Wheeling Young Preservationists

Preserving Wheeling’s past builds a better community today

Wild, Wonderful Window Workshop

By Alex Panas

 

A few weeks ago, Aaron and I hit the road and visited Clarksburg, WV to attend a workshop hosted by the Harrison County West Virginia Historical Society and the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV). The fun and engaging workshop was led by Anna Lynn Stasick from the PAWV, and we took away a lot from the experience. We learned about the proper tools to use, tips for removing disassembling and labeling windows, how to test for lead and safely remove years worth of built-up paint, and how to repair damaged wood and glass that have seen better days. Most importantly we learned to be patient. With any preservation project, it’s a labor of love, and that’s certainly true with windows.

Window Project 4.jpg

Here are some of the main takeaways from the workshop:

1.     Properly label all of your windows prior to disassembling them. In older homes, windows were specially made for each frame. Even if they look the same, there could be slight variations in size, so you’ll want to make sure you’re replacing each window back in it’s original place. Save yourself the headache later by properly labeling from the beginning.

2.     Test for lead! If your home was built before 1978, you probably have lead-based paint somewhere in your home. Exposure to lead paint can cause serious health problems, and calls for special treatment when renovating and restoring your home. Do yourself a favor and pick up a lead test kit at your local home improvement store before you get started. Learn more about lead safety here.

3.     Use steam. Anna taught us an easy, safe method for removing paint from wooden windows by using steam. Using steam dampens the wood, making it easier to scrape and also suppresses any lead paint dust that you would encounter if you simply started scraping or sanding. Anna assembled a steam box using foam board insulation and HVAC foil tape. She then cut a small hole and inserted a hose to a steamer. We placed the window into the box, covered it, let it sit for 20 minutes, and the window was ready to be scraped!

4.     Cutting/replacing glass. Using the steam method above also made it easier to remove the glass window panes. For the panes that needed replaced, we used this little guy to easily score the glass to the perfect size!

Window Project 1.jpg

Side note--Cutting glass is really fun! I enjoyed the little “zipping” noise you hear as you score the glass. I also got really excited when the glass broke with a perfectly straight line. BEAUTIFUL!

5.     Repairing damaged wood. We used Abatron’s wood repair and restoration kit to repair damaged wood to both the window frame and the window sill. Everything you need is included in the kit, you just need to be prepared with a paint brush and some mixing containers. The two-step process will bring new life to wood that has seen better days.

Window Project 2.jpg

 

6.     Replacing the window panes. Once we removed the glass and all of the old glaze and paint that once surrounded the glass during the steaming process, we got to work with replacing the window panes. We placed fresh glazing compound along the frame and positioned the new glass into place. We then added new glazing points into the window frame to secure the glass (glazing points are small metal fasteners, and can be applied with a tool that looks similar to a staple gun). Once the glass was secure, we added a thick layer glazing compound around the perimeter to seal the edges and ran a wet putty knife to remove the excess glaze to create a nice, smooth line around the edges.

Window Project 3.jpg

 

And voila! We successfully restored the window and it was ready to re-install. While we may be far from experts, Aaron and I learned a lot of useful tips at the workshop. I’m confident that if we ever find ourselves in need of replacing some old wooden windows, we could do so on our own (maybe with some guidance from our more hands-on preservation friends).

 

Have you ever restored your own windows? How did it go for you? Share your best practices tips in the comments below.

 

Are you interested in attending a workshop similar to this one? Let us know and we can start planning something to bring to the Friendly City!

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Let’s address the 25-ton project in the city

By: Alex Panas

You may have heard some buzz about the “big move” to downtown Wheeling, and no, I’m not talking about The Health Plan. I’m talking about the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument. This magnificent piece of history currently sits atop the hill overlooking Wheeling Park, but this monument has been on a long journey and some dedicated individuals have planned to relocate the monument in its rightful home in downtown Wheeling. 

