Restoration of the Frank & Jane Gabor Folklife Center wins AIA WV Award

Fairmont State University’s Frank and Jane Gabor Folklife Center, in Fairmont, WV, has received a design award from the West Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The 6,900 square foot facility was restored by WYK Associates, Inc. of Clarksburg.

The project is located on Squibb Wilson Boulevard on the west side of Fairmont State University’s main campus. The folklife center was constructed in 1903 by Michael Kennedy and is the last remaining vestige of the Kennedy’s dairy farm. In 1941 the original barn was converted to apartments; floor framing, dormers, and field stone facade were added to create three levels of apartments.

The building had been seriously compromised by years of neglect and fire damage. Due to the building’s history and notable residents, it was decided that it would be placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. After developing an architectural program for the Folklife Program, WYK Associates, Inc. decided to remove a floor from the existing structure and create a first floor classroom area, and a second floor “Great Room” which would restore the open structure of the barn and provide both exhibit and multi-use space.

The restoration brought the building into compliance with modern building codes and the total cost for the project was $1, 370,000.00. The project was completed in September 2011. William E. Yoke, Jr., AIA NCARB served as the project architect for the building. WYK Associates, Inc. is a full service architectural firm that has served North Central West Virginia for nearly 40 years. The firm has won numerous design awards and is privileged to win the AIA West Virginia Honor Award.