Dunbar Center celebrating historical designation

CELEBRATING — A banquet has been planned for Aug. 20 to celebrate the Dunbar Recreation Center’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — More than one year ago, the Dunbar Recreation Center was approved for placement on the National Register of Historic Places. This month, Dunbar officials are inviting the community to celebrate the designation.

A banquet has been planned for 6 p.m. Aug. 20 at Undo’s, according to Earlean Jones, president of the board at the Dunbar Center.

The Dunbar Center, located at 300 Kessel St., along Weir Avenue, was officially listed on the historical register on July 22, 2021. It first opened its doors in late 1944, serving as the headquarters of the Dunbar Parent Teacher Association, and hosting a variety of events contributing to the advancement of the city’s Weirton’s African-American community.

The building served as an auditorium, ballroom, theater, banquet hall, assembly space and gymnasium for the nearby Dunbar High School, which didn’t have a dedicated indoor sports area until 1954.

“It has become a historical site,” Jones said. “This is something that’s going to be standing forever.”

The process to nominate the center to the register began in October 2019, with collaboration between the center’s board and the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center.

Jones credits much of the work to Savannah Schroll-Guz, former president of the museum.

“She seriously and truly did a lot of the work to get us on the register,” Jones said.

Tickets for the banquet are $30 each, and available through today by calling Jones at (304) 748-7834.

Jones said presentations from Weirton Mayor Harold Miller and Del. Mark Zatezalo, R-Hancock, are scheduled to take place during the banquet.

An open house, with tours of the building, will be scheduled at a later time, Jones said.


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