Trans-Allegheny (local) bookstore closed - blog by Never

 


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Trans-Allegheny (local) bookstore closed
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Posted 24-Oct-2010 at 06:07 PM (18:07) by Never

I missed the news item earlier in the year and had such a busy summer that I hadn't been by the store to know it was closed. I love to get lost in a used bookstore, this one even moreso due to the fascinating building and atmosphere.

It was the former city library, one of many of the Carnegie libraries built earlier in the century. When the library built a new modern building and vacated this one, this was purchased to turn into a used bookstore which is of course a perfect use. There were even 2 resident cats to monitor customers (I mean, they had to have a job, right?).

In April 2010, the owner passed away and it appears the used bookstore will be gone. Such a shame for the local area and visitors. I wanted to share some of the history, photos and news articles of the building and store. I wish you could all spend an afternoon lost in the shelves. Some pics of mine from the bookstore:



















Quote:
Inside, the wrought iron and brass spiral staircase, stained glass windows, glass tiled floors are all stunning examples of grand architecture.
Above from: this article which includes a nice video with an interview with the manager on the side.

From here:
Quote:
...a step son of the late Joe Sakach, the owner who died in early April, said the store will remain closed until an executor of Sakach's estate is appointed and the estate is settled. The building was erected, thanks to a $34,000 grant from famed industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie... The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The bookstore contained more than 500,000 books, including books about West Virginia and Appalachia and those written by regional authors. The store is one of the largest used book stores in the Midwest...
Quoting this article:
Quote:
The widow of the owner of the Parkersburg's historic Trans Allegheny Books has received a temporary restraining order to stop the sale of the store's contents...
This one gives a bit more of the reason. The restraining order was requested by the widow. I guess the children of the deceased owner were the ones planning the liquidation sell (the widow being their step-mother). Sadly, it sounds like this only delays the inevitable loss of a wonderful place. I do wish they could sell the business and building as a whole and let someone else run it.
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  1. Old Comment
    Grumpy's Avatar
    Quote:
    The store is one of the largest used book stores in the Midwest
    One of? There are others? You have to locate the nearest one to you.

    What a beautiful building and store. It is a serious loss to you that it closed. I hope it got plenty of use while it lasted.

    Looks like a place I'd liked to have vacationed.
    Posted 24-Oct-2010 at 06:52 PM (18:52) by Grumpy Grumpy is offline
  2. Old Comment
    lifelinking's Avatar
    damn shame
    Posted 24-Oct-2010 at 09:36 PM (21:36) by lifelinking lifelinking is offline
  3. Old Comment
    I could spend hours in there. Damn shame is right.
    Posted 24-Oct-2010 at 09:40 PM (21:40) by Fizzle Fizzle is offline
  4. Old Comment
    muddleglum's Avatar

    Small world. I spent hours lost in the shelves when it was still a library--I lived across the street from it for a few months. It was a beauty, but much of that inside was crowded out due to lack of space.

    Thanks for the sweet memories, Never.
    .
    Posted 25-Oct-2010 at 01:21 AM (01:21) by muddleglum muddleglum is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Never's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by muddleglum View Comment

    Small world. I spent hours lost in the shelves when it was still a library--I lived across the street from it for a few months. It was a beauty, but much of that inside was crowded out due to lack of space.

    Thanks for the sweet memories, Never.
    .
    Good grief! You lived in downtown Middle Of Nowhere? I was never in it as a library. I just saw the closed building for years until they opened this used bookstore. I was so glad they did so I could see what the place looked like.
    Posted 25-Oct-2010 at 07:47 AM (07:47) by Never Never is offline
  6. Old Comment
    muddleglum's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Never View Comment
    Good grief! You lived in downtown Middle Of Nowhere?
    If you think that is the Middle Of Nowhere, I wonder what you would think of where I live now.
    Posted 25-Oct-2010 at 03:22 PM (15:22) by muddleglum muddleglum is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Tweeted just now
    ______________

    Trans-Allegheny (local) bookstore closed, #Parkersburg, West Virginia, photos, by Never http://tinyurl.com/2vcrp2m #bookstores #WestVirginia
    Posted 25-Oct-2010 at 04:27 PM (16:27) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  8. Old Comment

    Bookstore Cats

    I loved this place; so sorry to hear it has closed. Does anyone know what became of the cats?
    Posted 19-Feb-2011 at 07:09 AM (07:09) by Unregistered
  9. Old Comment

    RSVP

    Hello Never...your pictures of the Trans Allegheny Bookstore are amazing. Could you give me permission to use these for my daughter's (and her friend's) 5th grade social studies project? Since the store is closed, we are having a hard time getting pictures and such. We would really appreciate it!
    Posted 17-Jan-2012 at 03:17 AM (03:17) by Unregistered
  10. Old Comment
    Never's Avatar

    RSVP

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Unregistered View Comment
    Hello Never...your pictures of the Trans Allegheny Bookstore are amazing. Could you give me permission to use these for my daughter's (and her friend's) 5th grade social studies project? Since the store is closed, we are having a hard time getting pictures and such. We would really appreciate it!
    Apologies, just saw this comment. Sure, feel free to use the photos. I'm so glad they were taken before it was too late.
    Posted 16-Feb-2012 at 04:02 AM (04:02) by Never Never is offline
  11. Old Comment

    Updates

    Wondering if anyone knows the status of the sale this property, or it's contents? It's a shame that this gorgeous landmark is falling to ruin by lack of caring and maintenance.
    Posted 08-Jul-2013 at 03:34 AM (03:34) by Unregistered
  12. Old Comment

    Joe Sakach

    The library is a monument to Joe. Recreating it was a labor of love. I remember when he would spend his weekends organizing the books during the mid 1980s. May he rest in peace.
    Posted 22-Nov-2013 at 10:40 PM (22:40) by Unregistered
  13. Old Comment

    Pictures

    I was wanting pictures of the inside of the store. I can save them on my phone to print them off. Just for myself and will be glad to put your name on the photos to who the are taken from.
    I just want to give you credit and ask for permission. I only been the store a few times and sure do miss it. It was so cool. Thank you for posting the pictures.
    Posted 27-Oct-2014 at 06:11 AM (06:11) by Unregistered
  14. Old Comment
    Never's Avatar

    Pictures

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Unregistered View Comment
    I was wanting pictures of the inside of the store. I can save them on my phone to print them off. Just for myself and will be glad to put your name on the photos to who the are taken from.
    I just want to give you credit and ask for permission. I only been the store a few times and sure do miss it. It was so cool. Thank you for posting the pictures.
    You are welcome to use the photos, no need to put my name on them. I think of the place as a local treasure, belonging (at least in an historical way) to the people. When I drive by there, it appears the books are still inside the closed building and I wonder what is to become of it - still after all this time.
    Posted 28-Oct-2014 at 06:37 AM (06:37) by Never Never is offline
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