This residential development replaces a small neighborhood displaced by construction of the floodwall. As Paul McAllister, director of the Matewan Development Center, envisioned and promoted it in 1992, the new community was intended to replicate patterns and plans of early coal mining towns. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Roanoke, Virginia, architecture and planning firm, Hill Studio, coordinated the research and design effort. Dr. Stuart McGehee, archivist of Bluefield's Eastern Regional Coal Archives and a recognized authority on coal country architecture, was project historian. After extensive research and visits to coal camps and towns, the group designed six prototype houses. Among regional characteristics they emulate are frame construction, front porches, gable roofs, and picket fences surrounding small front yards. If completed as planned, the project will help ensure the survival of coal country's vernacular architectural traditions and will relate handsomely to Matewan's remaining historic fabric.
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Mate Creek Community
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