By Greg Stone, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Capitol Street landmark is eerily quiet these days. The entrance, a grand front platform fronted by handsome wood, is not staffed. Parts of the building are vacant.
Designed by noted English architect Alfred C. Bossom and built in the untimely year of 1929, the Kanawha Valley Bank survived the Great Depression. The deep pockets of its owners, the Charleston-pioneering Dickinsons, certainly didn’t hurt.
Two floors are underground, leaving 20 floors above to be admired. Framed by a three-story rectangular base at the bottom, the building shaft is shaped in a cross, with the top three floors rising almost hut-like above the wings. The upper structure is jutted flush left against one wing. The final floor is smaller, a distinctive square within the two blocks below it. A roof atop the “hut” is green terra-cotta, with other terra-cotta trim an orange hue.
They don’t make buildings like this anymore…