Saturday, December 24, 2011

Walking through Downtown Clarksburg...

I went walking through Downtown Clarksburg, West Virginia this morning.  This is something I do about once or twice a year.  It was kind of eerie feeling due to it being a Saturday and Christmas Eve.  I was reading in the Clarksburg newspaper this morning on how downtown areas such as Clarksburg would be bustling in the days and weeks prior to Christmas due to all the stores in the downtown areas.  This was before the malls, shopping centers, and the megastores that made their mark in the two or three previous decades.
Also in today's paper, there was an article about building that would likely be demolished in the near future due to public safety.  I would like to see these buildings demolished and something better take its place.  But that would be unlikely due to most traffic just passes by on the expressway above the city overlooking many of the buildings that lie empty or underutilized.
Some of the buildings slated to be demolished were once grand houses that are now empty lots.  One such grand house demolished in Clarksburg was the Nathan Goff House which is now a pretty little park on Dominion gas property that is not open to the public.  Another structure expected to be demolished was a former Sheraton Hotel that had been converted to the John W. Davis West Virginia State Office Building and a new state office building is expected to take its place.   Another former hotel, the Waldo, has been owned by the Vandalia Foundation in hopes to be renovated or restored.  But it is most likely to see the wrecking ball.   Finally, Central Junior High is expected to be demolished.  This is a building that has been visible to many due to its location next to the expressway.
Former Sheraton and John W. Davis State Office Building

former Central Junior High School 

the former Waldo Hotel

former home located next to the Caperton Center

Location of former Nathan Goff House.  Note sign stating "No Trespassing - property of Dominion"
I have scant personal memories to most of the buildings other than driving or walking by them occasionally, but to many people there are many great memories.  Let's hope there are more memories to be made in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I like what you are writing. There sre fabulous old houses on Quality Hill with great stories. The Cyrus Vance house is in the historic register. the Chamber of Commerce is trying to recreate a "home" of Stonewall Jackson, instead of the plaque. You could catalog the house, buildings, etc. by the time period and write an article about each period. I'm sure the facebook could connect you to folks eager to tell the story of their neighborhoods. (Is there a book in all this history?)