WHEELING – Each year since 2008, Friends of Wheeling has awarded three awards to individuals or organizations who have made a significant contribution to Wheeling’s architectural heritage. With last year’s awards dinner canceled due to COVID-19, the group presented six awards – three for 2020 and three for 2021 – last Wednesday at the McLure House Ballroom.
Among the prizes awarded for 2020 are:
– Exceptional adaptation of a historic building to Kevin and Patty Duffin for the Flatiron Building – The building, originally built in 1895-96 by the National Tube Company, later served as offices for the Wheeling Steel and Iron Company. Major renovations were completed in 2018, resulting in seven lofts on the upper floors and a cafe on the first floor.
– Exceptional adaptation of a historic building to Jeff Woda for Lofts Boury and the Stone Center (accepted by Erica Green, regional vice president of Woda Group, and Daniel Archer, regional director – The Woda group converted the former warehouse of Boury into lofts, and also converted the upper floors of the former Stone & Thomas department store into 22 apartments, providing a great example of adaptive reuse.
– Outstanding Creative Interpretation of Wheeling to the late Thomas Griffith, accepted by Charles Griffith – For decades the late Tom Griffith has created colorful paintings of street scenes in and around Wheeling, in public buildings and in private homes across the city.
The rewards for 2021 were:
– Exceptional rehabilitation of a historic building to Douglas Carl and Mike Carl for the Bridge Tavern – In the late 1800s, this building featured a grocery store with second floor accommodations. In the early 1960s, the Dormas family opened the Bridge Tavern and operated it until 2018. The current owners carried out extensive renovations, with input from architect Wendy Scatterday. Modern apartments and AirBNBs are now on the upper floors, while the Bridge Tavern remains on the first floor.
– Exceptional stewardship of a cemetery to Paula Stein and Joan Smith for Mount Zion Cemetery – This cemetery, affiliated with the Lutheran Church of Zion and located just outside the city limits of Wheeling, was inaugurated on July 3, 1864. Over 12,000 people, ranging from veterans to today’s burials, rest there. After the sponsoring congregation relinquished ownership, it fell into disrepair. A group of dedicated volunteers began taking care of the property in 2015 – mowing the grass, removing branches and tree debris, planting flowers and resetting the beacons. These efforts are continuing.
– Exceptional rehabilitation of Mike Koker and Roger Edwards property for 635 Main Street – Koker applied for and received one of the Wheeling Friends Loan Guarantee Fund opportunities in Spring 2019 and got to work, alongside prime contractor Edwards, to create an apartment on the third floor, while living below.
Friends of Wheeling, founded in 1970, is the state’s oldest historic preservation organization. The organization is open to anyone interested in the history and architectural heritage of Wheeling.