Sunnyside is a 130-acre neighborhood adjacent to West Virginia University's downtown campus. It includes older homes, new businesses, new construction, and the iconic Seneca Center.


  • Front view of University Place apartments.
Source: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/resources/1/1351259598.jpg
    Front view of University Place apartments. Source: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/resources/1/1351259598.jpg
  • Demolition of houses between 2nd and 3rd Street.
Source: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/c3/e9/49/c3e949c27489d7b5c5729da87566f96d.jpg
    Demolition of houses between 2nd and 3rd Street. Source: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/c3/e9/49/c3e949c27489d7b5c5729da87566f96d.jpg
  • Group of students gather outside Rusted Musket.
Source: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/2b/66/88/2b6688b53c46d635c60cc47c52deab1d.jpg
    Group of students gather outside Rusted Musket. Source: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/2b/66/88/2b6688b53c46d635c60cc47c52deab1d.jpg
  • View of old WVU football field.
Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/fb/57/7b/fb577ba5d576a3e62bac81502225f44c.jpg
    View of old WVU football field. Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/fb/57/7b/fb577ba5d576a3e62bac81502225f44c.jpg
  • View of Sunnyside from PRT rail car.
Source: http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/81909199.jpg
    View of Sunnyside from PRT rail car. Source: http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/81909199.jpg
  • University Place while being built.
Source: http://assets.slate.wvu.edu/resources/1297/1415988500.jpg
    University Place while being built. Source: http://assets.slate.wvu.edu/resources/1297/1415988500.jpg
  • Construction of U Club Sunnyside during early 2016.
    Construction of U Club Sunnyside during early 2016.
  • Street view of U Club Sunnyside.
    Street view of U Club Sunnyside.

Sunnyside developed in the late 1800s when workers came to the area to fill jobs at the rapidly growing glass company, the Seneca Glass Company. The glass industry was growing at an unprecedented pace and European immigrants from many different countries came to Morgantown to work. The workers needed places to live, which spurred the making of the neighborhood known as Seneca / Sunnyside. 

The glass company went bankrupt in the 1980s but the Sunnyside neighborhood was already experiencing changes in its residential population. By the 1980s, the neighborhood was home to many college students from West Virginia University. At the time, this neighborhood served as the University's largest student housing area that was not owned and run by the University. 

One of the neighborhood's boundaries, Campus Drive, was anchored by the football stadium. Since the field was right next to the Sunnyside, it became the place to go and gather after a big West Virginia University Mountaineers football win. Additionally, a variety of businesses like Finnerty’s, Mutts, Pizza Inn, and Dr. Johns provided students with places to socialize and gather. 

In the 1990s the neighborhood became run down with unsafe housing conditions. A need for a new solution was dire as the area had become notorious for out of control parties, including frequent couch fires. The neighborhood had become a student dominated space. 

In 2002 Sunnyside Up (
Campus Neighborhoods Revitalization Corporation) was incorporated. Sunnyside Up's mission was to transform the 130-acre area using government tax funds (a TIF district). Initially, there was little physical progress as plans were discussed and formalized. 

In 2013 WVU entered a public-private partnership in which parcels along Third Street were purchased. Over 30 homes were razed and a large multi-story complex was built. University Place features apartments and several businesses such as Sheetz, Burgerz and Dogz, and Insomnia Cookies. New construction and redevelopment continues in the area.

In summer 2015, a company based out of Texas known as American Campus communities began construction on an apartment complex on Jones Avenue in Sunnyside, the previous location of the Sunnyside Commons. The complex has 3 buildings and can hold up to as many as 534 residents in four bedroom apartments. Construction was completed and ready for occupancy for the 2016-2017 school year. 
 

1"WVU's Renovation Plans for Sunnyside Generate Outrage - Mountaineer News Service-West Virginia News." Mountaineer News Service-West Virginia News. N.p., 07 Dec. 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.
2"Then & Now: Sunnyside." Morgantown Magazine Morgantown Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.
Project MUSE - Glass Blowing and Community Building: A History of Morgantown, West Virginia's Sunnyside Neighborhood, 1890–2013. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.

4 Google, Inc. “Work Continues on U Club Sunnyside.” The Dominion Post - Work Continues on U Club Sunnyside, 28 Jan. 2016, www.dominionpost.com/U-Club-Sunnyside-JSM.