The city of Wheeling, West Virginia presents a dilemma for historic preservationists. On one hand, the city has perhaps the best and most intact collection of mid-19th century Victorian architecture in the midwest. On the other hand, a great deal of that architecture is falling apart, due to neglect and abandonment (the city's population has fallen to less than half of its peak level, when it was the largest city in the state). Wheeling was once a very elegant and wealthy city, and a major center for commerce. Much of that elegance is still intact, but it is slowly rotting and being bulldozed away.
The Mayor of Wheeling has proposed to demolish a large section of East Wheeling (a National Historic District) for a baseball field. This neighborhood, adjacent to downtown Wheeling, contains a large collection of Victorians, many of which were built before the Civil War.
I have taken care to photograph every building in the section, bordered by 15th Street, 16th Street, Wood St., and McColloch St., which may soon be only a memory, of a time when Wheeling was a city of pride, elegance, and optimism, as reflected in its buildings.