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Columbia Gas of West Virginia

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1961, John J. Reitz. 44 16th St. (southwest corner of 16th and Chapline sts.)

This delightful six-story office structure is a clean-cut and surprisingly colorful expression of its time. Dark umber panels of polished granite contrast with bright blue enamel spandrels, while protruding aluminum mullions provide additional color contrast and a vertical accent. A butterfly canopy over the entrance is a perfect period piece of the 1960s. A one-story side wing, faced with a colorful mosaic framed in concrete aggregate, provides a horizontal contrast to the vertical lines of the office. The mosaic, which depicts the history of Wheeling, portrays Betty Zane rushing to aid the beleaguered troops at Fort Henry, a factory with smoke billowing out of its stacks, the downtown skyline, and much more. The architect was from Steubenville, Ohio. As of this writing, the building is vacant.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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