2016 Update: Crawford Holdings, owner of the former Staats Hospital, celebrated the unveiling of a historically-accurate renovation of the building’s façade earlier this year. The façade is almost an exact rendition of what was built nearly 100 years ago. This is a major achievement in the progress of preserving the Staats Hospital building, which has been featured on the West Virginia Endangered Properties List twice (2005 and 2012) and was vacant for over a decade. Crawford Holdings is revamping all four floors of the building to be used for offices, retail space, and housing. It is an exciting project for Charleston’s West Side and is made possible through support from the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office, the Charleston Area Alliance, and West Side Main Street.
2012 List: Constructed in 1922, the four-story Staats Hospital (Kanawha County) is the cornerstone of the ElkCity historic district on Charleston’s West Side. John Norman, the first registered Black architect in West Virginia, designed the building in Classical Revival style. The building is at risk structurally from water infiltration through a leaking roof and open windows. Additionally, the upper floors have been sealed for over 20 years because of asbestos and lead paint contamination. Construction workers are currently stripping the building of any salvageable metal materials in preparation for potential demolition. West Side Main Street (WSMS) has been in discussions with the lien holder to stop any demolition projects and plans to cultivate a partnership with a private developer to rehabilitate the building for mixed commercial and residential use. WSMS will also remediate the building with funds from brownfields clean-up grants.
2005 List: Built in 1922, Staats Hospital was designed by John C. Norman, Sr., a prominent Charleston resident and West Virginia’s first registered African American architect. The landmark building originally housed a movie theater, retail establishments & lodge hall before being converted into a hospital.
Rising four stories, the building is made of brick and adorned with an elegant and architecturally significant columned façade. Since the hospital closed in the early 1980s only the first floor has remained in continual use.
Building owners have received approval to demolish Staats Hospital in favor of a modern doctor’s office facing the opposite direction.
The former hospital is slated to become a parking lot, thus leaving a gaping hole in an intact historic streetscape that boasts a number of significant late 19th and early 20th century buildings. Fortunately, a growing grassroots effort has emerged to save the building, encouraging city officials and property owners to work together to come up with a viable alternative to demolition.
The diner struggled for several years until 2015 when an employee (of one year) was promoted to general manager. The diner prospered under the new general manager and he later began to lease the business from the Pollitts. In a short time, he offered to buy it.
At the time of the site’s last update in February 2017, the diner was in the process of changing ownership. However, the new ownership plans fell through when the diner closed down abrubtly in July 2017 due to financial mismanagement by the general manager – its future new owner.
The business is back in the hands of the Pollitts and they have no plans to reopen it until they find someone to lease or buy the building. Until such time, the Quarrier Diner will be return to an “Endangered” status on the Endangered Properties List.
2011 Update: The Quarrier Diner in downtown Charleston officially re-opened its doors for business on October 27, 2011. The diner was built in 1947 and served many American classic dishes to patrons until closing its doors in 1999. Anna Pollitt and her family purchased the diner in 2010 with the purpose of renovating the building. The Quarrier Diner was listed on Preservation Alliance of WV’s 2010 Endangered Properties List. After a year renovating the diner, which includes Timothy’s Bar downstairs and a banquet area upstairs, the building is open.
2010: The Quarrier Diner in Charleston is one of several Art Deco style buildings populating Quarrier Street. Built in 1946, the restaurant seated 300 people and was a popular destination for fifty years. The building is constructed of brick with a façade of contrasting maroon and cream glass panels with curved windows and a curved entranceway and handrails. Now vacant but stable, the building is missing windows and has roofing issues. But its greatest threat is unsympathetic development. The property is listed for sale and the FBI has shown interest, with developer proposals that the Quarrier be demolished. An alternative use or development plan that includes the historic structure will be needed to save this building.
2002: Completed in 1912, Clendenin Middle School was originally known as the Big Sandy District High School. This building attests to the early twentieth century growth of public education in the state. The town of Clendenin was the first community in West Virginia to take advantage of a new law allowing Boards of Education to sell bonds for school construction. For the sum of $35,000, the Board of Education built a marvelous Neo-Classical Revival building that represented the aspirations of a growing community. In 1996, the school was listed on the National Register as part of the Clendenin Historic District. In 2002, the school closed its doors and remained vacant and for sale until August 2004, when the school board donated it to a local economic development group, A New Clendenin, formed in 2003 to revitalize the historic town. The majestic old school building will be incorporated as an integral part of their effort.
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.