Mt. Nebo, Nicholas County
Date of Construction: c. 1845
Threat: Deferred Maintenance + Security
2017 Update: No updates have been made available to PAWV in 2017.
As of the last update provided to PAWV in 2016, there has been very little progress made at the site in the last six months. Collections management of the home’s artifacts continues to be conducted. In early 2016, roof repairs had been completed, a non-historic porch on the back of the building had been removed, and trees that might have been a threat to the site had been cleared.
2015: The Old White House, which sits on the McClung/McMillion Farm, houses a large collection of artifacts and historical records significant to Nicholas County. A two-story log structure covered in square-cut clapboard siding, the house was built circa 1845 by Matthew McClung on land given to him by his grandfather William McClung (William was one of the first settlers of the area, taking nearly 100,000 acres of land on the Gauley River and its tributaries). From the mid to late 1800s, the home served as the U.S. Post Office for Fowler’s Knob.
The farm has been in the McClung/McMillion family since its construction. For the past 30 years, the Old White House has sat vacant with little maintenance, leading to water damage from a leaking roof and the theft of various artifacts. The current owners are in the process of passing ownership to their grandson, who is very passionate about restoring the property and implementing a collections care and management policy so that the Old White House may serve as a resource for the community. In order to restore the property, the tin roof will be repaired to prevent further water damage, a later addition will be removed, and a structural engineer will inspect the outbuildings, some of which are in danger of collapse.
Beckley, Raleigh County
Construction Date: 1900—1945
Threat: Loss of Historic Integrity
2017 Update: No updates have been made available to PAWV in 2017.
As of the site’s last update in 2016, three historic buildings on Neville Street were deemed by an engineer to be in imminent danger of collapse. As a result, in June 2016, the buildings were demolished at the authorization of the City of Beckley - despite the hopes of the Beckley Historic Landmark Commission that the buildings could be saved. This is most unfortunate, as the loss of these buildings increases concerns that the district could lose its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. If the district were de-listed, property owners there would no longer qualify for state development grants and tax credits for continued historic preservation efforts.
Unfortunately, two other notable buildings, the former Beckley Newspaper Buildings on Prince Street, were also deemed hazardous; as of May 2016, the City of Beckley is planning demolition. The 1950s structures, which were too young to qualify for listing when the Beckley Courthouse Square National Historic District was originally created, were determined non-contributing at the time. However, they now exceed the 50-year age threshold, and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) believes the buildings may be architecturally significant and that they would be eligible to be listed on the NRHP as part of the historic district. Thus far, the City of Beckley has not followed through on the process of determining whether these buildings are National Register-eligible.
2015: Beckley Courthouse Square Historic District, encompasses approximately eight city blocks surrounding the county courthouse, including the main streets of Neville, Main, Prince and Heber. The district’s private commercial buildings were constructed using local sandstone and brick with simple architectural detail, and the public buildings (e.g. banks, churches, government buildings) were constructed using local sandstone, brick and limestone, with heavy architectural details and more classical designs.
Since receiving its National Register designation in 1994, more than 20 of the 100 contributing properties have been demolished and another 20 have been remodeled without concern for the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Additional contributing properties are currently threatened by demolition. Because of the loss of historic integrity, the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office has warned that the Beckley Courthouse Square Historic District is in danger of being removed from the National Register of Historic Places.
In an effort to maintain the district’s status on the National Register of Historic Places, the nominator, a member of the Raleigh County Historic Landmark Commission hopes to educate stakeholders regarding the value of the district, provide training to the Beckley Historic Landmark Commission to assist in their efforts to manage the district, and provide technical assistance to historic property owners within the Beckley Courthouse Square Historic District.
Fayetteville, Fayette County
Construction Date: 1945
2019 Update: The owners of the Falls Exxon have restored and updated most of the building and consider it to be saved!
2016 Update: The Old Esso Service Station’s owners submitted a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nomination for the building. The status of the nomination is currently pending. If an NHRP listing is awarded, the owners will apply for a Historic Preservation Development Grant through the WV Division of Culture and History. If they receive the grant, they plan to utilize the funds to replace the roof; they have already obtained estimates for its replacement
Previously in 2016, a temporary roof patch was applied to protect the building until funding could be obtained to replace it. Additionally, the owners removed and replaced the large, broken front window, secured the remaining windows, and removed large trees, brush, and debris from around the building.
2015: The former Esso Service Station is located adjacent to numerous successful businesses and the Fayetteville Historic District. With its block construction walls clad in enameled steel and a wrap-around, curved glass window, the service station is a classic example of the Art Deco style.
The building was used as an auto service and filling station from the time of its construction circa 1945 until the late 1990s. After the Esso Station’s closure, the owners neglected the building, which led to a failing roof. In order to save the structure, the roof needs to be replaced as soon as possible. The leaking roof has caused severe water damage and the immediate danger of a possible roof collapse.
In August of 2014, veteran business owners from Fayetteville, purchased the Esso Station with the intent to completely renovate it and pursue a tenant to operate a shop, restaurant, or other commercial venture inside the building. The new owners are very passionate about rehabilitating this property. Their first order of business will be to stabilize the roof system and mothball the building. Since the owners have very little experience with historic preservation, PAWV is proud to provide them with guidance to save the Esso Station before it deteriorates beyond a point of salvage.
Endangered Properties List
If you are interested in assisting with any of these preservation projects, contact the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia at email@example.com.