PAWV sent this letter to Parkersburg's Design & Facade Review Committee the day before its meeting on February 14, 2018. The subject of the meeting was to vote on whether to approve the proposed demolition of the historic Citizens Bank Building located at 401 Market Street. During the meeting, the committee voted unanimously to approve the demolition of the structure. The committee is comprised of Mayor appointees.
Dear Parkersburg Central Downtown Business District Design & Façade Review Committee,
On behalf of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV), the statewide non-profit organization dedicated to historic preservation, I am requesting the committee to table the proposal to demolish 401 Market Street and allow for public comment and additional discussion regarding WesBanco’s redevelopment project. Part of PAWV’s mission is to advocate for sensitive development and design that incorporates historic buildings such as the Citizens National Bank Building and to preserve existing structures that are the keys to downtown redevelopment.
When expanding this study beyond a 1 block radius, the ratio of building footprint compared to pedestrian and vehicle space dwindles even more (see aeriel view above). This is a common trait of unsustainable and unhealthy cities. It is our opinion that parking lot will not improve the economic climate of the City, however, WesBanco can become a leader in enhancing the historic downtown through their effort. Additionally, there are financial incentives for redevelopment and national trends that can be replicated in Parkersburg in which the building located at 401 Market St. can be preserved while meeting the parking and thoroughfare needs of WesBanco. I have included some of these ideas at the bottom of this letter.
As the statewide nonprofit supporting historic preservation, we can provide many ideas in favor of preserving this historic building in an attempt to convince the committee to vote to table this proposal and even vote “no” to the proposal, but ultimately, I urge you to listen to your citizens. Over 500 people have signed a petition asking you to vote “no” to this proposal. It is important to your residents that you preserve what is left of the downtown. It is a treasure, and it is a place that matters. That is why PAWV chose Parkersburg as its host town for the upcoming West Virginia Historic Preservation conference bringing dollars and energy into your community; you have a lot to offer and potential for redevelopment.
You have active residents that care about historic preservation, and this is an excellent opportunity to show forward thinking for future generations.
Thank you for your service and consideration,
FINANCIAL INCENTIVE – HISTORIC TAX CREDIT
The Citizens National Bank Building has been vacant for over a decade, and its redevelopment has been financially unfeasible in the past. However, as of January 1, 2018, West Virginians can take advantage of a combined state and federal historic tax credit of 45% on income-producing properties. Prior to this increase, the combined state and federal historic tax credit was 30%, but a 45% tax credit on qualifying construction activities (interior and exterior) is a major incentive for banks and property owners to rehabilitate historic properties like the Citizens National Bank building.
Tearing down the Citizens National Bank Building for a parking lot and alley is a short-term answer to a vacant building problem that can be incentivized now for redevelopment. Please run the pro-forma again for redeveloping this property using the historic tax credit figures, and this property could be marketed for rehabilitation in a prime location in downtown Parkersburg. PAWV would be happy to lend its services in reconfiguring a pro-forma to demonstrate whether redevelopment of this building is possible now that the historic tax credit is 40%. And if WesBanco also needs additional space for offices, 401 Market St. offers prime street front and first-floor space that can be redeveloped using the historic rehabilitation tax credit. The bank has acquired and redeveloped a historic property at 33 N. Third St. in Columbus, Ohio. The WesBanco Regional President Lisa Robinson was quoted as saying acquisition is a “huge new step for WesBanco”, and we encourage the committee and WesBanco to work together to consider something similar for Parkersburg.
PARKING GARAGE INSTEAD OF PARKING LOT?
According to Parking Consultant, Gerard Giosa, “Surface parking gobbles up so much land that it begins to negatively affect the character and walkability of a downtown business district. An 800-car parking garage can be constructed on a piece of land that is just 120 feet wide by 270 feet long, and it can be tucked into the center of a downtown block and surrounded by existing and new buildings so that it is hardly visible from the street. By contrast, if we wanted to provide those same 800 spaces in a surface parking lot, the parking lot would have to be the size of four and a half football fields! And it’s almost impossible to assemble that volume of contiguous land in an existing downtown setting.”
