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Itmann Company Store and Office (Former)

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Former
1923–1925, Alex B. Mahood. East side of WV 10 and WV 16

This strange, brooding monster of a building is the state's most imposing company store and office and one of its most unusual buildings. Its rugged, quarry-faced sandstone walls, seemingly begrudging the few windows cut into them, give an impregnable air that its open arcade fails to assuage. The arcade connects two large wings, each two stories tall and fronted by parapeted gable ends. Green tiles cover the roofs on both wings and the arcade. The north wing housed company offices, as well as a post office, poolroom, barbershop, and doctor's office, with accommodations for employees above. The larger south wing was the store, where goods were sold on both floors.

The building's various uses over the years succinctly chronicle Itmann's ups and downs, as well as those of coal country in general. Although the Pocahontas mines closed in 1928, the store and post office were open for several more years. By 1941 the Wyoming County Department of Public Assistance had moved its offices into the building. The store reopened when the mines were reactivated in 1948, but according to the 1990 National Register nomination form, the building “has been virtually unused since the mid-1980s when Consolidation Coal, the owner since 1958, closed the mine and abandoned the building.” The former office space is now the Itmann Homeless Shelter, and the store is vacant.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.
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Citation

S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Itmann Company Store and Office (Former)", [, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WV-01-WY5.

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