Old spot, new feel: enjoy the fresh revivals of these 7 historic WV buildings

Old buildings in the Mountain State tell interesting stories.

Not only do they reflect different types of architecture, they also influence education, art and music, the way we eat, and the way we live. Our towns are reviving old buildings with new and modern twists.

Enjoy these new experiences in historic settings:

1. Oglebay Hall, Morgantown

Originally constructed in 1917, Oglebay Hall was the first building at West Virginia University to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Home to the  Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program, the narrow and long Beaux Arts building is the iconic classroom building on the downtown campus, easily recognized by the 3 Roman Doric pillars and the name ‘Oglebay’ engraved above the entrance. Today, the newly renovated building houses some of the most advanced forensic laboratories and equipment in the United States.

2. Pies and Pints, Charleston

When Pies and Pints renovated their Charleston location, they had no idea that the iconic White Elephant of the White Elephant Saloon from the 1800s was on the wall. Once the renovation of the property revealed the beautiful mural, the owners had it restored, and it has since become the mascot for the growing chain.

3. Lafayette Flats, Fayetteville

The expansive windows of this former bank, built in 1906, offer great views of the Fayette County Courthouse and the town common. This building is listed on the National Historic Register, and the top 2 floors have been completely restored to their original beauty. The Lafayette Flats are available as rentals for folks who want to easily explore the shops, cafes, dining and galleries in downtown Fayetteville.

4. Apollo Civic Theater, Martinsburg

Construction on the original theater started in 1912, and it quickly became the hottest attraction in town. The Apollo Theater was open through the depression and 2 world wars before falling on hard times in the 1970s. A community group formed to save the theater and renovate the building, known as “The Miracle on East Martin Street.” Today, theater-goers can attend 6 live performances each year, as well films, concerts and other events.

5. Stella’s, Lewisburg

This charming restaurant was originally a residence in the 1800s, and retains the classic beauty from the romantic era with touches like chandeliers, intricate wood trim and simple, upscale decor. Stella’s menu complements this old-time elegance with fine contemporary cuisine, made with locally sourced ingredients— some from the garden out front!  

6. The Marshall University Visual Arts Center & Gallery, Huntington

“Destiny” connected the old and new in this downtown building’s turnaround: the school’s new state-of-the-art facility revives the nostalgic old Stone & Thomas department store, which was actually built the same year the university program was founded. Keeping the old charm with touches like the original hardwood floors, the new design features smart lighting, new windows, wifi connectability and other modern amenities, including a 2,200-square-foot gallery.

7. McGrew House Gift Shop, Kingwood

As the community works to keep the character intact in the heart of the historic district, the McGrew House has become a centerpiece, restored to its pre-Civil War glory. The unique transformation comes from its adjoined gift shop. This building was once nothing more than a smokehouse, chicken house then coal house before being revitalized as a gateway to local craftsmanship as well as wares from around the world.


That barely scrapes the surface! The Mountain State is full of stunning historic buildings, many of which have been given new purpose by their communities. Which old West Virginia renovated buildings do you love to visit?

Explore more historic WV >

This post was last updated on July 22, 2020