economic development efforts throughout the state. Historic preservation can have a significant positive impact on downtown revitalization, business viability and growth, job creation, tax revenues, property values and tourism activity – all of which provide opportunities to combine her personal interests and professional position.
Debra recently completed a Historic Preservation certificate program through Bucks County Community College and is a certified Historic Real Estate Finance Professional. She also serves at the national level on the accreditation committee of America’s SBDC.
Thank you, Debra, for your enthusiasm and service!
Preserve WV AmeriCorps meets with Dr. Emory Kemp - esteemed West Virginia University Professor Emeritus and PAWV Co-Founder
Written by Samuel Richardson, Preserve WV AmeriCorps member serving at the West Virginia & Regional History Center (Samuel (left) pictured above with Dr. Emory Kemp (right))
It was no surprise that I was going to face some serious challenges in my Year of Service with AmeriCorps. I would be examining and arranging the life’s work of Dr. Emory Kemp, with the goal of making his 300 box collection of blueprints, maps, restoration project reports, structural analysis papers, drawings, correspondence, and much more accessible to patrons of the West Virginia and Regional History Center (WVRHC). Public History, as an academic field, was foreign territory for me. However, as a graduate from the Public Administration program at West Virginia University, I was prepared to tackle any project that served the public’s interest. The transdisciplinary shift was a challenge, but complimented my “Clifton Strength’s Finder” examination which discovered my strength in adaptability.
Transdisciplinary shifts into public history are not unheard of, as according to Dr. Kemp, the structural mechanics PhD, was moved from civil engineering to the History Department at West Virginia University. Despite resistance in his early educational career to studying history as an academic discipline, he choose to remain in engineering. His resistance however, was no match for the orders of West Virginia University President James G. Harlow, who would implore Dr. Kemp lead the newly founded Institute for the History of Technology and Industrial Archaeology in the Department of History, not engineering.
This was one of the many anecdotes that developed in the Monday afternoon meeting with the retired academic stalwart. Perhaps, in the process of officially retiring, as he promises his newest developing book on the Big Sandy River will be his last.
The materials in the collection were assembled to support projects over Dr. Kemp’s 50 year career. The materials were arranged in a manner with no particular emphasis on a preserved original order. Dr. Kemp stated that he expected the professional expertise of the faculty and staff at the WVRHC to arrange the materials in a fashion that would make his work most accessible to researchers.
Kemp also agreed with the proposed series arrangement, where WVRHC faculty member, Jane LaBarbara, and I hope to divide the collection into three major series, Kemp’s Personal Library, Publications by Kemp, and finally, “Subject Files” or “Research Projects.”
In hopes of understanding which areas of the large collection are appropriate to highlight and exhibit, Dr. Kemp will provide Jane and I with a list of 35 projects that were of noteworthy accomplishment and could be listed as potential engineering breakthroughs. Some of which, were his role in the construction of the Sydney Opera House, and saving the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company potentially millions of dollars, by engineering a way for them to integrate new equipment without completely destroying an older building. Kemp hopes to sit down with LaBarbara and me to discuss each of the projects in further detail.
Monica Miller, President of M Miller Development Services, recently joined the board of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. After a career in state government, most notably managing the Main Street West Virginia program where she worked with businesses and community leaders statewide, Monica is putting her vast experience to work as a small business owner specializing in community economic development, downtown revitalization, organizational management and development, planning, facilitation, fundraising, speaking engagements and advocacy.
Monica has served in various leadership roles in preservation at the state and national levels. She managed the Main Street West Virginia program for over 20 years. Prior to that she worked for West Virginia’s premier state parks system. She was the founding chair of the National Main Street Coordinating Programs Executive Committee, is chair emerita and current member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Board of Advisors, represented Main Street and the Advisors on the National Trust Board of Trustees where she was vice-chair of the Community Revitalization Committee, and currently serves as the campaign chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Fund for the National Trust. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences.
When asked about her interest in preservation, Monica says that communities that capitalize on their unique assets, architecture, small businesses and leadership are attractive to residents, investors and tourists. The connection of place is important to economic development whether attracting industry or other development. It all comes down to great communities being more economically viable.
Thank you, Monica, for being a part of our team at PAWV!
