Waldo Hotel

Commercial / West Virginia

Waldo Hotel is a defunct hotel in downtown Clarksburg, West Virginia.


The Waldo Hotel was designed by Harrison Albright of Charleston, West Virginia, 7 financed by Judge Nathan Goff, Jr. 2 5 6 and constructed from 1901 to 1904 at the cost of $400,000. 1 The seven-story, Beaux-Arts styled hotel was named for Goff’s father, Waldo P. Goff.

The Waldo was renowned as one of the most architecturally ornate hotels in the state and featured a 47-foot by 56-foot lobby with a mosaic tiled floor surrounded by wrap-around balconies, accessible by an 11-foot-wide marble grand staircase. 7

Goff, a millionaire lawyer, and businessman, had served as a member of Congress, Secretary of the Navy during the Hayes administration, an attorney and a federal appellate judge. 3 When he died in 1920, the hotel was passed to his sons, Guy D. Goff, and Waldo Goff. 7

In 1923, Guy Goff moved into the Waldo into a suite of rooms on the 4th floor, declaring it his official residence when he served a term in the United States Senate from 1925 to 1931. 7 The Waldo later served as a meeting place for conservative Republican senators who had wanted to block the presidential nomination of Herbert Hoover and replace Hoover with Goff.

Salem College

In July 1964, Salem College purchased the Waldo Hotel and established the Clarksburg Campus of Salem College in September. 8

The just-accredited college had first entered Clarksburg in 1958 with a small building donated by Darwin M. Davis at 917 West Pike Street. In 1965, Salem College began leasing the Carmichael Auditorium on North Sixth Street for a gymnasium, and in 1966, it purchased the Carmichael and Mitchell Building on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Hewes Avenue. The Mitchell Building was rebuilt to serve as the science department, with the basement of the Carmichael Building used as classroom space. The first floor of the Carmichael Building served as a library.

Salem College stopped using the Waldo Hotel in December 1969. 8

In 1971, the upper floors of the Waldo were repurposed into apartments while the lower floors were reused as offices by owner David Arnett. 10


By the late-1990’s, the Waldo Hotel was in poor condition and needed $600,000 in improvements to meet fire code standards. 10 Arnett was not able to bring the structure up to code and all of the tenants were forced out. In 2000, the Waldo was purchased by the McCabe Land Company for $150,000 who had expressed interest in restoring the building. 4 McCabe then sold it to the Vandalia Heritage Foundation in 2001 for $195,000.

In August 2009, with no work progressing on restoring the Waldo, the city gave Vandalia a year to submit a timeline of rehabilitating the building. 3 Vandalia replied that a full restoration of the Waldo Hotel would cost $22 million and that the first phase, a partial roof replacement, was fractionally funded through a $100,000 state historic preservation grant. The grant, however, required matching funding and that the matching dollars were not obtainable due to the national recession.

In March 2010, contractors for Vandalia removed piping and heating units from the hotel to jump-start renovations to the Waldo. 3 The items were sold for scrap, with the revenue being set aside to help pay to supposedly pay for matching funding for the roof repairs.



  1. “Waldo Hotel.” Vandalia Heritage Foundation. N.p., 2006. Web. 5 Oct. 2010.
  2. “Historic Sites.” Clarksburg.com. City of Clarksburg, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2010. Article.
  3. Fallon, Paul. “Fate uncertain for historic Waldo Hotel in Clarksburg .” Exponent Telegram [Clarksburg] 26 Mar. 2010: n. pag. Print.
  4. Bonnstetter, Cathy. “Clarksburg Officials Look for New Uses for Old Waldo Hotel.” State Journal [Charleston] 17 Sept. 2010: n. pag. Print.
  5. Callahan, James Morton. Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley, WestVirginia. Ed. Bernard L. Butcher. Vol. 3. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1912. 966. Print.
  6. “ENDANGERED PROPERTIES 2009.” Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. N.p., 2009. Web. 1 July 2011. Insert.
  7. United States. Dept. of the Interior. “Description.” Clarksburg Downtown Historic District. By Michael J. Pauley. Comp. Rodney Collin. Washington: National Park Service, 1982. 7.6. West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. Article.
  8. Davis, Dorothy Belle. “February 24, 1976.” Salem West Virginia 1776 – 1976. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2011. 23-24. Print.
  9. “Our views: Federal money requires disclosure Mollohan should help Clarksburg learn more about project.” Charleston Daily Mail 19 May 2010: 4A. Print.
  10. Ferrell, Charlotte. “State sites fight for survival.” Charleston Daily Mail 17 Jul. 1997: 1D. Print.