The State of West Virginia was created at the Wheeling Custom House, often also known as West Virginia Independence Hall. Because Wheeling was an important port on the Ohio River, a customs office was built in 1859. It also housed the post office and the federal district court. Architect Ammi B. Young used an Italianate Renaissance Revival style to create the monumental hand-cut sandstone structure. It was outfitted with the first flushing toilets in Wheeling. The 1861 Wheeling Convention, which repealed Virginia’s Ordinance of Secession, convened in the custom house; this later recommended the building as the capitol for the Restored Government of Virginia (1861-1863) and the West Virginia Constitutional Convention. The building is now a museum.
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