Own a Piece of Wheeling History with the Rogers Hotel

The promise of a “fireproof” hotel has long loomed over downtown Wheeling. The six-story red brick building rests squarely on Fourteenth Street, nestled between Chapline Street and Market. Built almost 100 years ago, the Rogers Hotel is an emblem of Wheeling’s beautiful past.​​ The building originally hosted over 60 rooms and incredible details, and now, it will be up for auction! The Wheeling Heritage Media team got a chance to go inside this historic building and look around.

The front lobby to the Rogers Hotel.

Originally built and opened in 1915, it was set to be a “revolutionary” hotel in the heart of the city. What made it revolutionary? It had a promise of fireproofing, “class A, every room with private bath, telephone, writing desk, and every modern convenience.” All that cement and stone that made it so fireproof is still there today, coming in handy in a different way. When some Wheeling Heritage staff were given a tour, the outside temperature was sailing over 90 degrees, but it was cool as a cucumber inside the building, without A/C running. 

In addition to staying cool, the inside of the Rogers Hotel is truly something to marvel at. Many of the original features remain a part of the building, and they are jaw-dropping. There are pieces of delicate plasterwork that appear around the main lobby, many of which still feature some of the original paint tones. In 1915, The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer described the color selection on the interior as one that would “arouse the admiration of all those who have seen it.” Many of the rooms also feature the original bathtubs, which is fascinating, given that it was such a selling point when the hotel first opened. “Room with bath for a dollar.” All rooms had a shower/bath combo, with the rooms on the “outside” (or, the ones with the good views) for rent for $1.25. 

  • Some of the orriginal palster work.

There is also original tile throughout the property, made by The Wheeling Tile Company, including the restaurant space. Some may remember Jimmy’s Gyros, which used to operate from this space. The restaurant is included in the action of the whole property, and will still include the counters and sinks, making it easy for the new owner to open a quaint little eatery. The rest of the building is in various stages of repair. The second-floor rooms all have plumbing and electric hookups, and some of the rooms are even fully finished. This is a real treat, as the second floor has a truly gorgeous window overlooking the marquise, featuring the original railing. The building also features copper window screens made by A. L. Yardley & Son of Columbus, Ohio.

Subscribe to Weelunk

Perhaps the most interesting part of the history of the building is the Bell Telephone system connection. The hotel featured a private switchboard “connected to the Bell Central office by two trunks,” which would serve the “seventy-five telephone stations of the new hotel.”  This access provided to each room’s phone and the phones for hotel management enabled calls to “any one in the hotel, or any of 9300 Bell telephone in the Wheeling Exchange area, or any of the more than 8,000,000 in the United States with the least possible trouble.” What a hum of activity the hotel must have been!

  • The original tiles in the former rstraunt.

If you want to get your hands on all this building has to offer, and it is truly teeming with potential, it will be up for auction very soon. While, in the age of cell phones, providing a phone in each room may not wow guests as much, this place certainly still has wow-factor. There has been so much work done thus far to restore the history of the property, but not so much as to limit the creativity of possible buyers. It really is such a golden opportunity to take a piece of Wheeling fabulous history, breathe new life into it, and make it your own. I, for one, am excited to see what happens next!

• Makayla Carney, a Wheeling native, is the 2023-2024 AmeriCorps member for Wheeling Heritage, where she will get to write all about the history and culture of her hometown. She has a B.F.A. in Film and Television from DePaul University in Chicago. She adores all kinds of art, a lavender latte, and the occasional performance on the Towngate Theatre stage.


“The Rogers Hotel in Wheeling.” Ohio County Public Library, https://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/research/wheeling-history/5532. Accessed 26 June 2024.

“THE ROGERS OF WHEELING, W. VA.” Ohio County Public Library, https://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/history/rogers-hotel-opens-1915/5972. Accessed 26 June 2024.

“WHEELING’S NEWEST HOSTELRY OPENED TO PUBLIC YESTERDAY.” Ohio County Public Library, https://www.ohiocountylibrary.org/research/wheeling-history/5973. Accessed 26 June 2024.