“Passageway Park” Being Created In Empty Space in Downtown Wheeling


The huge empty space on Main and Market at 11th Street is being turned into a tribute to the beautiful buildings of Wheeling–some still here but others long gone.

The activity there has caused many people to become curious.

Judith Hall of Wheeling often walks by and stares at the empty lot and the large wooden frames there.

“I kept wondering what they were,” Hall noted. “They were lying on the ground. I didn’t know whether they were going to be a garden or what they were going to be.”

They will frame six large images of buildings from Wheeling’s grand past–the Capitol Theatre, the Oglebay Mansion, Stone and Thomas Department Store.

And also things gone from the landscape, like the Schmulbach Brewery and the Bayha Bakery–whose actual doors have been saved and restored and will become part of the picture.

“The doors would open and deliveries were made on a horse and cart, down a little alleyway,” said Susan Hogan, member of the Reinvent Wheeling board.

The design committee of Reinvent Wheeling is creating the passageway park.

The Hess Family Foundation is funding it, and naming it “Peggy’s Park,” in memory of a Hess family member.

The images will be on vinyl.

Art deco style light poles will be added, plus a sidewalk, benches, tree grates and landscaping.

They hope it pulls people in.

“Walk through, sit down, bring your lunch, read a book,” suggests Hogan.

And Judith Hall of Wheeling is happy to finally learn what’s being created there.

“That’s good, that’s good,” she said. “I hope they show pictures of some of the older buildings that were torn down that meant a lot.”

The park should be finished by late September.

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