The Wheeling Artisan Center will officially break ground on the $1.5 million renovation project on May 22, 2023. After accepting a bid from Accelerated Construction Services out of Morgantown, West Virginia, the Wheeling Artisan Center looks to refresh the first-floor space of the building.
Currently home to multiple businesses, the Wheeling Artisan Center is an industrial building with a three-story atrium in the heart of downtown Wheeling. Located at 1400 Main Street, the building is a tribute to the city’s rich cultural heritage. Previously, the building was a combination of three separate buildings and has construction dating pre-Civil War. Two foundry plaques can be found in the building with clearly illustrated statehood of West Virginia. One is marked “VA.” While the other is inscribed “W.VA.”
“We are so excited that this long-awaited renovation is ready to start,” said Scott Schenerlein, Wheeling Heritage Executive Director. “This beautiful building is an important part of our Main Street landscape and preserving its history for continued use in today’s market is at the core of our mission. We owe a debt of gratitude to so many for making this happen. When it’s completed it will be a testament to the pillars of our work: Historic Preservation, Small Business Development, Grants and Investments and Arts and Culture.”
Within this renovation, the Artisan Center Shop will be relocated to the first floor, along the windows of Main Street, giving the shop a traditional storefront. This will move the restaurant to one side of the building, opening the atrium up to be used for galleries and events. Local business, House of Rouse, will be reupholstering the original booths. Pairing with the City’s Streetscape project, an outdoor dining area will be added to the restaurant tenant space on the 14th Street side. Other projects include refinishing the floors, upgrades to the restrooms and lighting, new wayfinding, relocation of the gaming room, and more. There is also a 1,078-square-foot, first-floor tenant space available for those looking for a storefront.
Victor Greco of the Mills Group offered: “This is an exciting project for the Wheeling Heritage Corporation and the City of Wheeling. The planned improvements will breathe new life into the building with the Wheeling Artisan Center Shop relocated to the street level, consolidation of the River City bar and restaurant and new interior and toilet room finishes, and new lighting. The corner building will be enhanced with new façade lighting, colorful banners, and outdoor dining along 14th Street. We are proud to further help with the revitalization of the City’s street life.”
During renovations, River City and the Wheeling Artisan Center Shop plan to remain open. A temporary bar will be placed in the Atrium while work on the bar section occurs. Once that is completed, the restaurant will utilize the original bar. The Wheeling Artisan Center Shop will remain on the second floor with shoppers able to utilize the front doors. Online shopping will be available at artisancenter.com for those who would like delivery or local pick-up.
This project has been generously funded by a $1 million federal earmark, along with $750,000 from the City’s American Rescue Plan Act funds, and support from Wheeling Heritage. With the work of the Mills Group, The City of Wheeling, Wheeling Heritage and Accelerated Construction Services, this project is expected to be completed in late 2023. Updates on the progress of the project will be posted at wheelingheritage.org/project/artisan-center/.
About Wheeling Heritage:
Wheeling Heritage is a catalyst for the revitalization of Wheeling. Through historic preservation, community development, and the arts, we help to tell Wheeling’s story and shape its future. We seek to improve the quality of life in Wheeling by preserving and investing in our city, collaborating with others, and engaging the citizens of Wheeling in our work.