Orion Strategies continues to add to the downtown business climate and the charming aesthetic of Main Street by renovating an old, historic building to house the growing company’s headquarters.
The building, which was constructed in 1900, was completely renovated from top to bottom, to accommodate the expanding needs of the growing public relations and strategic communications firm based in downtown Buckhannon. A lack of available office space in the downtown district prompted Orion Principal Curtis Wilkerson to purchase and renovate the building located across from the Upshur County Courthouse. Throughout its years, the building has had many uses, even serving as a bowling alley.
“We’re really pleased with how the renovations came together,” Wilkerson noted. “We’ve taken a building with a history and revitalized it into a beautiful structure that captures the character of the downtown while keeping with the modern, up-to-date philosophy we have here at Orion Strategies.”
Before it was purchased by Orion Strategies, the floor and roof of the dilapidated building were caving in, and the building’s façade, which was replaced in the 1960s, did not match the rest of Main Street. However, renovations are now complete, and the building sports a brand-new façade which reflects the rest of Main Street, Wilkerson said.
The building’s interior renovations were meant to be a blend of the contemporary yet classical styles, sporting a floor to ceiling glass wall conference rooms, exposed interior brick walls, skylights, a coffered ceiling entrance and alcove lighting. In keeping with this theme, the alcoves hold historic photographs of Buckhannon, complemented with recent versions taken by the firm’s graphic design artist and photographer, Ethan Butler.
During renovations, Wilkerson was treated to a nice find hidden within a walled-over window. Contractors uncovered a Christmas gift set holding an assortment of small glass bottles with lotions, creams and gels with a handwritten inscription, “December 25, 1937”. The gift set is now displayed on one of the glass shelves in the front portion of the office.
Wilkerson, who is a West Virginia Wesleyan Alumnus, founded Orion Strategies in 2006, and expanded to Buckhannon in 2008. This spring, the firm opened its latest office in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Orion Strategies is also located in Columbus and Pittsburgh.