Preserving history versus progress is not an unusual debate for the people of Parkersburg.
Some believe old buildings cost too much to operate, while other think those structures are a vital part of our heritage and history.
Now the smith building and a home on 13th Street are fueling the controversy, because they both face demolition. For many, the Wood County Courthouse is an unmistakable landmark, and one that lives in longtime resident's childhood memories.
In the 70's there were talks of building a new courthouse, and tearing down this childhood memory didn't sit well with Backus.
And people who agree with Backus have worked tirelessly to save historic buildings in the Parkersburg area from becoming areas like these, parking lots, this was the sight of the old city building, and right next door to this now empty parking lot is the Smoot Theater, other examples, of a building that concerned citizens had to fight to keep standing.
But it did work, and, much like the courthouse, the Smoot serves as a place full of memories from its movie house days, to a place for arts and culture.
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