Masontown, Preston County
March 2019 Update: This 1907 Coal and Coke Building was "saved" and de-listed from Endangered Properties List in 2018. It now serves as a visitor information and restroom facility for the Deckers Creek Rail-Trail in Masontown, WV. It serves as part of a Preston County mini-park and trailhead for the 48-mile rail-trail network. It is now maintained by the Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission.”
2017 Update: In July 2017, the Mon River Trails Conservancy (MRTC) received engineering design approval and the Notice to Proceed for Construction from WV Division of Highways for the site’s restoration project. The MRTC plans to repurpose the former Elkins Coal and Coke building as a new visitor center and restroom facility for the Masontown Trail Head on the Deckers Creek Rail-Trail. Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission (PCPaRC) has agreed to maintain the property and trailhead facility once is has been rehabbed. Advertisement for contractor bids for construction was scheduled for mid-August and bids will be opened on September 7, 2017. The contractor agreement includes a construction deadline of 4 months from the Notice to Proceed. Keeping in mind maintenance ease and vandal-proofing, the restoration and repurpose design elements of the building will include:
Additional fund-raising will be necessary as the above plans will likely reduce the budget for the history and culture displays planned for the visitor center inside the building.
2011: Elkins Coal & Coke Company Building (Preston County) sits along the Deckers Creek Rail Trail near Masontown. It is associated with the Elkins Coal and Coke Historic District containing the Bretz coke ovens, a National Historic Landmark. The Romanesque style stone structure is deteriorating and damaged by vandalism. The Monongahela River Trails Conservancy plans to convert the building and its nearby picnic shelter into a visitor’s center and restroom facilities for use by trail users and those traveling the Old Route 7 Byway.
2011: Shanklin’s Grand Theatre in Ronceverte (Greenbrier County) was designed by John Norman Sr., one of the first of West Virginia’s African American architects. Built circa 1937, it is best remaining art deco theater in the county. The Ronceverte Development Corporation intends to purchase the property, which sits in the heart of the downtown, to protect it from demolition. Future plans include restoring the theater for public use and as a community college cinema arts classroom. The old WRON Radio studios on the second floor will be converted for use as a recording studio.
Huntington/Guyandotte, Cabell County
2017 Update: Lost and demolished in May 2011 to make way for the new Huntington East Middle School.
2011: West Virginia Colored Children’s Home (Cabell County) is a Classical Revival-style institutional building in Huntington was constructed in 1922 to provide housing, social services and education for the state’s black children in need. A cemetery where the Home’s children are believed to be buried is near the main building. Now owned by the Cabell County School Board, the West Virginia Colored Children’s Home is slated for demolition to make way for a new Middle School. A local advocacy organization has been formed to save the Home, and supporters are asking for consideration of an alternative building site for the new school or incorporation of the existing structure into a new school campus.
Wheeling, Ohio County
2017 Update: The historic women’s school was demolished in November 2011 after its purchase by Wheeling Hospital. Much of the site has now become sports fields. Some salvage did occur; the bell from the academy’s bell tower was moved to Wheeling Jesuit University, where it is now on display. Several statues from the site were saved and moved as well; one now sits in front of Wheeling Clinic. The building’s stained glass windows are in storage.
2011: The Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy (Ohio County) has overlooked Wheeling since 1856. The “commodious," eclectic Victorian architectural landmark was constructed using local materials. It exhibits a tri-partite arrangement providing space for public functions in the center (administration and chapel), nun's residences on the left side, and student housing on the right. Additions have expanded the classrooms with space included for other functions as well. The school provided quality education for young women, together with girls from both North and South during the Civil War era. The building is no longer in use and is deteriorating. While local supporters are advocating for its saving and adaptive reuse, the structure is threatened by likely demolition. Mount de Chantal is in private hands; however PAWV agrees that this unique, historical, cultural treasure should be preserved and will advocate to that end as opportunities permit.
Scarbro, Fayette County
March 2019 Update: In October 2018, the owners who had restored and ran the museum sold the property in an online auction. The new owner is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is said to be supportive of keeping the landmark in tact (according to a newspaper article from October 2018).
2017 Update: No updates have been made available to PAWV in 2017.
The Whipple Company Store was listed as a PAWV 2011 Endangered Property and has been restored and re-opened as Appalachian Heritage Educational Museum and store and is now considered “SAVED” on the Endangered Properties List.
The site hosts a number of events which include: An Annual Masquerade Ball, held in “The Golden Ballroom” with a Victorian era theme; Haunted History tours; and car shows. The Whipple Company Store is also now available for event bookings - such as family and school reunions, music and theater performances, anniversaries, and birthday and tea parties. They have already hosted several music events and a family reunion.
The Whipple Company Store is an important heritage destination in the New River Coal Fields, representing a critical element in telling the story of the 1921 mine wars, the struggle for unionization, and the lives of the miners and their families.
2014 Update: Whipple Company Store was designed by the Coal Baron, Justus Collins. This store is one of four he had built, all in this unique architectural fashion, and today the only one left standing. The privately owned Whipple Company Store (Fayette County) circa 1900 was a focal point in the area’s once thriving coal community. Today, it is an important heritage destination in the New River Coal Fields, representing a critical element in telling the story of the 1921 mine wars, the struggle for unionization, and the lives of the miners and their families. The Whipple Company Store was listed as a PAWV 2011 Endangered Property and has now been restored and re-opened as Appalachian Heritage Educational Museum and store.
2011: The privately owned Whipple Company Store (Fayette County) circa 1900 was a focal point in the area’s once thriving coal community. Today, it is an important heritage destination in the New River Coal Fields, representing a critical element in telling the story of the 1921 mine wars, the struggle for unionization, and the lives of the miners and their families. The owners are seeking funding to make critical repairs necessary to preserve the unusual and eye-catching hexagonal building and keep the museum open and accessible to the visiting public.
There are plans to repair the building’s foundation and the exterior stone keystones above an entryway.
2011: The Mannington Railroad Depot (Marion County) began operations in 1852 serving as a link to the Ohio River and the western frontier, as well as providing strategic advantage during the Civil War. Built in 1906, the present structure is a one story hip roof, brick building with stone detailing. The depot, typical of that style on the line, is in danger of development that will not preserve its special historic features. The City of Mannington and Mannington Main Street, are working with at least nine organizations interested in providing fund-raising efforts and “sweat equity” to purchase the building for adaptive reuse as a community center and snack bar along the Mannington Rail Trail.
Endangered Properties List
If you are interested in assisting with any of these preservation projects, contact the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org.