I learn more stuff doing these local markets features for Architect. The best is when I actually get to visit a city I've featured and see things first hand. That hasn't happened (yet, anyhow) for this month's pick city, Charleston, WV. But my friend John McIntyre, a native son, says I got it right. 

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LOCAL MARKETS: Charleston, W.V.

By Margot Carmichael Lester & Claire Parker

Soon after the American Revolutionary War ended, the area now known
as Charleston, W.Va.—officially established in 1794—saw its first
settlers arrive. The Appalachian region was known for vast salt deposits
until 1815, when natural gas was discovered, followed by coal two years
later. Today, the state capital has diversified its economy to include
education and healthcare, thanks to campuses for West Virginia
University and the state’s Community and Technical College System, plus
the private University of Charleston.

“People who have a
preconceived notion about West Virginia are missing out,” asserts Adam
Krason, principal of ZMM Architects & Engineers. “We have very
affordable housing, short commutes, quality public and private schools,
low crime rates, great cultural institutions like the West Virginia
Symphony Orchestra, and easy access to a variety of outdoor activities.”

(There's more to read, and a stylin' slide show, here. And you can read my other architecture/development reporting here.)