Restoration begins on Historic Hill Top House at Harpers Ferry – NBC4 Washington
Restorations will soon begin at a historic hotel in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which has stood empty and run down for more than a decade.
The Hill Top House Hotel has stood above Harpers Ferry for over 130 years with a view few can resist. Its view overlooks three states and two rivers.
Developers Karen and Fred Schaufeld said they fell in love with the hotel 30 years ago, not only for its views, but also for its history.
“The story was so moving, so meaningful. It stuck with us,” said co-owner Fred Schaufeld. “A place where anyone on the east coast has come from Mark Twain to Carl Sandburg to Alexander Graham Bell and all the presidents.”
The Hilltop House will not be demolished, but crews will dismantle it stone by stone so that much of the original material can be reused in the new hotel.
“[We want to] really try to capture the look and feel of its rebuilding in 1914, ”said co-owner Karen Schaufeld.
The couple say they did their best to save as many of the hotel’s old artifacts as possible, including an old living room piano and mirror that survived two fires in the early 1900s, destroying twice the hotel.
But the development has not been without obstacles and controversy.
Some neighbors have complained about the size of the project as the developers have not only purchased the hotel, but all surrounding buildings, including old houses of historic structures and even the city roads leading to the hotel.
Another concern of area residents has been public access to where visitors and locals have come to admire the views for over 100 years.
“This public view has always been on private property,” said Karen Schaufeld. “In the agreement with the city, we have put a permanent pedestrian easement… so that this panorama is always open to the public.
The inauguration of the new hotel is scheduled for next spring with the hotel opening in 2024.
Plans include restaurants, a spa, several ballrooms, and conference rooms.
“It will really change the way people interact with Harpers Ferry,” said Karen Schaufeld.