July 2011

Waldo Hotel
The Waldo

The Waldo Hotel was one of West Virginia’s premier hotels. Located in downtown Clarksburg, the Beaux-Arts style, seven-story building was constructed from 1901 to 1904 and was designed by Harrison Albright and financed by Judge Nathan Goff, Jr., a millionaire lawyer and businessman. The hotel was built for $400,000 – a tidy sum at the time, and when completed, the Waldo gained the distinction as being one of the most luxurious in the state. It was well noted for its lavish weddings, social events and political gatherings.

After its use as a hotel waned, the Waldo was converted into apartments of various sizes. Portions of the interior were renovated, and a modern HVAC system was installed.

In 2000, the ailing Waldo was purchased for a mere $150,000 by the McCabe Land Company, who wanted to save the historic hotel from being demolished. It was sold to the Vandalia Heritage Foundation for $195,000 a year later.

The Foundation presented plans for a full restoration of the Waldo, which would cost approximately $22 million. Involved in the restoration would be a complete gut and rehabilitation of the interior, exterior repairs and a new roof. A partial repair of the roof was completed as part of the first phase, costing $100,000 and funded through state historic preservation grants. In 2010, contractors for the Foundation removed metal piping and heating units throughout the buildings for money in order to jump start further repairs to the Waldo.

Unfortunately, it seems that the recession has led to little to no work being done on the Waldo. An interior walk-through revealed that while the building remains in solid condition, there are numerous deficiencies that need to be immediately addressed. The roof, while in good condition, needs further repair to stop further water intrusion. That has led to water infiltration in most of the upper floors.

Be sure to click through to the Waldo Hotel entry for more photographs and a background narrative on the history!

Lonaconing Silk Mill Trip Series

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