The Times West Virginian

February 14, 2014

Pool among W.Va. endangered properties


Associated Press

CHARLESTON — An art deco swimming pool in Weirton is among six sites on the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s latest endangered properties list.

Weirton officials closed the Margaret Mason Weir Memorial Pool in 2005 and planned to demolish it. That plan was put on hold in 2012 due to community support to save the pool. A community group is raising money to update and reopen the pool, the alliance said.

Built in 1934, the pool was designed by Wesley Blintz, who was known for his ovoid above-ground pool style.

Two former schools in Fayette County also are on the Preservation Alliance’s 2014 list released this week.

The old Fayette County High School, constructed of locally quarried sandstone, was completed in 1923. The school closed in 1999 and the county school system used the building for storage from 2004 to 2011. The building no longer had a heating system and began to deteriorate. The Town of Fayetteville, which acquired the building in December 2011, is working to restore it and convert it to a civic and arts center.

The old Glen Jean School is the last remaining structure from Glen Jean’s original development by the McKell family as part of their mining operations. The building has been vacant since 2006. It was vandalized in 2013 and also has been damaged by water infiltration. A group of private investors that owns the building is assessing the feasibility of preserving and re-using it.

Other endangered properties on the list are Feagans Mill in Jefferson County, the Golden Rule building in Belington and Kirk’s Building in Wheeling.

The Preservation Alliance said the Golden Rule building, constructed in 1902, played a significant role in Belington’s commercial boom in the first half of the 20th century. A unique feature is a water-powered elevator. The building is threatened by deferred maintenance, vandalism, pests and invasive vegetation. The Belington Revitalization Committee is working to acquire and rehabilitate the building.

Kirk’s Building, located adjacent to Independence Hall, is one Wheeling’s few terra cotta buildings. The building was constructed in 1916 and has been vacant for the past five years. Community supporters are working with the building’s owners to develop a plan to rehabilitate and re-use the building.

Feagans Mill is Jefferson County’s last intact and operable grist mill. It’s one of several mills that were built on a site on the South Fork of Bullskin Run between the mid-1700s and the late 1930s. It fell into disrepair after it ceased operations in 1943. The mill’s current owner is working to rehabilitate the mill and restore the site.