Milestones

Milestones

  • 1992

    • The Plan for the Wheeling National Heritage Area was, the guiding document for creating the Corporation and its, was completed and adopted.
  • 1993

    • The Wheeling National Heritage Area Interpretive Master Plan, which guides how Wheeling’s history is interpreted, is completed and adopted.
  • 1994

    • Wheeling National Heritage Area Community Venue Plans are completed and adopted.
    • Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation is incorporated as a private non-profit community development organization.
    • First executive director, Charles Flynn, is hired.
  • 1995

    • Wheeling Heritage Challenge Grant Program launched. This was the first community grant program offered by the Heritage Area.
    • Wheeling’s Spoken History Project, an oral history project, captured hundreds of hours of local history and resulted in an ongoing locally broadcast radio program.
    • Heritage Lighting Program lights the exterior of Capitol Music Hall.
    • Wheeling Heritage Trail is supported by Wheeling Heritage programming in collaboration with the Heritage Trail Partners and the City of Wheeling.  The trail was recommended in the 1992 Plan and principally implemented by the City. It is a 13-mile bike and pedestrian facility that follows the east bank of the Ohio River passing along the edge of Heritage Port, adjacent to Center Wheeling, and along sections of Wheeling Creek to the east.
  • 1996

    • The Artisan Center opens. The first floor was the home of Nail City Brewery. The retail shop and art gallery opened on the second floor, featuring a “Made in Wheeling” Industrial Heritage exhibit. The third floor features a loft and banquet space, as well as the home of the Wheeling Heritage offices.
    • Wayfinder signage and a map program is implemented, providing directional signage throughout city for major attractions and venues.
  • 1997

    • In March, the inaugural Wheeling Celtic Celebration is held at the Wheeling Artisan Center.
    • The Heritage Port Master Plan is unveiled.
  • 1998

    • In June, Robert C. Byrd Intermodal Transportation Center opens and is dedicated by Senator Byrd. The building houses the Wheeling Visitors Center and offices of the Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as the “Wheeling: Crossroads of America 1818-1865” exhibit.
    • Wharf Parking Garage is removed, allowing for the construction of Heritage Port.
  • 1999

    • Construction begins on Heritage Port.
    • In June, Wheeling Heritage supports the “West Virginia: Born of the Civil War” exhibit at West Virginia Independence Hall.
    • In July, Suzanne Quinn is hired as executive director.
    • The Facade Loan Program, a partnership of Wheeling Heritage and the City of Wheeling, renovates Wheeling Coffee and Spice Co., Egerter Building and Laconia Building with the use of City CDBG funds.
    • In October, Christine Villamagna joins Wheeling Heritage.
    • In November, the Wheeling Suspension Bridge is lit as a partnership project of Wheeling Heritage, the State of West Virginia and the City of Wheeling.
  • 2000

    • In October, the Wheeling National Heritage Area is designated by U.S. Congress.
  • 2001

    • Senator Byrd dedicates Wheeling Heritage Port.
  • 2002

    • In January, Hydie Friend is appointed executive director.
    • In April, the Global Operations Center of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP locates in the Wheeling Stamping Building. Wheeling Heritage was a key partner in the project.
  • 2003

    • The Interpretive Grants Program is created, and early awards include the restoration and display of Civil War battle flags at the West Virginia Independence Hall and the Bicentennial Commemoration of Lewis & Clark.
    • The identity project with Selbert Perkins Design Group leads to a new logo and proposed signage with environmental sculptures.
  • 2004

    • The Management Plan Update is completed and approved by the National Park Service.
    • Research and design of industrial and neighborhood wayside signs takes place.
  • 2005

    • Wheeling Heritage leads the effort to evaluate the purchase, renovation, operation and management of Capitol Theatre.
    • Architectural Feasibility Studies—After completion of the Wheeling Stamping Project, there was great interest in the redevelopment of other major warehouse buildings.  Wheeling Heritage invested $54,000 in the architectural feasibility of five large footprint warehouses:  Warwick China, Stone and Thomas Department Store, Wheeling Wholesale Grocery, Zarnit’s Grocery, Reichart’s Furniture. As a result of this study, four of the buildings were purchased and rehabilitated, creating or relocating jobs to Downtown Wheeling. The Stone and Thomas Building is now the Stone Center and is home to Williams Lea and Wheeling Jesuit University programs, Wheeling Wholesale Grocery is now the Education Center for West Virginia Northern Community College, Zarnit’s Grocery has become the Corporate Headquarters for Staley Communications, Reichart’s Furniture was partially rehabilitated, but was lost some years later to demolition after a water main break in the building (the Warwick China building was deemed unfeasible to rehabilitate at the time of the study).
    • Wheeling Interpretive Signage—Wheeling’s vast history is explored through massive signage panels scattered throughout the city, particularly along the Heritage Trail.  These signs were written by local historians and explore the history of the Wheeling Suspension Bridge, Wheeling’s frontier landscape, and the many industries that built the city. 
  • 2006

