The Institute for the History of Technology & Industrial Archaeology

West Virginia's Industrial National Historic Landmarks

Compiled from the National Historic Landmarks Database.

WHEELING SUSPENSION BRIDGE

10th Street - Main to Virginia Street

Wheeling, Ohio County

National Register Listing: 10/15/66

National Historic Landmark Designation: 5/15/75

Significance: When the bridge was constructed in 1849, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world and the first bridge over the Ohio River. This unique span, designed by Charles Ellet, Jr., is believed to be the oldest existing cable suspension bridge in the United States. Resorted to its original 19th century appearance, the bridge is still in public use.

 

ELKINS COAL AND COKE COMPANY HISTORIC DISTRICT

ca. ˝ mile S.W. of Masontown and 1/4 mile W. of WV Route #7

Bretz, Preston County

National Register Listing: 8/25/70

National Historic Landmark Designation: 7/1/83

Significance: This historic district is actually a large industrial complex of coke ovens dating from 1907 that represents a once thriving part of American industrial development. The Elkins Coal and Coke Company produced coke used in the production of iron and steel. Covering 36 acres, this is believed to have been the last commercially operating beehive oven complex for the making of coke. It has been closed since the late 1970s.

 

WEST VIRGINIA INDEPENDENCE HALL

1528 Market Street

Wheeling, Ohio County

National Register Listing: 8/25/70

National Historic Landmark Designation: 6/20/89

Significance: Built in 1859 to serve as a United States Custom House, it was designed by noted architect Ammi B. Young. This gray sandstone building with its tall arched windows was the scene of the Second Wheeling Convention which drew up West Virginia’s Declaration of Independence from Virginia in 1861. The building not only witnessed the birth of the State of West Virginia, but was the capital of the Restored Government of Virginia until 1863. The building has been finely restored and is operated by the Division of Culture and History.

 

REBER RADIO TELESCOPE

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

N.E. of Green Bank on WV #28

Green Bank vicinity, Pocahontas County

National Register Listing: 11/9/72

National Historic Landmark Designation: 12/20/89

Significance: Designed by Grote Reber, the telescope was constructed in Illinois in 1937, the first such instrument designed to conduct radio astronomical research. Reber was instrumental in keeping the science of radio astronomy alive during the 1930-50 period. The telescope is 31' 5" in diameter made from 72 wooden radial rafters covered with a skin of 26 gauge steel.

 

WESTON STATE HOSPITAL

Weston, Lewis County

National Register Listing: 4/19/78

National Historic Landmarks Designation: 6/21/90

Significance: Noted as one of the largest hand-cut stone buildings in the United States. Construction on the hospital began in 1858 as the Lunatic Asylum West of the Allegheny Mountains. It is the only public institutional building built by the State of Virginia in what is now West Virginia.

 

DAVIS AND ELKINS HISTORIC DISTRICT

Elkins, Randolph County

National Historic Landmark Designation: 6/19/96

Significance: The boundary enlargement "Halliehurst" includes "Graceland", the Gatehouse and the Ice House, all within the college campus. Halliehurst was the home of Senator Benton Elkins, politician and coal and railroad entrepreneur of the 19th century. His partner, Henry Gassaway Davis, built Graceland next door. Both were West Virginia senators, instrumental in the industrial development of the central region of the state.