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MINUTES
WEST VIRGINIA
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY COMMISSION
WINTER MEETING
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2020
CULTURE CENTER, CHARLESTON, WV


Chairman Nathan Randolph called the meeting to order at 1:07 p.m. In addition to Chairman Randolph, other voting members present were Tommy Bailey, Dr. Melissa Bingmann, Tracy Burch, Laura Carroll, Dr. Robert Conte, Nat DeBruin, Dr. Charles Ledbetter, Audy Perry, Darla Spencer, and Dr. David Trowbridge. Voting member absent was Darlene Hassler. Ex officio voting member present was Fredrick Armstrong. Ex officio non-voting members present were Joe Geiger, director, Archives and History Section; Hanna Law, West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey; Charles Morris, director, Museums Section; Susan Pierce, director, Historic Preservation Section; Randall Reid-Smith, curator of the Department of Arts, Culture and History; and J. Logan Smith, president of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. Also present were Historic Preservation staff members Jennifer Brennan and Pam Brooks.

Following introductions, Chairman Randolph asked for a motion on the meeting minutes of September 27, 2019. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Mr. Bailey and seconded by Mr. Perry. The minutes were approved. Mr. Armstrong abstained.

Chairman Randolph then asked for approval of the agenda. Mr. Perry made a motion to approve the agenda, and Dr. Bingmann provided a second. Motion carried.

Chairman Randolph then called upon Curator Randall Reid-Smith for the Department of Arts, Culture and History report. He reviewed History Bowl and spoke about educational activities in Archives and History.

Chairman Randolph called upon Mr. Geiger for the Archives and History report. Mr. Geiger referred members to information provided in the monthly reports for September through December 2019 (copies attached to official minutes) and reviewed recent activities. He stated that more than one thousand students had toured the Archives and History Library in the first two months of the year, noted continuing efforts to create document-based questions for 8th-grade students and to expand social media offerings, and reviewed recent collections acquired and processed. Mr. Armstrong asked about the leak on the fourth floor and was informed a valve had failed. In response to Mr. Armstrong's question about the cost of electronic data storage, Mr. Geiger responded that the cost would be set by the Office of Technology and had not yet been determined. He also informed Armstrong that all staff computers had been upgraded to Windows 10.

Chairman Randolph then called upon Ms. Pierce for the Historic Preservation report. Ms. Pierce provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and reviewed section activities. She informed commission members that Pam Brooks was retiring, and Jeff Smith had resigned. Staff responded to FOIA requests and support letters from grant applications and assisted in the capitol dome project. Work has commenced on the 2021 calendar, which will feature industrial sites. Ms. Pierce noted her appreciation for the work of photographer Steve Brightwell on the calendar projects. Mr. Armstrong asked about SHPO involvement in Jefferson County, and Ms. Pierce and Ms. Brennan reviewed their activities.

Chairman Randolph then called upon Mr. Morris for the Museums report. Mr. Morris provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and reviewed section activities. He noted that archaeology exhibits had been completed at Grave Creek and encouraged commission members to visit the site. Mr. Morris also observed that the 2019 West Virginia Juried Exhibition received the most entries in recent years and returned to Charleston for the first time since 2005.

Chairman Randolph then called upon J. Logan Smith for the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia report. He noted that the AmeriCorps program was strong, commented on endangered properties, particularly the Tyler County poor farm, and related that the West Virginia Historic Preservation Conference would be held April 30-May 2 in the West Virginia coalfields.

Chairman Randolph then called upon Hanna Law for the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey report. She noted that the agency was involved in several new initiatives and was completing the broadband mapping project.

Chairman Randolph then called upon Mr. Armstrong for the West Virginia Historical Society report. He informed commission members that the newsletter had been published, and it included an article on the effort to prohibit the sale of cigarettes in West Virginia.

Turning to New Business, Chairman Randolph called for the presentation of the National Register nominations.

National Bank of Davis, Tucker County, nominated under Criterion A, Economics, and Criterion C, Architecture, with a period of significance of 1892-1969, was presented by Paula McClain. Following the presentation, the owner of the property detailed future plans for the building. Dr. Bingmann moved for approval of the nomination and Dr. Ledbetter provided the second. Motion carried.

Wheeling Historic District Additional Documentation, Ohio County, nominated under Criteria A and C, Architecture, Commerce, Exploration/Settlement, Politics/Government, and Transportation, and Criteria Consideration G, with a period of significance of 1825-1969, was presented by Paula McClain. Following the presentation, Ms. Burch moved for approval of the nomination and Ms. Carroll provided the second. Motion carried.

Princeton Post Office, Mercer County, nominated under Criterion A, Politics and Government, and Criterion C, Architecture, with a period of significance from 1932 to 1970, was presented by Michael Pulice. Mr. Smith asked about funding for work on the building, and Mr. Pulice responded that almost all funding came from private foundations. Dr. Trowbridge asked why the building was abandoned, and Mr. Pulice stated he was not sure as to the reason. In response to Mr. Armstrong's question, he confirmed that the starting date for the period of significance should be 1932, not 1934. Mr. Bailey moved for approval of the nomination and Dr. Conte provided the second. Motion carried.

Chairman Randolph then called on Ms. Pierce to present the FY2020 Survey and Planning Grants. Twelve applications were considered, and the panel recommended funding for nine of the projects. Dr. Ledbetter made a motion to approve the recommendations for the FY2020 Survey and Planning Grants with the provision authorizing staff to move funds from cancelled projects or projects unable to use all available funding to projects which did not receive full funding and can expend additional funds prior to the end of the grant period, or to the most deserving projects which were not funded at the discretion of SHPO staff, with any remaining funds to carry over to the next fiscal year. Mr. DeBruin provided the second. Motion carried.

Dr. Ledbetter asked that the commission recognize the work of Pam Brooks, who is retiring from the State Historic Preservation Office.

Chairman Randolph announced the appointment of Dr. Conte and Dr. Charles Ledbetter to serve on a nominating committee that will nominate a chairperson and vice-chairperson for the commission to be voted on at the Spring meeting.

Turning to Old Business, Chairman Randolph called for an update on previous National Register nominations. Ms. Pierce noted that two were returned to their office for correction: Oak Hill High School and West Virginia Colored School for the Deaf and Blind. A special telephone meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on April 17 to consider historic revitalization grants.

Chairman Randolph noted that the Spring meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on June 5, 2020, at Jackson´┐Żs Mill. The Fall meeting will be held at Mont Chateau in Morgantown at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 1, 2020.

Mr. Perry made a motion to adjourn and Chairman Randolph declared the meeting adjourned at 3:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph N. Geiger, Jr.
Secretary


Archives and History Commission

West Virginia Archives and History