    • In October, the Walter Reuther Memorial is dedicated.
    • Wheeling Heritage leads the effort to evaluate the purchase, renovation, operation and management of Capitol Theatre.
    • Adaptive reuse studies of the Paxton-Zinn building are completed.
    • Stone Center undergoes $8M renovation. Wheeling Heritage assists with Historic Investment Tax Credits for the project.
    • Wheeling Heritage financially underwrites Heritage Music Blues Festival.
    • Wheeling Heritage assists Wheeling Big Band Society with preservation and cataloging of the “It’s Wheeling Steel” collection.
    • National Civil War Memorial/Restoration of WV Battle Flags efforts are initiated.
    • Rebekah Karelis is hired as a part-time consultant.
  • 2007

    • Wheeling Heritage continues efforts to evaluate the purchase, renovation, operation and management of Capitol Theatre.
    • Wheeling Heritage advises on Historic Investment Tax Credits for Bennett Square (Wheeling Public Library).
    • Wheeling Heritage nominates Holloway Estate-Mt. St. Joseph to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2008

    • Wheeling Historic Gateway Signage—Through a National Scenic Byways grant, Wheeling Heritage creates and installs gateway markers at the entrance of Wheeling’s six most prominent historic districts. The markers were designed and constructed to resemble the Labelle Cut Nail, as Wheeling was once known as Nail City.  The seven-foot cut nail is adorned at its top with a sign topper icon distinct to each district.  The six districts demarcated include Downtown, North Wheeling, Wheeling Island, Centre Market, Woodsdale-Edgewood and National Road.
    • Bekah Karelis hired as a full-time historian.
  • 2009

    • Capitol Theatre – In late 2005, stakeholders in Wheeling began to investigate the possibility of purchasing the Capitol Theatre so that may once again be a community-owned and operated theatre.  This stakeholder effort was led by the Wheeling Heritage and consisted of efforts to evaluate the architectural feasibility and programming viability of the theatre.  Wheeling Heritage funded an architectural feasibility study which prioritized the short-term and long-term needs of the building along with projected costs.  A programming/economic feasibility study of the building was funded through Wheeling Heritage by the Benedum Foundation. Through the evaluation of those studies, it was determined that the collective resources of the city could purchase and operate the facility.  On April 23, 2009, the Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau purchased the theatre and began renovation with the oversight and assistance the Wheeling Heritage.  Later that summer, the Wheeling CVB entered into a management agreement with the Wheeling Sports and Entertainment Authority to operate the operations of the theatre. The Capitol Theatre re-opened on September 23, 2009, to a packed house full of local entertainment.  The theatre is a venue for the Wheeling Symphony, touring Broadway shows, comedians including Jerry Seinfeld, national musical acts including the Avett Brothers, Jason Aldean, and others.
    • Jeremy Morris is appointed executive director.
    • Wheeling Heritage receives Save America’s Treasures Grant for the Capitol Theatre to restore its terra cotta facade.
    • Wheeling Heritage and partners create First Fridays event in Downtown Wheeling.
  • 2010

    • Jeremy Morris is appointed executive director.
    • Wheeling Heritage receives Save America’s Treasures Grant for the Capitol Theatre to restore its terra cotta facade.
    • Wheeling Heritage and partners create First Fridays event in Downtown Wheeling.
  • 2011

    • Wheeling Heritage partners with the City of Wheeling to nominate Wheeling as a WV ONTRAC community, a precursor to the Main Street Program.
  • 2012

    • Wheeling Heritage publishes “It’s Wheeling Steel” (Wheeling Big Band Society), a comprehensive remembrance of the It’s Wheeling Steel Program, broadcast from Wheeling and one of the top radio programs in the nation from 1936-1944.
    • Wheeling Heritage takes over the publication of The Upper Ohio Valley Historical Review, a product of the Wheeling Area Historical Society, which disbanded in 2011.  The Review is a scholarly journal that is dedicated to the history of Wheeling and surrounding counties.
  • 2013

    • Madonna of the Trail Restoration—Through a National Scenic Byway grant and in partnership with the Wheeling Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Wheeling Heritage is able to restore the statue.  A re-dedication ceremony was held in the summer of 2013.
    • West Virginia Statehood Celebration—Wheeling Heritage co-chairs the Wheeling 150 Committee and lead efforts to interpret the State’s founding at West Virginia Independence Hall.  
    • Mount Wood Cemetery is nominated and accepted to the National Register of Historic Places.
    • PreserveWV AmeriCorps program begins. Wheeling Heritage funds two volunteers to work on historic preservation projects in Wheeling.
  • 2014

    • Wheeling Heritage purchases the historic Blue Church at 1206 Byron St.
    • Camp Art*chitecture held in partnership with Belmont College.
    • Wheeling Heritage begins holding monthly volunteer workdays at Mt. Wood Cemetery.
  • 2015

    • Wheeling Heritage successfully writes and submits the nomination for Riverside Iron Works to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
    • Wheeling Heritage receives the State Historic Preservation Office’s development grant to address structural issues for the Blue Church.
    • The Francis H. Pierpont monument is erected outside of West Virginia Independence Hall after successful fundraising efforts by Wheeling Heritage.
  • 2016

    • Wheeling Heritage replaces the roof on the Blue Church after receiving the State Historic Preservation Office’s development grant.
    • Wheeling Heritage holds first Mt. Wood Cemetery fundraiser book sale, a used and old book sale to benefit cemetery restoration efforts.
    • Jake Dougherty is hired as executive director.
  • 2017

    • Alex Weld is hired as project and outreach manager.
    • Wheeling Heritage completes the LaBelle Nail Company’s business document collection, which is now housed at the Ohio County Public Library.

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