Preserving WV's Historic Buildings: Abruzzino Mansion - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Preserving WV's Historic Buildings: Abruzzino Mansion

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The owners of a historic property in Harrison County are hoping to have it restored.

Construction started on the Abruzzino mansion in the 1920’s and was complete in 1927. It was owned by Frank and Francesca Abruzzino.

Current owner Margaret Feaster said the family decided to build it in Shinnston because that's where Francesca wanted it.

"Frank said, 'Francesca I can build you a mansion now, so we'll go out and get the property at Shinns Run.' And she said, 'no, no, no I'm going to stay in downtown Shinnston where all my family is. I can walk to everywhere and my sister is nearby.' So he built it right on this spot,” explained Feaster.

The family lived there for many years, until it was converted into apartments in the 1970's.

Feaster and her husband Tom bought the mansion in 1996, and would spend the summers in the house with their grandchildren.

"We had a lot of Easter egg hunts in here, even when it wasn’t that season. Any of the kids that came we always had an Easter egg hunt because it was fun. They played a lot of hide and seek. We had a lot of parties, anniversary parties, family reunions,” said Margaret Feaster.

In 2011 a fire destroyed two rooms and the roof, but Allegheny Restoration has fixed and stabilized that section.

The mansion was added to the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia's Endangered Properties List in 2013.

Lynn Stasick with the Alliance said it's the history behind it that makes it special.

"It represents a part of Shinnston's history, a large part of Shinnston's history. These people were very production citizens. They were in business, they provided jobs, they provided food for people, and it's a sort of history and heritage that is worth saving,” said Stasick.

Stasick said the alliance is working with architecture firms that specialize in adaptive reuse.

The Feasters said they want to see the mansion used to benefit the community that both they and the Abruzzino's have loved.

"It would just be a wonderful children's museum, and that's something they need in this area. It would be a good corporate restaurant, a bed and breakfast we said originally. We'd like to see it in the hands of someone who can restore it. It'd be so nice for it to be for community use or the public because where can you go now and see a house like this,” explained the Feasters.

You can check out a full list of Preservation Alliance Endangered Properties by clicking here.

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