WATCH: Progress at The Fort Henry Club

When the doors first opened at the Fort Henry Club on December 23, 1890, it was the definition of luxury. What was previously a private residence known as the Howell Mansion was transformed by architect E.B. Franzheimand and adorned with extravagant chandeliers, oak furniture and cozy leather chairs1. The Fort Henry Club remained a symbol of high society in Wheeling for over a century before officially closing in 2011 after a steady decline in membership. In 2013, the building was purchased by McKinley Architecture and Engineering – and they have some big plans for its future. 

Renovations are underway to restore The Fort Henry Club building to its former glory. Office space is already being rented out to tenants, and once more renovations are completed the firm plans to relocate their offices to the upper floors of the building. They also have hopes of adding a restaurant on the first floor. It’s exciting to think that what was once an exclusive club could soon be open to anyone who wants to have a meal while sitting inside a piece of Wheeling’s history. 

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Wheeling Heritage Media got a behind-the-scenes look at the progress that’s being made at the Fort Henry Club building. Christina Schessler, project manager and architect at McKinley Architecture and Engineering, explains that when the building was in danger of being demolished, their firm stepped in to preserve the building and once again make it a showpiece that the community can enjoy for years to come.

Check out our short video that shows the progress that the team has made and follow Weelunk for updates on similar projects happening in Wheeling. 


“The Fort Henry Club. Almost Ready for the House-Warming Tuesday Night” The Wheeling Intelligencer, December 19, 1890, accessed May 18, 2021,