Wheeling Heritage Hires Historic Preservation Program Manager

Wheeling Heritage has hired Betsy Sweeny, a preservation specialist, as its Historic Preservation Program manager to lead its historic preservation efforts. She joined the staff at the Artisan Center on Jan. 2, leading history-related projects, facilitating technical assistance for historic building owners, and overseeing the organization’s historic preservation grants and contracts.

Wheeling Heritage Executive Director Jake Dougherty hired Sweeny after a search that included candidates from Wheeling and around the country.

“Betsy brings a wealth of experience and new ideas that will enhance the preservation of Wheeling’s strong sense of place,” said Dougherty. “Her desire to engage with the community and provide services that help all become involved in preservation efforts is clear, and this aligns with our goals as an organization. I’m excited about the programs she will lead and for the impact they will have on our community.”

Most recently, Sweeny was the architecture and preservation specialist at The Montpelier Foundation, where she worked in research, project management and public programming. She frequently worked with local historical societies and led research to create historical exhibits and walking tours. She ran the foundation’s log cabin building program, a hands-on program that taught participants historic building trades while also educating them on how the legacy of the cabins, which were once built by slaves, fit into the broader American story.

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Previously, as The Montpelier Foundation’s Architecture and Preservation technician, she conducted research, created content and oversaw the installation of an award-winning multimedia exhibition at the museum. She also worked as a preservation intern at the City of Columbia and the Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation.

“Wheeling has such a rich history, and I look forward to using my background as an architectural historian to tell some of its stories,” Sweeny said. “This city is fortunate to have many historic buildings that retain much of their character. Many of these buildings beg to be reused, and I am excited to serve as a resource in the community for those that are interested in learning more about historic buildings, and how preservation can facilitate revitalization.”

Sweeny earned her master’s degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2017. She graduated with bachelor’s degrees in art history and anthropology from the University of Missouri in 2015.