Staats Hospital Building
The Staats Hospital Building was designed by John C. Norman, the first registered African American architect in West Virginia, in 1922. Originally, the structure housed the Glendale Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, the West Side’s first movie theatre, offices and retailers. The second and third floor of the structure was utilized as Staats Hospital from the early 1920s until 1982. The Staats Hospital Building began to deteriorate after the removal of Staats, and after being placed on the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s Endangered Properties List, it is currently in the process of being restored. Crawford Holdings purchased the building in 2014, and has used multiple grants to aid in the preservation process.
Backstory and Context
John C. Norman, West Virginia’s first registered African American architect, designed the Staats Hospital Building in 1922 for the Staats brothers. The four-story structure originally housed the Glendale Lodge of the Knights of Pythias on the fourth floor, while the fraternity’s banquet room, kitchen, serving room, reading room, pool and billard room, cigar counter was located on the third floor. The West Side’s first theatre was located on the building’s first floor, along with an ice cream parlor and a confectionary. Before transitioning to a hospital, the first floor was also a temporary location for Kelley’s Department Store and an A&P grocer. Dr. Harlan Staats utilized the second and third floors as a 67-bed hospital starting in 1923. In 1941, the Glendale Lodge of the Knights of Pythias moved out of the Staats Hospital Building. Staats Hospital closed in the early 1980s, and St. Francis Hospital utilized the building as St. Francis West Health Care. In 2010, Staats only had one occupant: Dr. Adla Adi, who filed bankruptcy the same year. Adi had only utilized the first floor of the building while the remaining floors began to deteriorate.
Adi had plans to raze the building in the early 2000s, but somehow his plans fell through. In 2012, the Staats Hospital Building was placed on the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s Endangered Properties List, which raised awareness of the property that led to developer inquiries. John and Tighe Bullock of then Bullock Properties LLC, began the purchasing process from American Pride Properties in May of 2014. American Pride Properties gained ownership of the building in 2010. The Bullocks had previously restored two other structures on the West Side of Charleston prior to starting the Staats project. After discussions of restoration with the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, the Bullocks secured a public/private partnership that included a $230,000 secured loan from CURA, as well as a $155,000 loan from the First State Bank of Charleston, a matching grant of $78,000 from the West Virginia Historic Preservation Office, and another matching grant of $20,000 from CURA to restore the roof. Crawford Holdings was established by Tighe Bullock as the purchasing entity at the closing of the sale.
Initial renovation efforts included cleaning out the trash that had accumulated over the years, and restoring the roof. The structure of the building has not deteriorated; many of the improvements will deal with the interior, such as removing graffiti, restoring the tin ceilings, and repairing water damage. Bullock has since taken on other projects on the West Side of Charleston with intentions of improving the entire neighborhood, and has been working with historic preservation consultant, Mike Gioulis, to ensure proper restorations.
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