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Saving the Fort Henry Club
Rendering of the Fort Henry Club Building / Wheeling, WV
Rendering of the Fort Henry Club Building / Wheeling, WV

McKinley & Associates is an entrepreneurial company investing in the community. Our firm is interested in expanding its development base throughout the region and will consider historically significant structures for adaptive reuse.

Our newest development will be on our recently purchased historic Fort Henry Club Building, located on Chapline Street in Wheeling, West Virginia. Though originally designed and built as a Federal Style mansion in the 1850s for the Howell family; the home was eventually purchased around the end of the Civil War by James Fitzsimmons and is more commonly associated with this Wheeling Family. Alterations to the interior floor plan and exterior made by Fitzsimmons in the 1880s created a Classical Revival Townhouse, of which very little of the Classical Revival plan remains.

Because of its prime location, situated on a prominent downtown corner, the building was later purchased in 1890 to become the home to the budding Fort Henry Club. The present heavy Neo-Classical elements at the main entrance are a result of renovations needed after an extensive 1921 fire. Charles W. Bates and Frank F. Faris - well known, local Wheeling architects, designed the renovations and addition creating the architectural image seen today. Except for the entrance, the building exterior was modeled to reflect the original Federal Style.

By the late 2000s dwindling membership cast doubt on the Fort Henry Club's future. The club closed; thereby leaving the building vacant. Its neighbor across the street - St. Matthew's Episcopal Church took ownership of the building in 2011. Unable to find a new owner; they began taking steps to demolish it. That's when McKinley & Associates stepped in to save the building from demolition.

McKinley & Associates was already in the process of repurposing the building when we took possession. We developed floor plans for a variety of alternatives that include office space, high-end apartments/condos, a boutique hotel, and more. Since the structure is included in the Wheeling Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places; McKinley & Associates' goal is to maintain the historic character of the interior and exterior by retaining any historic fabric, mouldings, finishes, door frames, et cetera.

McKinley & Associates is a full-service architectural and engineering firm with offices in Wheeling, WV, Charleston, WV and Washington, PA. McKinley & Associates was founded in 1981, and recently became a 100% ESOP Company. The firm has won numerous state and national design awards. Historic Preservation is a passion of our firm. We have completed many listings on the National Register as well as projects listed as a National Historic Landmark (2 out of 16 in West Virginia)! We have completed dozens of historic projects throughout the tri-state region, and have worked on many buildings that are more than 100 (and even buildings more than 150) years old. McKinley & Associates is committed to saving and rehabilitating the past.

For additional information about the historic Fort Henry Club Building, please contact us at 304-233-0140.

Rendering 1 of a proposed side lobby in the Fort Henry Club Building
Rendering 1 of a proposed side lobby in the Fort Henry Club Building

Rendering 2 of a proposed side lobby in the Fort Henry Club Building
Rendering 2 of a proposed side lobby in the Fort Henry Club Building

Office Layout First Floor Study
Office Layout First Floor Study

Office Layout Third Floor Study
Office Layout Third Floor Study

Apartment Layout Third Floor Study
Apartment Layout Third Floor Study