Grants Awarded for Local Preservation Projects

Owners of three Wheeling buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places will receive about $83,000 in state grants to preserve the structures’ architecture.

State Historic Preservation Office officials recently announced a total of $520,000 in development grants for 19 projects statewide. The three Wheeling buildings – the YWCA building on Chapline Street, the former Fischer-Lasch farmhouse along Waddles Run and the former Riley Flats building in East Wheeling – were the only Northern Panhandle projects to receive funding in this round of grants.

The largest of the three grants, $37,943, went to Kristoffy Real Estate, which is preparing to renovate the former Riley Flats at 45-49 15th St. for rental property, to be christened the Vivienne Apartments.

The funding will assist in restoring the facade, windows bays and balconies on the building.

Owner Heather Slack said the building needs some work, but its original fireplaces, mantles and woodwork are intact. When finished, the structure – essentially two separate buildings joined by a common hallway – will feature a total of 10 units, including four-bedroom apartments on the ground floor and two-bedroom apartments above.

“Structurally, the building’s in good shape,” Slack said, noting she hopes to be renting units by May.

The SHPO awarded the Wheeling YWCA $26,250 to help it restore windows at its 1100 Chapline St. building. The windows are original to the 1912 structure, according to YWCA Executive Director Lori Jones, and the organization will use the grant to replace more than 30 windows on the building’s second floor.

“That is our worst-insulated area. … It’s very drafty and cold in the winter, and very hot in the summer,” Jones said.

Nicky’s Garden Center owners P.J. and Nikki Lenz will receive $18,846 for masonry restoration at the former Fischer-Lasch farmhouse along Waddles Run, where they plan to move their business after restoring the old building – a process they expect to take at least a year or two.

Built in 1884, the property once housed the Hillwood Dairy Farm. It was one of about 35 small dairies that once operated in the Wheeling area but had difficulty adapting to the move away from glass bottling, according to U.S. Department of the Interior documents. It also served as a private residence before the Lenzes bought the property.

The SHPO development grants require a minimum 50 percent match from the recipient. The Legislature provides funds for the program through West Virginia Lottery revenue.