The revitalization of Elkins downtown continues with the renovation of the Parmesano building, commonly known as the McManus building, on Third Street.
Certified Public Accountant Christy Tribble, of Elkins, purchased the building in March of 2012 with the intention of placing her accounting office on the second floor and opening the first floor to rental retail space.
The Parmesano building was built by Italian immigrant Vincent Parmesano in 1901 and is on the National Register of Historic Places for the Elkins historic downtown district. The building is located at 122 Third St., between JoJo's floral and Bridal Shop and the Poling building, now home of T.D.'s Classic Tees.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Anna Patrick
Christy Tribble will move her accounting office to the Parmesano building, which she recently purchased. Tribble, above photo, holds an image of the first floor of the interior of the Parmesano building with the building’s owner, Vincent Parmesano, standing among the many items for purchase including tobacco and candy.
Vincent Parmesano immigrated to the United States from Sicily, Italy, and moved to Elkins in 1898 to establish a business. He opened a produce stand and sold fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fresh baked goods. His son took over the produce stand and Parmesano then directed his attention to selling tobacco and candy. Parmesano and his family lived on the first and second floor of the building for many years.
Parmesano's grandson, Vincent Parmesano III, said the family sold the building to the McManus family who then established the McManus Gift Shop. Harry and Mary Jones then purchased the building and the business from the McManus family.
Tribble acquired the Parmesano building from the descendants of Harry and Mary Jones. When Tribble purchased the building in March, work began immediately to replace the old, leaking roof that was beginning to cause damage to the second floor of the structure.
"It was in need of a lot of repairs," Tribble said. A heating and air conditioning system was also installed in the building.
"I hate to see the building's empty downtown and that one is such a neat building with neat history and I would like to see it utilized."
Work is currently under way to renovate the front portion of the second floor in the hopes of moving Tribble's office to the building by July 1.
Sam Kirkpatrick of Elkins is the hired contractor for the interior renovation. Kirkpatrick's plan of attack is to first renovate Tribble's office, then renovate the first floor of the building for retail space and finally renovate the back portion of the second floor for a one bedroom apartment.
"Downtown living, I think, will help to revitalize the downtown area," Tribble said.
Throughout the renovation process, Tribble said she wants to maintain the building's historical integrity by helping to keep and restore as many features of the original structure as possible.
One of the building's highlights is the high tin ceiling on the first floor which Tribble said will be restored and repainted. For years the tin ceiling was covered by a drop ceiling.
Another unique feature is the building's front. The metal facade for the front was purchased from the George L. Mesker and Company from Evansville, Indiana in 1901. Parmesano said the first floor front is made of cast iron and glass and the second floor is made of brick and ceramic and features a unique bay window. Parmesano has the original proof of purchase for the store front. Parmesano's grandfather purchased the building's front for a total of $290.50.
By searching old Mesker catalogs, Tribble was able to find the exact metal facade Parmesano purchased at the turn of the 19th Century. She hopes to restore the store front to mimic the building's original design.
Tribble moved to Elkins in 2007 with her family.
"When I very first moved here I wanted to buy the (Parmesano) building I am very interested in being downtown, having downtown businesses, having people live downtown," she said.
Tribble added she is still looking for a renter for the 1,285 square foot retail space and a renter for 800 square foot apartment. If an individual is interested in the retail space on Third Street and would like to be involved in the design process for the first floor's renovation, contact Tribble at 304-637-2929.
"If somebody wanted to be involved in the remodeling and they wanted particular colors or floorings or wall treatments. I could work with them on that," she said.
Tribble's CPA office is currently located at 329 Davis Ave. in Elkins.