Meet the Cold Metal Building in Wellsburg, West Virginia, built in 1890 when Wellsburg's glass industry was booming. The Cold Metal Building and the Hot Metal Building were connected to one another when they were considered not only a contributing resource to the significance of the Wellsburg Historic District, but as a "pivotal structure" when the district was listed in the National Registry of Historic Places in 1982. While the Hot Metal Building is now gone, the Cold Metal Building remains as a testament to the importance of the glass industry in Wellsburg, and is in need of some significant repairs prior to adaptive reuse.
The Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle applied for PAWV's Saving Historic Places Grant in 2022 and received $84,790.10 for masonry repair work on the Cold Metal Building. The scope of work for this particular phase of the building's restoration consisted of improving the structural stability of the building and repairing the masonry components damaged from the removal of adjacent dilapidated buildings. Prior to starting masonry repair work, a mortar sample was sent to an architectural conservator to determine the type of mortar to be used. The contractor then utilized that recipe for all mortar repair.
While this completed Saving Historic Places Grant project may not have the same dramatic before and after as some of PAWV's projects, that goes to speak to the subtlety and historical accuracy of its masonry repair work. Most of the work doesn't read as an aesthetic improvement so much as it does a reversion to how the building has looked in the past. In the preservation world, that counts as a win!
Below, find a series of before and after photographs of the Cold Metal Building. While there is still work to be done, we are pleased that PAWV could aid in this phase of its restoration through the Saving Historic Places Grant Program.
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia
421 Davis Avenue, #4 | Elkins, WV 26241