When the Wheeling Historic District, essentially the entire downtown area, was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, 27 of the approximately 260 buildings included were listed as being of pivotal significance, and 176 were considered contributing resources. This concentration of resources within a fifteen-block area illustrates the remarkable wealth of Wheeling's building stock. Although the district includes the site of Fort Henry, the settlement that grew around it, and the area encompassed within the 1795 town boundaries, there are no aboveground remains from these earliest days. Some of the district's oldest structures, built in the mid-nineteenth century as residences, have now been adapted for different uses. Many of these buildings remain on downtown's hilly eastern fringes, where pressure for new construction was always less than on the level river plain. Development pressures throughout the district relaxed after Wheeling's population peaked in 1930, by which time the area had more or less fully evolved.
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