The Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion is a historic Greek Revival structure located in Blue Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The Pavilion is the only surviving structure from the Blue Sulphur Springs Resort, a 19th century mineral spa, and was built to shelter the sulphur spring at the resort. The Pavilion consists of twelve columns holding up a square roof, and is primarily built with brick. It was built in 1834 along with the resort, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 29, 1992.
The Pavilion is built on a square, brick foundation with stone facing, with sides measuring 32 feet and 10 inches. Twelve columns rest on the foundation, giving the Pavilion an open structure; the columns are of a modified Doric Order and are built of brick covered in plaster. The frieze of the Pavilion is un-decorated and made of clapboard.
The Pavilion is topped with a four-sided hipped roof with clapboard pediments. A marble basin sits inside the Pavilion. The sulphur spring flows into the basin at a rate of 6 gallons per minute and a temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit. The Pavilion is the only resort pavilion in West Virginia and one of few rural structures built in the Greek Revival style. In his 1846 book on mineral springs, William Burke described the Pavilion as "well-designed but badly executed" and referred to the fountain inside as "one of the most beautiful objects imaginable."
The Pavilion is now in severe disrepair. A stopped-up drainage system has resulted in standing water that is undermining the foundation. One of the 12 Greek columns has slipped off center. The facility has stood for 170 years but those years have taken their toll, and there is the likelihood that the structure will collapse without proper care.
In response to the need to restore the facility, a group was formed in 2013 known as the "Friends of the Blue”. This group has worked to publicize the plight of the pavilion, to transfer the pavilion from private ownership to non-profit ownership by the Greenbrier Historic Society, and to raise funds. In 2013, the Historic Preservation Alliance identified the Blue Sulphur Springs as one of the most endangered historic resources in the state.
In April of 2013, Ms. Rebecca Fleshman Lineberry, the owner of the pavilion and the surrounding acreage, donated the title to the pavilion and 2 acres to the Greenbrier Historical Society. This brave and selfless act deeds the property to a non-profit organization that can receive grants and also allows for charitable contribution deductions for donations received.
The Greenbrier Historical Society is currently in the bidding process for the next phase of work that would stabilize the foundation and provide drainage to the site in the fall of 2020. This phase is being made possible thanks to a SHPO grant and the James F.B. Peyton Fund along with individual contributions.
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Blue Sulphur Springs is a small, unincorporated rural community in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. It is located 9 miles north of Alderson and 8 miles southwest of interchange 161 of Interstate 64 at Alta, West Virginia. Please see the attached map.
The Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion is located in a valley at the junction of the Kitchen Creek and Sawmill Hollow Valleys. Blue Sulphur Springs is one of several thermal mineral springs in this area of the Appalachian Mountains. The Pavilion overlooks a rural landscape, and offers views of the surrounding valley.
Remarkably, there are five roads in and out of Blue Sulphur Springs. Some have humorously speculated that all the roads were put there to make sure the moonshiners had ways to avoid the revenuers. It is more likely that the roads reflected commerce movements in days gone by, as well as the significance of the Blue Sulphur Springs Resort in its heyday.