You are here

Coal House

-A A +A
1959. West side of U.S. 60, .3 mile south of intersection with I-64, east of White Sulphur Springs

Before I-64 was built, travelers entering White Sulphur Springs on U.S. 60 from Virginia knew they had crossed the state line when they passed this small gift shop, built of 30 tons of West Virginia's most famous product. Black as pitch, the small rectangular, hip-roofed building is composed of blocks of coal laid in random rubble, shellacked to a fine glow.

The proprietor's one-story house, adjacent to the shop is said to be the “only residence built completely of coal in the world.” Begun in 1959, it was first occupied June 1, 1961. It is basically a ranch house with a shallow hipped roof. The prominent chimney that emerges from the roof is fortunately not made of coal, but of brick. Ironically, the springs region is one of the few areas in the state where coal mining has never been extensive. The coal used to build these two architectural gimmicks was mined in Clay County.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.
×

Data

What's Nearby

Citation

S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Coal House", [White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WV-01-GR34.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,