There is a service parking lot already connected to the WesBanco property, and a parking garage across the street from the WesBanco property. Has WesBanco considered building a parking garage and thoroughfare on its existing surface lot if the bank has identified that additional parking is needed? This parking garage may even serve as an additional incentive for redevelopment of 401 Market St. Although the up-front costs of the parking garage are more expensive, estimated in 2013 by Giosa at $21,000 per parking space versus $3,000 per parking space in a surface lot, the parking garage can attract additional development by meeting parking needs for the redevelopment of 401 Market St., as well as providing additional parking for the Blennerhasset Hotel. Over time, the parking garage can pay for itself through monthly and day parking for employers in the downtown area.
 Gerard Giosa article can be accessed at http://buildabetterburb.org/financing-parking-garages-qa-with-parking-consultant-gerard-giosa/
‘Matewan’ Director John Sayles to Attend Launch of Blair Centennial Project
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today that the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum is the recipient of a $30,000 challenge grant for their long-term project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain in 2021.
Though still four years in the future, planning for the Blair Centennial Project has already begun. A celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of John Sayles’s acclaimed film about the West Virginia Mine Wars, Matewan, will take place this October. Sayles and his producer partner, Maggie Renzi, will both attend screenings of the film in Charleston. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Centennial project. The museum will be releasing more details about the screenings in coming weeks.
The five-day Battle of Blair Mountain unfolded on the border of Boone and Logan counties and pitted unionist coal miners against local law enforcement and citizen militias. The Blair Centennial Project will consist of five days of fun, interpretive activities spread out across the coalfield counties where the conflict took place. The NEH grant makes it possible for the Museum to hire a director to coordinate the activities. The grant is also intended to increase the museum’s fundraising capacity, while creating connections among humanities organizations across southern West Virginia.
By Anna, Lynn Stasick, Statewide Field Services Representative
Note: Much of the information contained in this document was provided by and courtesy of Dr. Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. PAWV thanks him greatly for his time and effort.
In the past fifteen to twenty years, hoteliers have experienced a growing problem with bedbug infestations in even some of the finest hotels nationwide. In response, new technology and methods to employ them have been developed to combat the problem. First, bedbug sniffing dogs are sent in to identify what rooms are infested. Once the location of the infested rooms is established, dry heat units are brought in to heat the room to a fairly high temperature, and then maintaining that temperature for up to an hour, thus exterminating the insects.
The 2017 Homes Tour weekend of June 9, 10, and 11, 2017 will have some amazing opportunities for our guests. On Friday night, our Gala will be at the new home of Angus Peyton. His hill top eyrie provides magnificent views to the far away mountains and cool breezes across the patios. Ticket holders will enjoy both as well as wine and hors d’oeuvres.
On Saturday, the traditional tour of homes will include a former girls dormitory, now a stately home; a former art gallery that retains its graciousness; a home that has survived war and floods and still welcomes visitors; and the Presidents’ House Museum at the Greenbrier as well as another historic cottage if available.
On Sunday, St. Thomas Episcopal Church in White Sulphur Springs will welcome guests to its historic sanctuary for two separate sessions (2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.), to view folk art paintings and have afternoon tea. A special presentation by Neely Seams portraying Medal of Freedom winner Katherine Johnson will offer insight into her life in White Sulphur Springs and beyond.
Dan and Cathi Hartsook, the current owners of French’s Mill, are looking for people of interest in the purchase and preservation of the mill. The “on table” selling price is 149,900.00, will be negotiable. Please visit their website frenchsmill.com for contact information, history of the mill and photo gallery.
In 1900, 428 mills were listed in West Virginia. In 1980, there were 18. Today, only four remain operable to include French’s Mill. Ref: Wonderful West Virginia Magazine, June 2016. With post and beam construction much of the building and machinery remains intact, providing a rare view into an early 20th century electric powered gristmill, both in terms of construction as well as operation.
Check out this video about the Tygart Valley Homestead Project in Randolph County. Do any of these places look familiar?
Video created by Gerry Milnes and the Traveling 219 Project.