Dedicated on May 30, 1883, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument was originally located in Wheeling’s capitol square on the corner of 16th and Chapline Street. It is the largest and second oldest Civil War monument in the state of West Virginia. The monument is not only a dedication to the defenders of the Union during the American Civil War, but for all American veterans who defend our country. During World War I, immigrant groups would conduct patriotic loyalty parades, with the route ending at Wheeling’s city hall where a wreath of roses was placed on the Soldiers and Sailors monument. There is no doubt that this monument is a symbol of sacrifice and devotion to our country. In its new location next to West Virginia Independence Hall, the Soldiers and Sailors monument will be prominently on display for visitors and residents to enjoy for years to come. 

The monument was moved from its original home to The Linsly School in 1956 when the former capitol was demolished. Just a few short years later in 1958 the monument was uprooted again to where it currently resides in Wheeling Park. In F ebruary 2016, Margaret Brennan, Jake Dougherty, Jeanne Finstein, Rusty Jebbia, Alex Jebbia, Debbie Jones, Bekah Karelis, Joe Laker, and Randall Reid-Smith joined forces to bring the monument back home to downtown Wheeling. It’s expected to travel to its final resting place for a re-dedication ceremony on Memorial Day of this year. The committee has raised over $65,000 to go towards the project, but there is still $20,000 needed to complete the project. 

In an effort to support this project, all proceeds from the prom court contest at WYP Prom will be donated to this project. For just $1, you can cast a vote for yourself or a friend to have a chance to be preservation royalty at our March 11 event at River City. The more votes you purchase, the greater your chances are to be in the spotlight. So remember to bring some cash to support a worthy project! 

Historical information for this story was provided by the Ohio County Public Library and Archiving Wheeling. 

 

WheeLove: Centre Market

 WheeLove spotlights business owners that have contributed to Wheeling's success and entrepreneurial spirit.   This is just a glimpse at one of many businesses that contribute to Wheeling's revitalization. Business owners who are interested in being featured on a WheeLove blog should contact Alex Panas and Bekah Karelis at wheelingyoungpreservationists@gmail.com.

Later Alligator

by Bekah Karelis

The transformation of 2145 Market St. 

The transformation of 2145 Market St. 

Later Alligator, the restaurant that could be considered Wheeling’s most unique, is located in the Centre Market district just south of Wheeling Creek in the shopping district.

Susan Haddad did not have a restaurant in mind when she purchased the historic building located at 2145 Market Street in Centre Market.  She saw it as an investment opportunity.  In 2000, the talk of the Victorian Outlet Mall was still a hot topic, though the mall was planned to end at 21st Street, a block short of the building.  Haddad was working for McKinley & Associates at the time and was aware of this shortcoming, but thought it was a timely investment, regardless.

When she purchased the building, Tom’s Antique Shop was located on the ground floor with three leased apartments above. The rents provided enough income to cover the building expenses.  The first 3 years Susan collected the rents, paid the mortgage and looked forward to the possibility of making a couple of dollars on a resale. What happened instead was the demise of the outlet mall and literally --- a wake-up call the morning of New Year’s Eve. Tom Purdy was in up to his knees in water. A pipe on the second floor of the building had burst and the entire first floor was flooded. Tom moved his antique business a block south. Susan began her stint as a DIY restoration specialist.

Haddad decided to quit her job in order to devote her time to restoring the building.  The renovation took a little more than three and a half years, the first 2 of which she worked alone. After interviewing a number contractors, each of whom suggested getting rid of the original Wheeling Tile floors and updating everything as new, Susan knew she needed to pursue other avenues for help in completingthe project. The magic happened when her neighbor and friend, Thad Podratsky, announced he had just quit his job and would be going out on his own. Susan was able to convince Thad to join her and shortly thereafter Thad’s friend, Andy Loos. The team was assembled. Salvaged materials were used throughout wherever possible. The oversized restroom doors, antique light fixtures and slate back bar countertop all came from the old Fulton School. The wood flooring in the front of the restaurant was rescued from the dumpster as Wheeling Wholesale Grocery was being renovated to the extension of Northern Community College. The antique wood file cabinet incorporated into the bar, still with its original drawer labels, was purchased at the Marsh Wheeling Stogies auction. Every door and every piece of trim inside and outside of the building was stripped to the original raw wood. This took time and throughout this period more than one idea for the building’s destiny was considered.