The Mon River Trails Conservancy is needing to sell 10 crates of roofing slate (some used, some new) and are in a time crunch. It is being stored at a project site in Masontown, WV which is soon to become a restroom for the Deckers Creek Rail-Trail. The organization had considered using this slate for a new roof but now have shifted to a different plan. The organization has set up a Craigs Listing to sell the slate, but you can contact Ella Belling directly for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to Craigs List Morgantown:
‘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.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV) will be establishing a historic preservation revolving loan fund to support historic preservation projects in the state of West Virginia. To meet that goal, PAWV plans to engage professional services of a consultant (firm) who is an expert in the disciplines of revolving fund mechanisms, real estate development, and historic preservation. The successful proposer will work closely with a PAWV committee to develop Operating Guidelines and materials for the new revolving loan fund.
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 Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is currently accepting nominations for the 2017 West Virginia Endangered Properties List. Nominations are due February 15, 2017, and the alliance plans to make the announcement for the 2017 Listing near the beginning of May 2017 in celebration of National Historic Preservation Month.
There is special criteria to be identified as a WV Endangered Property. Each property must be listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; suffer from a demonstrable preservation emergency; and maintain owner and local support for the re-use of the property in the respective community. Owner support is necessary because it’s the first step to ensuring the preservation process begins. It is PAWV’s goal to encourage owners to turn these properties into viable contributors to WV’s economy. Properties that were formerly on the endangered list but have graduated to saved include the First Ward School in Elkins and the Quarrier Diner in Charleston.
We hope you will take a look around your community for an historic building that is in need of attention, rehabilitation, speaks to the history of the community, has great potential to be re-purposed to serve community needs, and is of more value saved than destroyed. If you know of such a building, please consider taking the time to submit a nomination for the property.
Nominations forms and additional information on Endangered Properties nominations can be found here.
For more information on West Virginia Endangered Properties and a list of current Endangered Properties in West Virginia, please visit http://www.pawv.org/endanger.htm or contact PAWV’s Preserve WV AmeriCorps member, Mercy Klein, at email@example.com.
Project and Outreach Manager
The Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp. seeks a dynamic individual to join their leadership team. Candidates who possess previous experience with local or statewide “Main Street” programs/projects or related activities are preferred. Ideal candidates must have great presentation skills, verbal and written communication skills, thrive with community outreach/relations and be an avid networker and communication specialist in addition to having exceptional command and utilization of social media, Microsoft Office applications, and other web based marketing/design platforms and technology.
This position will be accountable for the following primary responsibilities:
This position provides a very competitive compensation package that is commensurate upon experience level. This position also provides health insurance. If you feel you are a good fit for this newly constructed role, please send your resume, cover letter, and a sample of your marketing or advertising work product via e-mail by no later than January 13, 2017, in confidence, to Mr. Jake Dougherty, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equal Opportunity Employer
This year, PAWV hired Terrell Ellis & Associates (TEA) to examine the feasibility of establishing a revolving loan fund to protect historic properties in West Virginia. If determined feasible, TEA was given the task to make recommendations on the structure and management of a historic preservation revolving loan program.
In researching this matter, TEA interviewed 23 individuals representing a combination of community developers, nonprofit and for profit lenders, private developers, and professional service providers. TEA also surveyed 37 historic property owners and community developers. Based on this research, TEA recommended that PAWV move forward with the development of a revolving loan program based on the following parameters:
Now that the feasibility study has been completed, and the recommendation has been made to proceed in creating a historic properties revolving loan program, PAWV will apply for a second round of grant funds from the 1772 Foundation to develop a business plan. PAWV will also identify a nonprofit organizational partner and start raising funds for the initial capitalization of the loan program. PAWV will have the bulk of 2017 to create a business plan and fundraise for this program if awarded funds from the 1772 Foundation. Consider increasing your donation to PAWV to help us make the loan program a reality. Visit http://www.pawv.org and donate through PayPal – the button is at the bottom left-hand corner of the homepage.
The feasibility study was made possible with generous grant funding from the 1772 Foundation. The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic buildings and farmlands for future generations. To learn more visit, http://www.1772foundation.org/. For a full copy of the feasibility study, email our executive director, Danielle LaPresta at email@example.com.
News and Notes
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive e-news updates on historic preservation news and events in West Virginia.