Trowbridge named Whiting Public Engagement Fellow; foundation to provide $50,000 toward development of free heritage tourism app
Dr. David Trowbridge, an associate professor of history at Marshall University, has been selected for The Whiting Foundation’s Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship.
Trowbridge said the $50,000 fellowship will be used to further develop Clio, a free mobile application and website that connects the public with information about historical and cultural sites around the United States.
“I hope that Clio’s growth throughout West Virginia and beyond demonstrates the potential of technology created by university faculty at regional universities like Marshall,” Trowbridge said. “While Clio is free and non-commercial, it offers the potential for economic development—especially in a state such as ours that is working to promote tourism.”
Since Trowbridge created Clio in 2012, it has grown into a national resource with more than 20,000 users a month and 10,000 curated entries.
The Whiting Foundation supports faculty in the humanities who embrace public engagement as part of the scholarly vocation, according to Executive Director Daniel Reid.
“Dr. Trowbridge is the perfect example of what we’re looking for,” said Reid. “His project is one that is thoughtfully designed to reach the public with deep and meaningful content. The fact that he built this starting with his own personal time and funds is inspiring.”
Trowbridge said developers are working to expand Clio’s functionality to include features such as personalized itineraries that offer walking and driving tours.
“Until now, mobile apps offered walking tours that required people to start and stop at a preset location and follow a preset route. Thanks to the generosity of the Whiting Foundation and the talented team of developers at Strictly Business Computer Services, Clio will change that,” Trowbridge said. “Together with original content from hundreds of universities, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations, Clio will allow people to experience history as they enjoy a walk through any city in America.”
For more information about Clio, visit www.theclio.com.
Originally posted on http://www.marshall.edu/ucomm/2016/04/19/marshall-faculty-member-named-whiting-public-engagement-fellow-foundation-to-provide-50000-toward-development-of-free-heritage-tourism-app/
PAWV released its Request for Proposals for a Historic Preservation Revolving Loan Fund Program Feasibility Study. All proposals are due Friday, May 20, 2016 with the award date scheduled for Friday, June 3. Thank you the 1772 Foundation for providing funding for this project.
The complete request for proposals is available below:
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: HISTORIC PRESERVATION REVOLVING LOAN FUND PROGRAM FEASIBILITY STUDY
April 19, 2016 – Preservation Alliance of West Virginia
Formed in 1982, the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV) is the only statewide, grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Mountain State’s cultural heritage.
PAWV’s formal mission is, “With a commitment to preserve our unique cultural heritage, PAWV and its members work to save our past for the present and future, supporting and promoting historic preservation through education & outreach, advocacy, preservation tools, and heritage tourism.”
The website is www.pawv.org and blog is https://preservationallliancewv.wordpress.com/.
5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, May 20, 2016. Responses may be submitted electronically via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter to 421 Davis Avenue, Elkins, WV 26241.
Scope of Work Goals
A completed feasibility study answering the following questions (at a minimum):
Scope of Work
A written report of research data and a completed feasibility study with recommendations (both presented in one hard copy and one digital copy format).
Assumptions and Agreements
Required Proposal Format
The proposal must contain the following sections: Technical, Costs, Qualifications, and References.
Questions from bidders must be submitted by email to project coordinator by Monday, May 9, by 5:00 p.m. EST. All relevant questions and responses will be compiled and emailed to all known bidders by Friday, May 13.
Proposal must be date- and time-stamped by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, May 20, 2016.
Project coordinator and point-of-contact
Danielle LaPresta: email@example.com, 304-345-6005
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, 421 Davis Avenue, Elkins, WV 26241
Basis for Award of Contract
Award Date: Friday, June 3, 2016
This RFP does not commit PAWV to award a contract or to pay costs incurred by bidder in the preparation of a proposal to this RFP. PAWV may accept other than the lowest bid, waive minor informalities, and award a contract based only on the written proposal without any discussions with bidder. Issuance of a contract will be subject to the approval of the PAWV Board of Directors. PAWV reserves the right to reject any or all proposals because of non-responsiveness to RFP requirements, insufficient PAWV funds, evidence of unfair bidding procedures, financial insolvency of bidder, or if, in the opinion of PAWV’s Executive Director, the best interests of the program will be served.
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