Tuesday, July 14, 2009
You can have your European vacation, I'll take Wheeling
For the past few days, we've been on a reunion/vacation trip to Wheeling, West Virginia. All joking aside, Wheeling is a pretty remarkable place. If you are an architecture and nature buff like myself, you could do much worse for vacation spots. We stayed at a place called Oglebay Resort. It's an old mansion and estate that is now a public park and conference center. The property is very large and is dotted with buildings that have been built over the past 150 years. We stayed in Wilson Lodge, an architectural cross between an Adirondack Lodge and cheesy 70's porn set. Aesthetic challenges aside, it was pretty nice. The property used to be a gentleman's farm and has some pretty nice Classical Revival architecture as well as beautifully configured landscape areas. Jogging each morning, with this kind of view, is really a tough life.There is just enough wildlife to make you feel like you are VERY far from civilization.The resort is about a mile from downtown Wheeling. It has enough industrial heritage, old buildings, and great views to have kept me busy for over a week. Unfortunately, our visit was pretty limited and most of the time was spent catching up with old friends. Luckily we did get a chance to get into downtown and to walk across their suspension bridge. It was really cool but might be considered a little harrowing to some, with its open-deck and slight swaying as traffic passes over it. It's a remarkable structure and pretty unique for any part of the country.I had to snap a pic of one of the Pabst halls as well as the great Richardsonian church near the resort. I could spend hours looking at this kind of crap. Any trip, for me, would not be complete without gaping at the local arts & crafts architecture. A small neighborhood of fantastic bungalows was just blocks from the resort. Wonder if these folks ever do tours.