The Driving Tour

A showcase of the largest concentration of
Neo-Classical Colonial Revival Homes 

This driving tour showcases mostly the 1920's and 1930's architecture of Colonial Revival and Neo-Classical design found in the Country Club Hill and Oakhurst Avenue areas of Bluefield.  While the earliest architecture is found on Jefferson and Albemarle Streets in the early 20th Century style, Bluefield boasts possibly the largest concentration of Neo-Classical Colonial Revival homes in the state of West Virginia.

The Virtual Tour 

This virtual tour features only a sample of the 250 listings on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the homes were designed by architect Alex B. Mahood (1888-1970).  He was trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he brought back the styles prevalent in Europe at the time. To have a professional of this caliber, concentrating his talents in Bluefield and Southern West Virginia, is amazing.

Most of the residents of these grand homes were bank presidents, architects, mine operators and owners, contractors, & merchants who shaped the destiny of Bluefield.  They were connected through the West Virginia Cole Realty Corporation in the development of downtown Bluefield and helped our population grow to 19,330 in 1930, greater than its present population.  Bluefield was booming and the Norfolk & Western Railroad line was shipping out coal from the Pocahontas Coal fields, one of the richest coal deposits ever discovered.

See the full-size map in our brochure. 

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    Tudor Revival Style

    1500 College Avenue

    "The Breezes," the Tudor Revival style Frank S. Easley house, was designed by Alex Mahood and built in 1919.  Mr. Easley served as president of the Bluefield Coal and Coke Company.  Local residents recall the peacocks that strutted around the grounds.  Throughout the years, the house has remained in the Easley family.

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    Spanish Colonial Revival

    1430 Whitethorn Street

    The Spanish Colonial Revival house was designed by Alex Mahood and built in 1924. for W.A. Bodell, owner of West Virginia Heating and Plumbing Company.  The business served a three-state area.  He was also president of Acme Motor Company

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    Mediterranean House

    2116 Reid Avenue

    This lovely Mediterranean house was designed by Alex Mahood and built for the L.G. Toney family in 1920.  Dr. Richard Vair Shanklin purchased the home in 1946.  It passed to his son, Dr. James R. Shanklin, and remained in the family until the early 1990's.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

  • Grand D.E. French House 

    2126 Reid Avenue

    This grand D.E. French house was built in 1919 for West Virginia State Senator D.E. French. Senator French was an attorney and president of First National Bank of Keystone.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

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    Federal-Style House

    1339 Liberty Street

    Designed and built by local architect Robert Sheffey in 1920, this Federal Style house is associated with long-time owner R.H. Moore.  The Moore family occupied the house from 1926 to 1981.  Mr. Moore was an officer of the Jewel Ridge Coal Company.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

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    Stately Mitchell House 

    409 Albemarle Street 

    The stately Mitchell house has graced Albemarle Street since its construction in 1915.  Designed by architect John Kingsbury, the house was originally owned by Michael S. Stupalsky, businessman and Bluefield city treasurer.  H. Milnor Mitchell, president of Bluefield Bottling Company later purchased the property.

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    Garrett House 

    109 Spring Grove 

    Known as Alex Mahood's Bluefield masterpiece, the Garrett house was constructed in 1915.  Set atop a hillside, the Georgian Revival mansion with its ornate oversized portico was the perfect place to view the budding South Bluefield neighborhood.

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    Colonial Revival House  

    2009 Bland Road 

    This Alex Mahood gem was built in 1916 for Captain D.H. Barger.  A three-story open staircase graces the center hall of the Colonial Revival house.  Dr. Wade H. St. Clair later purchased the home.  Dr. St. Clair was one of three local physicians who began the Bluefield Sanitarium.  The Sanitarium has evolved into the Bluefield Regional Medical Center.