By early 2006, she had decided to open a restaurant. There were a number of eateries in Centre Market at that time. A beef house, fish market, deli, diner and Lebanese - all specialties. Inspired by her time spent in France, Susan decided to introduce the unique and fun eating experience of French crepes to Wheeling’s lunch crowd.

Since she opened the doors of Later Alligator, she has seen dramatic change in the Centre Market district.  More people are making the buildings located in the district into residences and more storefronts are being rehabilitated. When Later Alligator opened in August of 2006, nearly every storefront in the block was vacant. Wheeling Florist, Cardinal Printing and Saseen’s where the few doing business. Today is a different story completely. The Market is vibrant and full of life.

Changes are coming and plans are on the table. To Susan’s delight, her son, Mitch, has recently come on board full time and is taking on the day-to-day operations of the restaurant. The staff of 22 works hard keeping the hungry crowds happy not only with their savory and sweet crepes but with their homemade soups, salads and sandwiches. Lunchtime or dinner, inside or outside in the courtyard are all good times to visit – and weekends also bring in a lot of people wanting to enjoy this acclaimed and award-winning restaurant.

The Stauver's maintained a jewelry store in the building after prohibition shut down the saloon business in town.  Their tag line was "The Jeweler Below the Creek!"

The Stauver's maintained a jewelry store in the building after prohibition shut down the saloon business in town.  Their tag line was "The Jeweler Below the Creek!"

Perhaps this location was destined to serve cocktails – as it was linked to the thirstier side of Wheeling’s history.  The property that would become 2145 Market Street was sold to Andrew Joseph Hosenfelt in 1869 for $1500.  The 1870 Ohio county census lists Hosenfelt as a saloonkeeper and their family would live in the building until they sold it in 1880.

Another German family, the Lohse’s, purchased the building for $6000.  They also operated a saloon out of the location and lived upstairs with their children and a number of boarders. 

Saloons were quite numerous at the time, when the Lohse’s purchased the building in 1880, their saloon was one of 80 in the city.  By 1884, there were 111 saloons citywide!  After the death of Mr. Lohse, his widow continued to live upstairs but the saloon was operated by Richard J. Wilkie and the Brandfass brothers – Christian, Edward, and Albert.  (This historical information was once again provided by our compatriots, the Friends of Wheeling!)

It was also for a time, a jewelry store.  There is a picture hanging up inside the restaurant with a sign above the storefront declaring, “The Jeweller Below the Creek!”

The most notable characteristic of the building is the “Frank Lloyd Wright” designed windows above the storefront.  Wright designed the prism glass panes for the Luxfer Prism Company.  These little glass panes, with just a hint of a purple hue, are known as “the flower pattern.”  Frank Lloyd Wright would design 41 different patterns for the Luxfer Prism Company – but his flower pattern was the only one that was ever produced. 

An example of the Luxfer Prism Company's "flower pattern" glass that adorns the storefront of Later Alligator.  Look above the large front windows to see these little panes of prism glass.

An example of the Luxfer Prism Company's "flower pattern" glass that adorns the storefront of Later Alligator.  Look above the large front windows to see these little panes of prism glass.

Look up next time you walk by Later Alligator - this is what you see!  This prism glass is not known to exist on any other extant building in Wheeling.

Look up next time you walk by Later Alligator - this is what you see!  This prism glass is not known to exist on any other extant building in Wheeling.

Any visitor to the restaurant can see that it is themed beyond the crepes that it serves.  Inspired by the ground floor’s pressed metal ceiling (its pattern was created by the Wheeling Steel company) Haddad’s décor of choice is an immense Wheeling Steel collection with an array of items produced by the company and associated objects.   Haddad’s collection began before the restaurant – in 1985 to be exact – when she started collecting Wheeling Steel watering cans at garage sales.  The collection has grown to be what it is now – truly remarkable and all on display within Later Alligator.  

The addition of cocktails to the menu at Later Alligator has proven to be wildly popular!  Photograph by Bennett McKinley.

The addition of cocktails to the menu at Later Alligator has proven to be wildly popular!  Photograph by Bennett McKinley.

