West Side Main Street’s mission is the revitalization and historic preservation of the West Side business district along Washington Street W. To accomplish that goal, a variety of programs are in place to replace infrastructure, improve the streetscape, and accomplish façade renovations. Click on the programs on the left to learn more about each one.
West Side Main Street offers free design assistance to business members who wish to renovate the facade of their buildings. In conjunction with the West Virginia Development Office and the West Virginia Main Street Program, an historic preservation consultant is available to meet with the business owner, make recommendations for facade renovations and prepare a drawing of the building that can then be taken to their contractor for estimates on the cost of renovations.
Business owners who are contemplating applying for a facade renovation grant are encouraged to take advantage of this free design assistance, as doing so increases the chance of approval from both WSMS and the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority (CURA) for available funding of grants.
Business owners must apply for the assistance through the West Side Main Street office and be approved by the State office in order to receive the complimentary service. To apply for the design assistance please click 2012 mainstreetdesignapplicationassistanceform (2) to download the application.
Facade Grant Program
West Side Main Street offers a facade grant program to business members whereby a portion of the costs to renovate a building facade are reimbursed. Business owners must apply for the facade grant and be approved by the Design Committee prior to beginning renovations. Funds for facade grants come from the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority (CURA) for businesses in the CURA district and from the WV Legislature in the form of Community Participation Grants for businesses in the Elk City area. Funds are limited to the amount appropriated by these entities and may not be available at the time that the business owner applies if all funds have been expended. To apply for a facade grant please download the application Facade Grant application.
Public Art Project
Washington Street West
West Side Main Street is currently undertaking the first public art project to be installed on the West Side of Charleston. The West Side Art Initiative comprised of local artists, West Side Main Street and other interested parties began planning this project in 2009 with the goal of installing a piece of public art on the West Side.
The Initiative decided to go with a mural on the retaining wall in the 1500 block of Washington Street and actively began recruiting funding to hire artists and purchase the materials needed for a mural. Funding was obtained through grants from the Sustainable Kanawha Valley Initiative and the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.
The work is to be a tile mural consisting of 6 panels painted by local artists and surrounded by tiles painted by the community. The project was designed to allow members of the community to express themselves in the work and to memorialize their thoughts in a public display. The work is currently underway and is scheduled to be installed in the fall of 2010.
Barton Street Park
The first public green space along the Washington Street West corridor was planted in late 2009 by West Side Main Street, the West Side Neighborhood Association and the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority.
Placed on three vacant lots, donated by the Craft family, the park was planted with urban trees, a butterfly garden, a xeriscape garden, and native plants. This addition to the neighborhood turned a formerly cluttered and weed filled hillside with colorful plants and will provide a shady spot for quite reflection in the coming years.
West Side Main Street plans to install small benches and other amenities in the future to make the park more welcoming to those who wish to stop and smell the roses along the busy Washington Street corridor. We are currently in discussions about making the park a memorial garden with residents able to purchase plants in memory of loved ones. If you would like to participate in this effort, please contact the West Side Main Street office for more information.
Master Streetscape Plan
In 2008, Main Street West Virginia and West Side Main Street commissioned a study of the remaining streetscape needs for the Washington St. West corridor.
A plan to upgrade sidewalks, relocate utility lines, install new street lighting, landscaping and street furniture was developed for the area from Beatrice Street to Maryland Avenue. The plan was designed to be implemented in phases over the next 5 years as funding is obtained for the work.
In 2009, with a matching grant from the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority (CURA), the project was awarded a $525,000 Economic Stimulus Grant by the Governor to begin the first phase of the project from Beatrice Street to Hunt Avenue.
Utility line relocation has been completed and sidewalk replacements and new lighting are scheduled to be completed in 2012. West Side Main Street is currently seeking another grant through the Transportation Enhancement Program to begin the second phase of the streetscape in 2012-13. The second phase will continue the streetscape from Hunt Avenue to West Avenue.
Sign Grant Assistance
West Side Main Street offers a sign grant assistance grant program to members who wish to update signage for their business. Signage must comply with City code and meet requirements of the sign grant assistance program. Business owners will be reimbursed up to $500 for new or replacement signage.