Scenic USA - West Virginia

Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.


Charleston City Hall

Charleston City Hall - West Virginia

Photo by Bill Hilborn
B and C Photos

     Charleston’s history dates to the mid 18th century when the town was officially established by the Virginia General Assembly. Now the largest city in West Virginia as well as the capitol city, Charleston is located at the confluence of the Kanawha and Elk rivers.
     Built of gray limestone, enhanced with a colonnade of six fluted Doric columns, and topped with an elaborate cornice, Charleston's City Hall received proper recognition in 1988 when placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This study of neoclassical architecture, taking in a large portion of the city block between Virginia Street and Kanawha Boulevard, was built in 1921. Appearing to be designed on a rectangular footprint from this view, the Harry Rus Warne design is open in the rear, resulting in a U-shaped floor plan. A careful look at this capital city scene reveals the fine details of City Hall, accentuated by the building's up-lighting. No longer a standard in today‘s architecture, Harry R. Warne was inspired by the classic styles of Renaissance and Beaux Arts traditions. A West Virginia native, Warne's designs are seen throughout the state, with one of his finest works in Madison, the Boone County Courthouse. Successful area businessmen also persuaded Warne to design their large homes, with many following Colonial Revival and Tudor styles.
     City Hall's entrance, reached over a grand flight of granite steps, is outlined with three massive arches. Once inside, visitors are welcomed into a huge lobby, divided by a row of marble Roman Doric column. A grand staircase leads to all four floors, accented with an ornate handrail. Opened in 1922, nearly a third of Charleston's populace arrived to celebrate this work of art.



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