Sabraton Historic Resource Survey
Aurora Research Associates has been working with the Morgantown Historic Landmarks Commission and West Virginia University on an historic resource survey for Sabraton, a neighborhood in Morgantown. This project is unique in that I got to work with WVU historic preservation student volunteers and their professor, Dr. Jennifer Thornton. The students went out for field survey, completed WV Historic Property Inventory Forms and did independent research projects on different aspects of Sabraton’s historic context. I am not overstating it when I say I was blown away by the level of work that these students produced.
Sabraton has an interesting history as an industrial and commercial section of the city. Along with that came an influx of immigrants in the early 20th century, especially Eastern Europeans, Greeks and Italians. Today the “main drag” of Sabraton, West Virginia Route 7, consists mostly of modern commercial structures, but there are residential enclaves that still remain if you know where to look. Unfortunately, the landscape and integrity of the neighborhood was vastly altered when Interstate 68 was constructed in 1974, but the survey team really gained an appreciation for the neighborhood over the course of this project, and especially the historic immigrant population that lived there. One of the students, Julia Mellet, produced a documentary about St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, a neighborhood institution for over 100 years. Check out her fantastic work below! The rest of the survey materials and student research will go public in a few months after final review.