ON TRAC to host town hall meeting on Thursday

The public is invited to experience local history and learn about the Elkins ON TRAC project May 30 at the second ON TRAC Town Hall.

Taking place at the historic Parmesano building from 5 to 7 p.m., the meeting will showcase the successful rehabilitation project at 122 Third St. in downtown Elkins.

Property owner Christy Tribble is looking forward to filling the space with people for the first time.

“I want to bring this wonderful building back to life,” said Tribble, who purchased the property in March 2012. Since then, the building has undergone a transformation with an eye for historic preservation and modern reuse.

The property now houses Tribble’s accounting office and a residential apartment on the second floor. The recently completed 1,300-square-foot first floor is presently unoccupied.

Tribble used historic photographs to help guide some of the restoration, particularly the storefront. Although originally made of cast iron, the reproduction facade was constructed of a modern material. The street entrance to the second floor, which had been removed, also was reconstructed to provide access to her office.

The original hardwood floor and tin ceiling have been restored on the first floor, and second-floor windows also have been restored, while other features of the property have been updated, Tribble said.

“I opted to completely restore the upstairs bay windows to their original working condition rather than installing all new windows,” she said.

The Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission recognized Tribble Wednesday at the Bi-Annual Toast to Preservation reception at the Darden House. She received the “Best Downtown Development” award.

ON TRAC Project Manager Karen Carper said Tribble’s project is a perfect example of downtown revitalization through historic preservation.

“We are incredibly proud to show what Christy has been able to do, and hope it will be an inspiration to others who want to invest in our fabulous downtown,” Carper said.

The Parmesano building was constructed in 1899 for Italian immigrant Vincent Parmesano. The two-story structure once had a full cast-iron storefront and large first-floor metal pediment. The former shoemaker operated a fruit and confectionary business at the location.

A program will be presented at the May 30 event to introduce newcomers to ON TRAC and update participants on new committee projects. Members of the board of directors will be introduced and new board members welcomed. A slide show will feature photos from the recent National Main Streets conference in New Orleans April 13-16.

The town hall meeting also will kick off the new Friends of ON TRAC program. Refreshments will be served.

The West Virginia ON TRAC (Organization, Training, Revitalization and Capacity) program was created by Main Street West Virginia to assist West Virginia communities in their efforts to boost economic and community growth.

Elkins was designated an ON TRAC community in January 2009. Since that time, project participants have worked to meet criteria for National Main Street designation. Designation will bring national recognition and support to the downtown revitalization project, Carper said.

“We hope to achieve this important milestone in 2014,” she said.

Elkins ON TRAC is supported by the City of Elkins and the Randolph County Commission with additional support provided by event sponsorships and contributions.

More information is available by emailing info@elkinsontrac.org or finding Elkins ON TRAC on Facebook.