In 1853, the B&O Railroad arrived in Wheeling with the first passenger station located at the mouth of Big Wheeling Creek on the Ohio River. The rising number of train passengers called for a new passenger station, and construction on the new building began in 1906. However, the major flood of 1907 delayed the project until the doors opened on September 3, 1908. The station was very modern for its time and had an internal telephone system, steam heat, indoor plumbing, and electric elevators. In 1962, passenger trains stopped running to Wheeling, and the building was sold to a private owner who opened a bar on the 4th floor. The state of West Virginia purchased the station in 1975, and in 1976 the building was reopened as West Virginia Northern Community College.
This site was home to a building that housed both a warehouse and theater known as the Athenaeum. During the Civil War, the Union converted the building into a prison that held Confederate prisoners as well as a few Union deserters. Known as “Lincoln’s Bastille” among local residents, the history of this building offers a window towards understanding the nature of the war in this divided but mostly pro-Union section of West Virginia. The building was used as a warehouse for three years after the war. When it was destroyed by fire in 1868, it was the largest fire in the city's history to that time.
West Virginia Independence Hall is the building where the majority of the legislature took place in West Virginia's journey to statehood, housing the first and second Wheeling Conventions. These conventions dealt with rallying support for secession from the communities, then placing political seats once the Virginia Ordinance of Secession was ratified, and also setting boundaries for the new state. The West Virginia Constitutional Convention was held here as well, and dealt with the formation and naming of the new state. Today the West Virginia Independence Hall is a museum and holds numerous events year round.
One of the last construction projects associated with the National Road, Wheeling Suspension Bridge opened on November 15th, 1849. At that time, this was the only bridge across the Ohio River and the largest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge was designed by Charles Ellet Jr. and covers 1,010 feet from tower to tower. The east tower rests on the Wheeling shore, while the west tower is on Wheeling Island. The bridge provided a link between two sections of the National Road before the Civil War and while it only retained the title of the world's largest suspension bridge for two years, today it is the oldest suspension bridge approved for vehicular traffic. Given its importance to transportation, and its significance as a mid-19th-century engineering marvel, the bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark on May 15, 1975.
Dedicated to Union soldiers who died in service of their country, the Soldiers Aid Society of Wheeling erected the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in 1880. Currently, the monument resides in Wheeling Park in Wheeling, West Virginia.