About the Beverly Heritage Center
The Beverly Heritage Center interpretive museum and visitor center project brings together four adjoining buildings in the heart of historic Beverly, Randolph County, W.Va. The historically significant 1900 Beverly Bank building, the 1808 Randolph County Courthouse, the 1912 Hill building, and the 1856 Bushrod Crawford building have all been carefully rehabilitated and connected. They are now linked by a new, enclosed, porch-like entrance gallery on what was originally the rear of the buildings, providing unity for the complex with space for modern visitor services and handicapped accessibility without modifying the historic facades.
Layout and Planning
The concept plans for the Beverly Heritage Center complex grew out of a multiyear planning process by Historic Beverly Preservation and Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation with help from the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance and other community organizations. The Museum Plan laid out the proposal for the Beverly Heritage Center to serve as the visitor center and museum for the Byway, Rich Mountain, and Historic Beverly. The Beverly Heritage Center was planned to provide an exciting, major upgrade to the programming available at the original Visitor Center, and to serve as an anchor and attraction for visitors coming to the area.
The original planning process included heritage tourism consultant Scott Gerloff of Potomac Heritage Partnership, museum consultant Dan Murphy from PRD Group, architect Victor Greco of SMG Architects, and landscape architect Jack Ankrom of EDG. During the process we held focus groups and public meetings, as well as multiple meetings with the planning group from HBP and the partner groups. SMG Architects remained the architect throughout the project, with later landscape work by Hayes Landscape Architectural Studio. Museum exhibit development became a team process led by museum designer David Vago, content consultants Hunter Lesser, Rob Whetsell, and Richard Wolfe, and a team of scholars, staff, and volunteers who helped design and implement the exhibits. The introductory film was produced by The Walkabout Co.
Construction work on the Beverly Heritage Center began in the fall of 2004, with multiple phases working on the different buildings. Major contractors were Allegheny Restoration and Steorts Contracting. Visitor Center and museum operations remained open in different parts of the complex throughout most of the construction. By summer 2011, for the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, major work was complete and the four major exhibits were installed and open. Work on remaining tasks including reconstruction of the Courthouse cupola continued and an official completion ribbon-cutting celebration was held May 14, 2015.
Major funding for development of the BHC came from a wide variety of grants and donors. Initial planning was supported by private funds and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Federal grant support including Dept of Transportation Scenic Byways and Transportation Enhancement funds, Save America’s Treasures through the National Park Service for rehabilitation, and Institute of Museum and Library Services and Preserve America grants for exhibit development. State rehabilitation grants from WV Division of Culture and History included Development grants through the State Historic Preservation office and Cultural Facilities grants through the Arts Commission. Major donor John C. Allen Jr. supported the project throughout, with help from many other corporate and private donors.
The Beverly Heritage Center was developed and continues to be operated as a partnership effort of Historic Beverly Preservation and Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation.
Executive Director: Christopher Mielke, PhD
AmeriCorps Members: Samantha Ryder, Griffin Nordstrom