Building decision shameful

O.K., I was unexpectedly pleased by the city council a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s back to business as usual. I am infuriated by the decision to allow WesBanco to destroy the historic Mather Building because they want a new elevator! Has Parkersburg not already destroyed enough of our architectural history downtown? We’ve already had Court Square and Third Street wantonly massacred by the atrocious 1970s Urban Renewal Board to make room for the embarrassing and predictable failure that is the Town Square monstrosity; we’ve destroyed our beautiful Victorian Gothic City Building for a parking lot no one ever parks in on the corner of Market and Fifth — I could name further example after further example, and when I read that planner exult over WesBanco’s decision to “further invest in downtown,” I am quite in the mood to vomit.

Don’t you realize the destruction of our history is the reason no-one wants to come to Parkersburg? People come from all over America to visit Marietta, because the people of Marietta preserve their history rather than tear it down for momentary business concerns. No one wants to come to Parkersburg, because it is a wasteland of ugly modern buildings and empty parking lots.

Destroying a building on the National Register of Historic Places for an elevator for a building WesBanco plans on vacating anyway is repulsive, but, I am sorry to say, absolutely typical for our ridiculous and embarrassing city. Downtown Parkersburg has deserved everything it has gotten in the past 40 years; dystopian decline.

J. Matthew Hale



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