Parkersburg Carnegie Library

For the second time in less than a month I found myself standing before a Carnegie Library that is empty and unused. This one is in downtown Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Built in 1905 with some funds from Andrew Carnegie, this classical style building is imposing on its corner lot. Sadly, it hasn’t been a library since 1975.

For several years though it was the Trans Allegheny Book Store. I read once that it was the largest used bookstore in West Virginia.

It had a good run in this capacity from 1985 through 2010. It’s closed now and I couldn’t tell what’s going on. There’s a chain link fence that wouldn’t keep anyone out on one side of the building and a gate in front of the entrance. Some lower windows have been boarded up. It looks like someone is preparing to do something but I couldn’t tell what.

There’s a new Marriott Hotel next door and I couldn’t help but think about this building’s possibilities while worrying for its future. It would make a magnificent restaurant, bookstore, boutique hotel, fancy store – any of number of businesses could find it a perfect home. It sure is a shame to see it sitting empty given all that potential.

If you’re in downtown Parkersburg, swing by 725 Green St. and have a look. If you have a bundle of cash sitting in the way, maybe buy it and and breathe new life into the place!

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