Revamping our Thomas BAD Buildings Inventory

By Katie Teems, NHT AmeriCorps Member

BAD stands for Brownfield, Abandoned, and Dilapidated. In other words, "BAD Buildings are structures and properties that are vacant, uninhabited and in a state of disrepair, whose owner is taking no active steps to bring the property back into functional use" according to the West Virginia BAD Buildings Program

In 2011, New Historic Thomas coordinated a survey of all the vacant and dilapidated buildings in Thomas and Coketon with the help of the West Virginia BAD Buildings Program. The participants conducted "sidewalk surveys" which were then prioritized and cataloged in an inventory document. The resulting list has succeeded in helping the city, individuals, and partner organizations prioritize buildings and properties for re-use. There have been a number of buildings redeveloped, demolished, or improved since the inventory's completion. You can see many of those success stories around the city.

The soon-to-be restaurant Rudolph's after renovation.

The soon-to-be restaurant Rudolph's after renovation.

Since 2011, a number of the buildings included in the inventory have been improved, put back into reuse, are currently being rehabilitated, or have been demolished while other structures are still exposed to the elements and continue to fall further into disrepair. For this reason, it is time to update the inventory.

With the assistance of volunteers, New Historic Thomas has undertaken to update the BAD Buildings inventory by conducting more street surveys this year. If you see neighbors braving the cold and walking around Thomas with a camera and a clipboard, just know that it's our loyal volunteers helping us with this project!

If you'd like to get involved, our first volunteer meeting for this project will take place Saturday, February 4th at 12:00 pm in the Thomas Education Center Conference Room. If you have any questions, feel free to email New Historic Thomas at