Alliance to establish W.Va. state historic preservation center

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Alliance to establish W.Va. state historic preservation center
The new West Virginia Historic Preservation Center will be located in the historic high school building at Arthurdale.

ARTHURDALE, W.Va. — The , in cooperation with , has taken a next step in establishing a historic preservation center in this historic community in northern West Virginia.

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The cooperative is seeking qualified professionals and architecture firms to create a master plan for the center, an adaptive reuse of the former Arthurdale High School in Preston County, 15 miles from at Morgantown, West Virginia.

The plan is for the center to serve as an institution for preservation in a three-fold capacity, according to Danielle Parker, executive director for the organization, which

The center will serve as headquarters for the alliance's AmeriCorps program, members of which are deployed in learn-while-you-serve programs and hands-on preservation projects across the Mountain State.

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Parker said the center will engage and educate artisans in historic preservation and associated career paths via historic preservation, business, and finance programming. The property will also serve as a business incubator and a cooperative living and work space for emerging historic-trades professionals.

In 2022, the Preservation Alliance and Arthurdale Heritage secured an Appalachian Regional Commission grant to plan for the center.

"We are excited at the positive change this center will have on the historic preservation landscape in the Mountain State," Parker said.

Arthurdale was intentionally built in 1933 as a social experiment that provided opportunities for unemployed miners and farmers during the Great Depression. It was undertaken personally by first lady .

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The historic district in Arthurdale protects 147 contributing structures, including an inn, four factories, and several community buildings, including the historic high school, which will become the center.


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