Established in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Preservation Month brings attention to historic places to instill pride, promote heritage conservation, and encourage tourism. We know our historic buildings are important, but May is a great time to give them a little extra attention and appreciation.
Wheeling is home to an impressive array of historic architecture – from pre-civil war structures of our early settlement (like The Blue Church) to funky mid-century department stores, Wheeling’s got a building for everyone.
Here are a few ways you can show your love of Wheeling’s architectural heritage.
1. Take a Walk
Explore one of Wheeling’s many historic neighborhoods. Wheeling Heritage has several brochures that you can download to embark on your own self-guided tour of Wheeling.
2. Visit a Historic Site or Museum
Independence Hall, Oglebay, and the Stifel Center are just a few of the historic sites, museums, and cultural institutions Wheeling has to offer.Plan a visit and pay attention to the architectural elements you might otherwise overlook.
3. Get to Know the Local Preservation Organizations
The best way to save old buildings is by using them! Stroll through Centre Market, or visit a shop or restaurant located in a historic building. Notice the details of the space that make your experience unique.
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5. Take our Neighborhood Quiz
Ever wonder which historic neighborhood you really belong in? Take our neighborhood quiz to find out. Not living there yet? Check out our Living in Wheeling page to learn how to change that!
6. Take a Picture
Share your photos of historic buildings on social media using the hashtag #thisplacematters. Part of a larger campaign launched by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, #thisplacematters is a way for people to share the places and spaces that mean the most to them.
7. Speak Up
Do you love old buildings? Let people know! Historic buildings are precious resources that cannot be replaced once lost.Communicating with your local leaders, attending historic landmarks and city council meetings, and writing letters to the editor are all great ways to advocate for historic preservation in Wheeling.
8. Get Spiritual
Wheeling is home to several historic churches with rich histories and stunning architecture. Download Wheeling Heritage’s historic churches brochure, pick a building that interests you and then go see it in person.
9. Read a Sign
Highway markers, trail signage, and local landmark plaques are all great ways to learn about the built environment. Read these signs and let them guide you through the city of Wheeling.
10. Learn More
The Ohio County Public Library is a great place to dig deeper into local history. You can make an appointment to visit the Wheeling Room and view their collection of Sanborn Maps, or visit their Flickr page and browse the impressive collection of historic photographs.
• Betsy Sweeny is the director of heritage programming at Wheeling Heritage. She is an architectural historian, yoga teacher and dog mom to her rescue dog Marshall.