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Professional Building (City Bank Building)

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City Bank Building
1891, Franzheim, Giesey and Faris. 1300 Market St. (east side of Market St. between 12th and 14th sts.)
  • Professional Building (City Bank Building) (State Historic Preservation Office, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Frederick Kleyle)

Downtown Wheeling once had several imposing Romanesque Revival commercial and office structures. This five-and-one-half-story bank is one of the best. Rugged, quarry-faced blocks of gray granite laid in alternating broad and narrow bands make up the walls, which are relentlessly punctured with openings. Arches, emphasized by stone voussoirs, are particularly effective in the overall design. Although 13th Street in this block is only an alley, the building emphatically addresses its almost nonexistent street corner with a round turret capped with a conical roof. A particularly clunky rough-hewn granite block with a modicum of foliate carving supports the turret above the ground floor.

Although Wheeling's leading 1890s architectural triumvirate is credited with the work, because of the 1891 date and the quality of the design, Edward Franzheim, who had just returned to Wheeling the preceding year after extensive architectural training in Boston and abroad, likely deserves the lion's share of credit.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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