The Exposition Hall, once a part of the West Virginia Exposition & State Fair that operated in Wheeling until 1937, burned to the ground yesterday.
While living in the now-demolished Friar’s Club in Cincinnati, Ohio between 1941 and 1944, Lumen Martin Winter painted murals on the walls of the residents’ lounge. The 1,600 square-foot scenes, painted in tempera emulsion on a casein ground, depicted regional highlights of industry, music, religion, and literature.
Amazon has been called the killer of the American indoor shopping mall in countless articles. But it’s been no secret that traditional shopping centers have been struggling long before the advent of online shopping, with the United States boasting more square feet of retail than any other developed nation by far. It is with some irony that Amazon is building new fulfillment centers on the grounds of two dead malls.
Several years ago, I embarked on a winding trip through the Winding Gulf coalfield of West Virginia, to explore and discover the history of this once-bustling part of the nation. The Winding Gulf coalfield rapidly developed in the early 20th century with the advent of deep underground mines that required thousands of miners—and their families.
Years ago, I often went to the mammoth Huntington Mall in Barboursville, West Virginia. It was the largest shopping center in the largest in the state – and also its busiest. The mall was dated, coated with speckled brown tiles inside, ribbed paneling outside and other trendy lights and accessories that made this center a poster-child for the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.