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Ribbon cutting set for historic building renovation

BEVERLY — On Saturday, June 27, a historic building in Beverly will have a bit of its identity restored to it. The Beverly Bank — one of four buildings comprising the Beverly Heritage Center — will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. unveiling a window which replicates the look of the original stained glass. An adhesive window cling will be attached to a storm window imitating the 120-year old pattern with period colors.

“We had a dickens of a time figuring out the colors,” notes AmeriCorps member Chris Mielke, who led the project. “In the end, what we had to do was convert photos of contemporary stained glass windows to black and white and then match up the darkness as best as we could. We only had to worry about four or five shades of grey, not 50.”

The Beverly Bank was chartered in 1899 and the building erected on the former front lawn of the original Randolph County courthouse in 1900. The Bank operated until 1933, a victim of the Great Depression.

There would have been five arched windows in total, four of which were divided into three segments. The window above the Bank’s front door is the one being restored. The Beverly Heritage Center was able to order the window cling replicating the original appearance from a company in Wisconsin called Decorative Window Films by Mary Anne.

This window was funded through a grant from the Snowshoe Foundation that includes improvements to an exhibit in the Beverly Bank building on the history of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. New additions to the exhibit will include artifacts discussing the history of the Underground Railroad in this part of the state and a digital display on the history of Native American Trails.

“We see it as our mission to preserve the historic integrity of our community,” said Phyllis Baxter, president of the Beverly Heritage Center CVB. “The Snowshoe Foundation and AmeriCorps service members are invaluable to this end. Chris was able to figure out colors that fit in the window, and Kalee Paxton, an AmeriCorps member with the Monongahela National Forest, was able to draw the original pattern. This window will be visible from the street, so anyone passing by can get a better understanding of our town’s rich heritage.”

“Historic spaces were often full of color, even to the point of being gaudy,” adds Mielke. “The yellow-orange and dark reds in this window seem very similar to the stained glass window in the Beverly Presbyterian Church.”

Delegate Cody Thompson, D-43rd District, has been invited to cut the ribbon. It will take place at 1 p.m., followed shortly thereafter by a walking tour of the Architecture of Historic Beverly. The ribbon cutting is free to the public and will be broadcast digitally. A fee will be charged for the walking tour, and reservations are recommended.

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