Author: M. Lynne Squires

Focal Point St. Albans Windows

Gocal Point St. Albans Windows     In 1959, quite a few monumental events took place. Among them, Alaska and Hawaii become states, Disney released the film Sleeping Beauty, the first Daytona 500 is run, the St. Lawrence Seaway is opened, and the Twilight Zone debuts. Closer to home, another event unfolds. Aluminum Building Products opens its doors for business in St. Albans, West Virginia. In 1984, keeping with the current manufacture innovations of the time, they were the first in the Kanawha Valley to offer vinyl window products. Then in 1985, after twenty-six successful years, the name of...

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Looking Back at the Governor’s Mansion

Looking Back at the Governor’s Mansion The West Virginia Executive Mansion, or Governor’s Mansion, is part of the State Capitol Complex in Charleston’s historic East End. Ephraim F. Morgan, the state’s governor from 1921 to 1925, was the first to occupy the new mansion. He lived there a mere seven days before moving out. His term expired, but he went in the history books as the mansion’s first occupant. As plans to build a new capitol were being discussed in 1921, a permanent residence to house the state’s governor and family was also considered. Before the construction of the...

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Looking Back at the United Carbon Building

Looking Back at the United Carbon Building The United Carbon Building now goes by the name Boulevard Tower. It also has been called the Stanlev Building and the Nelson Building. Regardless of the name, 1018 Kanawha Boulevard East is an architectural gem in downtown Charleston. Built in the Art Moderne style in 1941, it was described by the Charleston Gazette on its opening day as a “streamlined landmark of a greater Charleston.”     As office buildings go, the United Carbon/Boulevard Tower building has a relatively small footprint. The site for the building, purchased from the George Washington Life...

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Looking Back at St. John’s Episcopal Church

Looking Back at St. John’s Episcopal Church You might have wondered why the doors to an otherwise stately and imposing church building might have bright red doors. A bit incongruous, to be sure. Some people believe it sprang from an old custom of churches painting their front doors red when the mortgage was paid off.     However, the generally recognized explanation holds that the red signifies the shedding of Christ’s blood and the path to salvation. Several hundred years ago red doors were symbols of refuge and sanctuary for all who entered. A soldier could not pursue an...

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Looking Back …at the Basilica of the Co-Catherdral of the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart is the more commonly known, shortened moniker for the Basilica of the Co-Catherdral of the Sacred Heart. The earliest Catholic Church in Charleston, it was first referred to as the Sacred Heart parish. In October of 1974, it became the co-cathedral, and in 2009, Sacred Heart was elevated to a Minor Basilica. But what of the building that houses the people of Sacred Heart? A church is comprised of people, but the building housing the people provides a congregation’s home. In lieu of a sanctuary, the first Mass celebrated in Charleston took place in the Kanawha County courthouse...

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Looking back …at the glenwood mansion

The Glenwood mansion is one of the oldest, and perhaps best preserved homes in the Kanawha Valley. Located on Orchard Street and Park Avenue, high up on the west side hill, the home originally was surrounded by vast acreage and accessed by a winding road, Parkersburg Turnpike, which is now West Washington Street. James Madison Laidley was a prominent banker, lawyer, newspaper founder and editor, and was involved in salt manufacturing. He also was the owner of Glenwood mansion on Charleston’s west side. He bought 366 acres from George Washington’s sister’s granddaughter and named the acreage Glenwood. He chose...

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