W.Va. Historic Preservation Awards winners announced

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The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
The 2019 Preservation Awards are being held at the restored Robinson Grand in West Virginia. (Photo: Ace Sign Co.)

In advance of Saturday’s annual preservation awards banquet in Clarksburg, West Virginia, the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia today announced the winners of its 11th annual preservation awards.

The banquet and ceremony are being held at the newly restored Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center in the Clarksburg National Historic District, according to Daniel Parker, executive director of the alliance.

Sign on the historic Palace Furniture Building in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

The Preservation Alliance has been emphasizing tax credits for historic properties as an important economic development tool in West Virginia, inviting keynote speaker Renee Kuhlman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to address the matter.

“Ms. Kuhlman will be discussing the historic rehabilitation tax credit and how the 2017 increase in West Virginia has been instrumental to new development projects and has been a model for other states across the country,” Parker said.

The alliance worked with members of the W.Va. Legislature in 2017 to increase state historic tax credits to 25 percent, providing developers a combined 45 percent state-federal credit that has attracted more investment to the Mountain State.

In addition to the banquet, guests are being provided a guided trolley tour of historical sites in Clarksburg sponsored by the Harrison County Historical Society and the Clarksburg-Harrison County Public Library.

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2019 Historic Preservation Award Winners


Downtown Preservation Award

The award for downtown preservation is being presented to Clarksburg Mayor Ryan Kennedy and WYK Associates for their work on the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center. Aurora Research Associates, Brian Wishneff & Associates, and general contractor  March Westin are also being recognized for making the project a success.


Community Preservation Award

Jeff Zinn, of Arthurdale, West Virginia, is being presented the alliance’s Community Preservation Award for his volunteer efforts in the rehabilitation of Arthurdale’s historic Center Hall.


Best Save of an Endangered Property Award

The Mon River Trails Conservancy and the Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission are being presented the Endangered Property award for the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Elkins Coal & Coke Building in Masontown, West Virginia. The building is now a trail-stop and restroom facility on the Deckers Creek Rail Trail.


Best Use of the Historic Tax Credit Award

Grant Street Commons received the Historic Tax Credit award for its rehabilitation of the dilapidated Palace Furniture Building in Clarksburg, West Virginia, as a 40 unit residential complex. The award also recognizes Michael Gioulis, Martin Howe, Anthony Belotte, Stratford Capital, Vandalia Heritage, City Construction Company, Aric Margolis Architecture, the West Virginia Housing Development, and the Clarksburg Harrison County Regional Housing Authority.


Dr. Emory Kemp Lifetime Achievement Award

The alliance’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented to the family of Doug Hylton in memory of his commitment to the revitalization of Ronceverte, West Virginia, in Greenbrier County. Hylton established the Ronceverte Development Corporation and preserved properties throughout the community.

The alliance is also recognizing Congressman David McKinley for his dedication to supporting the retention and increase in the federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, which has supported economic development initiatives across the U.S.


In keeping with tradition, the alliance presented cash awards to be used for identified preservation projects. The Preservation Persistence Award was given to two separate property stewards that are working diligently to preserve endangered properties. The Stewardship Award is being given to one property steward for exemplifying best preservation practices. These awards were presented to Historic Beverly Preservation for the historic jail in Beverly, West Virginia, the Woodlands Development Corporation for the Golden Rule Building in Belington, West Virginia, and the Clarksburg Harrison County Public Library for its excellent stewardship of the Waldomore Building in Clarksburg.

The alliance also recognized a 2019 West Virginia Endangered Property at the event—the Engineering Building in Thomas, West Virginia. A cash award was presented to the Friends of Blackwater for their efforts in rehabilitating this important structure.

The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation. It also administers the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program and holds a statewide historic preservation conference every two years. The next conference will be held April 30-May 2, 2020, in Mercer County. To learn more, visit .

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