this awards banquet, as there were so many notable projects. We had the banquet at High Gate Carriage House, which was a real treat and was built in 1910 for James Edwin Watson, the son of James Otis Watson who was the founder of the American Coal Company (Consol). Horace Trumbauer of Philadelphia designed the house in the Elizabethan half-timber style.
Browse the gallery for photos of the award winning projects and scroll down to read about the dynamic honorees.
Most Significant Endangered Property Save – Marion County Jail, City of Fairmont Historic Landmark Commission, Jo Ann Lough and Randy Elliott, for restoration efforts of the jail and combining it with the Marion County Historical Society’s Museum Complex.
Community Preservation Award – Main Street Fairmont for outstanding community preservation efforts. Vera Sansalone and Sandra Scaffidi tirelessly worked at Main Street Fairmont to rejuvenate the downtown area, as well as preserve the town’s historic treasures.
Preservation Achievement Award – Former Congressman Alan Mollohan for his lifelong efforts in preservation-based economic development. Mollohan played a pivotal role in the preservation of the 1921 bridge that connects East and West Fairmont. He strongly supported historic preservation as an economic development tool, and the High Gate Carriage House was another project to which he provided funding.
To register for this year’s awards banquet, visit http://www.pawv.org
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