It has been a very long 3 years of construction, and a year of clean up to get to this post. The rehabilitation of the Golden Rule Building is complete. We are ready to move our equipment and fixtures back into the building starting in Feb. It is almost unbelievable that I will be finished with my small portion of this project very soon.
The ten upper story apartments are fully rented and have given Belington, WV much needed quality housing. Soon I will help to bring a new economic driver to downtown with a cafe’, train ticket booth, train themed gift shop, and an artist market. Here are some of the views from the finished apartments before they were rented.
The first floor took another month to fully finish, but the the style and feel is very much the same. The main difference between the first floor space and the upper floors is the open floor plan. Walls have been removed that surround the water powered elevator shaft. It is nice to be able to see the lift from all sides of the main floor. The elevator has been restored and is operable from the basement to the first floor. It will never carry any passengers or freight but can be used for a display to display how water hydraulics worked. We have also kept the steps from the first floor to the second floor. The stairs have been capped off so they are only for display at this time and are planned to be used as a historical collection space. The original offices have had the tin ceilings repaired and repainted. They are one of the only decorative features in the building. Since the building was used as a warehouse, grocery store and finally as an around store the need for decoration was secondary to functional items. The vault is now clean and ready for storage or display space. With the replacement of many of the broken window panes, paint and new lights the front of the building looks fresh and inviting again.
The photos below show the building in the state it was in before construction and while I was working on cleaning and storing the contents of the building of more than a year. We removed many of the antiques that were found in the building and have them ready to return as a display. The less unique items will be for sale to benefit the continued development of the property at The Golden Rule.
It will take at least three or four more months of work to get the retail stores ready to open. We have displays to buy, internet and phone systems to install and lots of vendors to work with. We have plans for about 30 individuals to sell items in The Golden Rule Marketplace. Working in collaboration with the Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad we hope to see the train running this spring and the stores open by June. Covid has delayed some of our work but with a hopeful heart and lots of work the Belington Revitalization Committee, the Barbour County Development Authority and Woodlands Development Group have plans to move this project forward and see that this building comes back to life. I hope to plan an open house event before I leave The Golden Rule for good and It should be a great celebration of what a small town and small development company can do.
I have written about the Golden Rule before and if you have any interest in my other posts you can look here. The Golden Rule Redevelopment #1, Ghost Visits of the Golden Rule, Clean up of the Golden Rule, Volunteers Impact the Golden Rule.