Monastery Makeover In Works

The adage of “what’s old is new again” continues to be true in the Wheeling area, with preservation generally outweighing destruction.

For instance, a creative example of the concept of adaptive reuse is envisioned for the former Mount Carmel Monastery in the Edgwood-Woodsdale section of Wheeling.

When the Carmelite nuns left Wheeling and sold their property in 1975, the former monastery became a privately-owned apartment complex.

About four years ago, a new owner began an extensive restoration project at the Mount Carmel apartments.

Now, current owner Jeffrey Morris plans to transform the old Spanish-style monastery building into a boutique hotel and events center. Members of Friends of Wheeling toured the property recently and received an update on the renovations.

On a sad note, during the annual Preservation Forum held in late January, Friends of Wheeling President Jeanne Finstein relayed the news that the old courthouse in West Liberty has been sold. Reportedly, the new out-of-state owners plan to demolish the centuries-old structure, Finstein said.

The building housed the first Ohio County courthouse when West Liberty was the county seat. At some point after the court system moved to Wheeling, the building began being used for residential purposes. In later years, it fell into serious disrepair.

Several years ago, West Liberty history buff Jeanne Schramm and her husband, the late Robert Schramm, acquired the property and began efforts to restore the old courthouse. They uncovered original elements from the former courtroom. At that point, they opened the building for public viewing a few times during community-wide celebrations.

However, the project stalled when the Schramms’ health declined. Efforts to revive the work never gained traction, and the property was put up for sale.

A large audience gave a warm “Friendly City” welcome to the Quaternaglia Guitar Quartet on Tuesday.

The touring musicians from Brazil performed a concert for Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library.

Meanwhile, the Friends of the Brooke County Public Library group is planning a spring event featuring a History Alive! program from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

For the History Alive! presentation, James Froemel of Maidsville, West Virginia, will portray American cartoonist and “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is set to take place in the River Room of the main library, located at 945 Main St., Wellsburg, at 7 p.m. on April 23.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net


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