WheeLove: Warwood Tool

WheeLove: Warwood Tool

By Alex Panas and Bekah Karelis

This article is part of a month-long series celebrating National Preservation month.  WheeLove spotlights business owners that have contributed to Wheeling’s success. This is just a glimpse at one of many businesses that contribute to Wheeling's revitalization. Business owners who are interested in being featured on a WheeLove blog should contact Alex Panas and Bekah Karelis at wheelingyoungpreservationists@gmail.com.

An Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) exists for Warwood Tool company.  It can be accessed and viewed at the Library of Congress' website.  Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

An Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) exists for Warwood Tool company.  It can be accessed and viewed at the Library of Congress' website.  Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

If you venture far enough North on Wheeling Heritage Trail, you’ll find a long, metal building with vented walls, just wide enough to take a peek inside. Depending on the time of day, passersby may wonder if this nondescript building is just an empty shell, unaware that there is a vibrant business within its walls. Warwood Tool, located at 164 North 19th Street, is a thriving business and has been since it opened in 1854. They produce a variety of steel tools that are 100% made in the United States. Current Vice President, Philip Carl, and President, Logan Hartle, were kind enough to give the Wheeling Young Preservationists a tour of their factory.

Members of the Wheeling Young Preservationists walk through the long factory with their tour guides.  

Members of the Wheeling Young Preservationists walk through the long factory with their tour guides.  

Here are five of the most interesting things we learned on our tour:

1. It’s Warwood’s namesake.

When Henry Warwood moved his tool supply company from Martins Ferry in the early 1900s, the area that you now know as Warwood looked much different. What was once secluded farmland quickly grew into a thriving town because of the new manufacturing facility. As such, the town was named Warwood in honor of the company that brought it life.

2. Warwood has it’s own color

If you spot a tool coated in a bright blue finish, it was more than likely manufactured by Warwood Tool Company. The blue finish is referred to as “Warwood Blue.” Why? Good question. Philip and Logan weren’t sure either, but the hue has been their finish of choice in recent memory.

3. This company was at risk of being uprooted from Wheeling.

Before Carl and Hartle assumed ownership of Warwood Tool, there were two other prospective buyers from Detroit and China that were interested in purchasing the company. The owner’s decision to sell to one of those foreign buyers could have taken this small piece of history away from Wheeling. Fortunately, keeping the company local was of great importance to the previous owner, and he had faith in Carl and Hartle to guide Warwood Tool into a new era of manufacturing.

4. Warwood Tool was recently featured on the History Channel’s documentary: The Men Who Built America.  

The History Channel made a wide swath through the Ohio Valley a few years ago, using many of the old industrial sites along the river to film their acclaimed documentary.  

5. It’s an old industry with a new vision.

Walking around the factory is like stepping back to a simpler time. There is no digital technology used in any of the mechanisms. Instead, there are massive, oil-coated machines that have been producing quality tools since the early 1900s. Although the company has proven successful with traditional production methods, Carl and Hartle are looking to update their production line in the next year so they can deliver the same quality and safety, but with a quicker, less-antiquated system.

Visit the Warwood Tool website

Access the digital copy of of the Warood Tool HAER Report

View photographs from the Warwood Tool HAER Report

“We eat, sleep, live, and breathe ‘Made in America’. We are hard people that make hard products. By hand, we forge, bend, grind, and handle US steel to make the finest industrial grade hand tools in the world. We depend on each other here; for growth, for humor, for safety. For all the sledge swingers who believe in doing it right the first time, for all the construction workers who rely on quality over quantity. We still make it like they used to make it, because it’s the best way to make it. We are the Warwood Tool Co, and we Earn It every day…How about you?”

Entering into the factory is a little like stepping back in time.

Entering into the factory is a little like stepping back in time.

An interior view of the factory while the location was being documented by the Historic American Engineering Record team.  Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

An interior view of the factory while the location was being documented by the Historic American Engineering Record team.  Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The Wheeling Young Preservationists toured Warwood Tool with Logan Hartle and Phillip Carl on May 17 as part of May's Preservation month activities.  

The Wheeling Young Preservationists toured Warwood Tool with Logan Hartle and Phillip Carl on May 17 as part of May's Preservation month activities.