The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia announced that the Pence Hotel, in Mercer County, and the Wyoming Hotel, in Wyoming County, are this year’s first recipients of its Saving Historical Places Grants. The program is the Alliance’s initiative to save historical places in the Mountain State by funding emergency stabilization work and jump-starting building preservation projects with pre-development funds.
The Pence Hotel, a contributing structure to the Bramwell Historic District and independently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the first buildings visitors see when entering Bramwell. It will receive Saving Historical Places Grant funds for much needed emergency stabilization work including wall stabilization; the first of four planned phases to restore the building. “Once restored, the hotel will host a Company Store on the ground level, and provide an economic boost to the town and region” explained Gene Buckner, President of the Mercer County Commission.
The second structure to receive assistance from the Saving Historical Places Grant is the Wyoming Hotel in Mullens, built in 1918 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Funds will be used by nonprofit organization Peacework Development Fund to save the building from imminent danger of collapse by removing a fire escape. Future redevelopment plans for the hotel building are mixed-use for commercial/residential purposes to cater to outdoor recreation tourists and serve as a nod to the building’s history. “The Wyoming Hotel was a source of community pride and community history. Through the years many people stayed in the hotel, including JFK running for president in 1960, Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., rumors of Babe Ruth to everyday people coming to Mullens for work or to attend ball games or participate in horse shows. Saving it would again lift community spirits and potentially be a centerpiece for rural economic redevelopment,” said Samuel E. Webster, the owner of the building.
“The Saving Historical Places Grant funds are being used to save these buildings from collapse. We are delighted to be able to help save these important historical resources that tell the story of our coal heritage, and we are excited that there are active community efforts to rehabilitate these buildings. However, we know that there is a long road ahead for these buildings to be fully functioning as we hope. We urge anyone who is interested in saving these buildings to consider donating to these projects as well,” said Danielle Parker, Executive Director of the Alliance.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation. The Alliance continues to fundraise for its Saving Historical Places Grant program and is accepting donations for this program. Donations of $500 or more may be eligible for Neighborhood Investment Program tax credits. Donate here! For more information, call 304-345-6005.
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