By Fernando Rodriguez
Long-time Sutton resident and Historic Preservation Consultant Mike Gioulis received the Dr. Emory Kemp Lifetime Achievement Award at the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s Annual WV Historic Preservation Awards Banquet held at the J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works in Charleston.
This award recognizes Mike’s life-long devotion and commitment to the preservation and restoration of historically significant properties throughout the state of West Virginia. Mike has dedicated his work in Historic Preservation in West Virginia since 1977, first as Historical Architect for the West Virginia Department of Culture and History and then as Assistant Director of the Historic Preservation Unit, where Mike participated in Survey and Planning grants, historic resource surveys, review of construction grant projects, and tax certification applications. Historic Preservation Tax credits for rehabilitation may be used to lower the cost of rehabilitating a historic property while providing for the preservation of the property.
He established his private practice in 1984 and has been involved in rehabilitation projects and design assistance programs for downtown structures, including services to the West Virginia Main Street Office, resulting in over eight hundred individual design projects, as well as workshops, resource team visits, and technical assistance responses.
Mike wrote a Maintenance Manual for downtown property owners and has assisted countless property owners with successful tax certification applications, National Register nominations, revitalization of historic sites, and individual rehabilitation and restoration projects throughout the state.
Thanks to Mike’s tireless work, many municipalities have been able to preserve and restore the historic integrity of their Downtown areas and individual structures. Mike conducts business out of his office on Main Street, Sutton, supported and fueled by Dot Gioulis, Mike’s indefatigable and devoted partner and wife.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia “serves as the statewide grassroots organization dedicated to historic preservation in our Mountain State.” The PAWV and its members support and promote historic preservation through education and outreach, advocacy, technical assistance, and heritage tourism development.
Some achievements in 2021 include a $550,000 Paul Bruhn Historic Rural Revitalization Grant from the National Park Service to help preserve West Virginia’s endangered historic buildings, managed Preserve WV AmeriCorps program, which served twenty-nine sites across twenty counties (plus four statewide sites) in West Virginia and assisted in successful statewide efforts to make West Virginia’s 25% Historic Tax Credit permanent.
The offices of the PAWV are in Elkins, WV. Visit their website at https://www.pawv.org/
The story of the J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works goes back to the first drilling for brine in 1817. By the 1850’s, production of salt was more than three million bushels of salt per year, making the Kanawha Valley the largest salt producing region of the United States, and earning them a Best Salt in The World” award at the 1851 London World’s Fair.
The J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works is in Malden, WV, and offers tours of the salt-making process, as well as a shop offering arts and crafts in addition to many distinct types of salt. Visit their website and learn about this historically interesting enterprise. https://www.jqdsalt.com/
By Fernando Rodriguez