Landmarks Commission schedules Christmas Open House

ELKINS – The Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission (EHLC), which works to identity, certify and preserve important local historic sites, will hold its Christmas open house at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“It will be a fun and informative event, and I hope everyone who is interested in the fascinating structural and architectural history of Elkins will stop by during the open house and visit with us,” said Logan Smith, EHLC


The event will be held at the historic Darden House in downtown Elkins and will feature a meet-and-greet with the five EHLC commissioners and Danielle LaPresta, executive director of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV), the statewide historic preservation nonprofit that is celebrating its new office opening in Darden House.

The event will include refreshments, and various Elkins historic artifacts will be on display. PAWV’s new traveling exhibit, “Preserving West Virginia: Saving Communities,” which focuses on how historic preservation is beneficial to West Virginia., will also be on display.

The EHLC will have limited-edition R.P. Hale woodblock prints of Darden House available for purchase, while PAWV will be selling its new booklet “West Virginia’s Endangered Historic Properties: Saved and Lost, 2009-2013,” which features the First Ward School project success story.

After the open house, the EHLC will hold a public meeting on the Graham Neighborhood Historic Survey, which will be presented by local historian Robert Whetsell. The survey is a building-by-building assessment of the historic value of the Graham neighborhood, which is bordered roughly by Graham Street, Randolph Avenue, 11th Street, River Street and Davis Avenue.

Whetsell, who worked on the assessment earlier this year with EHLC volunteer Jeff Smith, noted, “We often take this area for granted, but it has played a significant role in Elkins’ history. More than 90 percent of these structures have historic value.”

Following the public meeting, the EHLC will hold its monthly commissioners’ meeting. Guests are encouraged to stay.