Clarksburg Group Working to Restore the Waldo Hotel - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Clarksburg Group Working to Restore the Waldo Hotel

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CLARKSBURG -

The Waldo Hotel in Clarksburg was built in the early 1900s. For years, it was one of the most iconic businesses in Harrison County.

"The building was once one of the finest hotels in the United States when it was built. You had a lot of fairs were held there. You had a great wonderful lobby and ballrooms. If we could then again attract a lot of those functions to downtown Clarksburg," said Martin Shaffer, president of Save the Waldo.

While it's still a landmark, the Waldo has become more of a conversation piece and the center of debate.

Two groups with very different ideas about the Waldo formed, Demo the Waldo and Save the Waldo. Those opposed said the building is a danger zone, with falling bricks and roof issues. It demands demolition.

But the Save the Waldo group refutes that idea. It said the building should stay.

Shaffer said it would cost $20 million to restore the Waldo. All of the plaster needs to be restored, a brand new heating and cooling system needs to be installed and the electrical work needs major upgrading. It also needs a new roof.

Shaffer said work on repairing the falling bricks should start in a few months. 

While opposers said it's not a feasible project, Shaffer said it's still very possible.

"This is an example of a building that could be restored and generate a lot of money and economic development for the community," Shaffer said.

Shaffer said someone will find the money to invest in the building's potential.

"A lot of people don't realize with the tax credits and the lots of different things you can get involved, the investor may only have to come up with $7 million of his own money through tax credits and grants. So it makes it a lot more feasible," Shaffer said.

He said restored hotels like the Waldo are in high demand.

"The economic development of this country is now coming back.Your investors are starting to invest in downtown hotels again. But this has been a long time coming because of the recession we've been in. Now's the time to start pursuing these investors who are investing in other communities," Shaffer said.