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    Mediterranean Revival House 

    105 Oakhurst Avenue

    Built in 1926, Alex Mahood designed this Mediterranean Revival house for Edgar S. Pedigo.  The house enjoys the distinction of being the home of a West Virginia political dynasty.  John and Elizabeth Kee, long-time owners of the house, both served in the US Congress.  Their son Jim, succeeded his mother.  Between the three, the Kee family-controlled West Virginia's Fifth Congressional seat for forty years.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

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    Four-Square Style Home 

    117 Oakhurst Avenue 

    The "Oaks" was constructed in 1908 for Judge Joseph M. Sanders. Judge Sanders was elected as Bluefield's second mayor in 1891. 
    He served on the West Virginia Supreme Court and one term as a State Senator. Robert Sheffey, an architect, designed the massive Four Square style home. It is possibly the largest Four Square in West Virginia, boasting more than 8,000 square feet. Dr. R.O. Rogers later purchased the house. Dr. Rogers was one of the three physicians responsible for building the Bluefield Sanitarium.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

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    Colonial Revival House  

    404 Oakhurst Avenue

    Alex Mahood designed this large Colonial Revival style house for John T. Wilson, president, and treasurer of Winco Block Coal Company. It was built in 1926.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

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    Tudor Revival House 

    909 Edgewood Road 

    This Tudor Revival house truly represents the style of the period of development of the coal baron houses in Bluefield. Thomas H. Cooper built the house for his bride in 1925 for $28,000.00. Alex Mahood served as an architect. An English castle owned by Mrs. Cooper's family was the inspiration for the design. The Cooper family is directly associated with the development of Bramwell and Coopers, West Virginia. Some of the bricks protruding beyond the facade of the house contain coal dust from the family coal mines.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

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    Colonial Revival House  

    625 Mountain View Avenue 

    Alex Mahood designed this gracious Colonial Revival house. It was constructed in 1922 for Arthur Kingdon. Laurence E. Tierney, Jr., a Yale graduate, and his wife, Katharine, later purchased the house.  Mr. Tierney served as president of Flat Top National Bank.  He was an advisor to Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson. The Tierney family name is synonymous with the development of Bluefield and the coal industry.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

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    Neo-Classical Style House

    618 Mountain View Avenue

    The picturesque Neo-Classical style Arthur Kingdon house was designed by Alex Mahood and built in 1928.  Arthur Kingdon, an attorney, and stockholder in the West Virginia Coal Realty Company, built and occupied many of the most beautiful homes in Bluefield.  Walter C. Shunk, a coal operator, later owned the house.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

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    International Architecture Style 

    730 Parkway Avenue  

    Considered the most unique house Robert Sheffey designed in Bluefield, the Edna and Sidney Kwass house is a perfect example of the International style of architecture.  It resembles a ship with its porthole windows and follows this theme throughout the interior of the house.  This style is very rare in West Virginia.  The house was constructed in 1935.  It is said to have been inspired from plans from the 1932 World's Fair.

    Image credit: Hal Brainerd Photography

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    Tudor Revival Home 

    615 Oakhurst Avenue 

    This Tudor Revival home was built in 1928 by Dr. E.W. Horton.  The architects were M.J. Garry and R. A. Sheffey.

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    Bluefield Centennial Fountain

    Edgewood Road & Mountain View

    The Bluefield Centennial Fountain is located in the park at Edgewood Road and Mountain View Avenue (1889-1989). The fountain was erected by the Men's Boxwood Garden Club in 2005.

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    Elizabeth Kee Federal Building 

    601 Federal Street

    Renamed in the 1960s for Elizabeth Kee, West Virginia's first woman U.S. Representative (1963-1965).

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    Memorial School

    319 Memorial Avenue

    The Bluefield Historical Society worked with the Memorial School in 2005. This school was designed by architect Alex Mahood in 1925 as a memorial to the soldiers who lost their lives in past wars. The students toured the homes in their historical district, prepared a brochure on their school, and were treated to refreshments at one of the historic homes.

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    Bluefield Historical Society

    College Avenue & Country Club Hill

    The Bluefield Historical Society teamed up with teachers at Bluefield Intermediate School in 2006 and escorted 41 fourth graders through the College Avenue and Country Club Hill Historical District.  The students were treated to refreshments at one of the historic homes.

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    Dr. John Forbes Nash, Jr. 

    1405 Whitehorn Street

    The childhood home of Dr. John Forbes Nash, Jr.,
    who was the winner of the 1994 Nobel Laureate in Economics. Dr. Nash's life was portrayed in the movie, A Beautiful Mind.

P.O. Box 1754
Bluefield WV 24701

info@bluefieldhistoricalsociety.org

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