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Mountain State Tours: Wheeling, West Virginia


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I departed Columbus, Ohio with two urban planners for what was self-described as a whirlwind tour of West Virginia's largest cities on a sunny and warm Saturday morning. With a friend from the Ohio Department of Development and a graduate student from Miami University, we traveled to Wheeling, Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Elkins, Lewisburg, Bluefield and Charleston over the period of three days.

Wheeling was our first stop to tour downtown and to complete a drive-by of the endangered East Wheeling Historic District. It was a quiet Saturday in downtown, with the exception of yet-another-demolition of historic building stock. This time, it was the "Port Heritage Business Center," that despite its tasteless modern facade, was a structurally sound multi-story brick structure on North Main Street.



2 The art store adjacent to the former "Heritage Port Business Center" isn't pleased that he'll be a lone wolf on the block.






5 The United Bank Building at 12th and North Main Street.


6 The Absure Tower at 12th and North Main Street (1201 Main Street) was constructed in 1915 and is underutilized. The building was once home to the National Bank of West Virginia and was designed by Wheeling-based architect Charles Bates.


7 A fantastic corner building at 12th and Market Street.


8 Between the Central Union Building and a pastel colored brick building is the modern WestBanco Building. It was founded as The German Bank in 1870.


9 What a great mix of downtown building styles.


10 The Central Union Building for the Central Union Trust at 14th and Market Street was completed in 1926. It connects to the modern WestBanco Building.




12 A collection of historic Italianate buildings along North Main Street between 13th and 14th Street.


13 What Wheeling needs is more convenient surface lot parking. Being sarcastic, of course.


14 The original DiCarlos Pizza location along North Main Street between 12th and 13th Street has been demolished, although the building was structurally sound.




Further Reading

a. Quiet Saturday in Wheeling: http://urbanup.net/2011/11/19/photographs/quiet-saturday-in-wheeling/

b. Wheeling, West Virginia: http://urbanup.net/cities/west-virginia/wheeling-west-virginia/

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