In 2012 when the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Building shut down, the employees were asked to immediately leave, and they never went back inside.
7news asked the Assistant Director of Archives and History for the West Virginia State Archives Debra Basham if she had ever seen a building frozen in time like this.
Basham said, “Not quite like this one, this has been very interesting.”
She is combing through the building to piecing together the history of Wheeling Steel.
“The whole iron industry here in the Wheeling industry has been a very important thing for this company going back to LaBelle Nail works you know in the mid- 19th century,” said Basham.
Starting as the Schmulbach Brewing Company building around 1905, the building is the tallest in Downtown.
Contractors said when they stepped inside they found coffee mugs on desks, full filing cabinets, shag carpet, paperclips, couches, calendars, pens, budgets, and even salt and pepper shakers.
Last week, a former employee came in to get her favorite pair of shoes she left underneath her desk.
“We’re finding a little bit of everything, we’ve been through some of the drawings, they did work on some of the new towers that have gone up at the new World Trade Center, so we’ve been trying to pull anything related to that. We’re looking at historical advertising pieces, annual reports, anything of that nature, most of what we are finding is from the last 20 years,” said Basham.
Expected to become downtown apartments, old history becomes new.
“It is a beautiful building and I’m glad that it is going to be re-purposed and turned into something that folks are going to be able to continue to enjoy,” said Basham.
If you’d like a tour, Friends of Wheeling on Main Street are taking people through the building.
Furniture and filing cabinets are being sold and donated to local churches and charities.