Let me share with you a little shortcut a friend of mine and I utilized when we were freshmen at Western Kentucky University.

We lived at the bottom of the hill, and all of our classes were at the top of the hill. For a great many WKU students, this is par for the course. And it doesn't take long to get used to it, but my buddy Russ and I cut corners. We'd ride up an elevator in Grise Hall until we got to the next ground level, and then we'd do the same at the Fine Arts Center. Yes, it's lazy, but I still lost weight that year, even though you're not supposed to when you're a freshman.

A Historic Building Near the KY State Line With an Unusual Feature

There's a building in Appalachia VA--right across the Kentucky state line--that reminded me of my college days when I learned of its design. What's more, the historic Peake Building has been purchased and is set for renovation. Congratulations to Tabitha and John Greiger on their work and for this amazing revitalization project.

The couple finalized this month their October purchase of three downtown locations — the Peake Building, Lavigne Building, the town’s original Western Auto Store building and the former Pet/Flav-O-Rich dairy distribution warehouse and office — from the estate of town businesswoman and property owner Sue Dorton. The couple founded Appalachian Rising Ventures to conduct what they say will take as much as five years for the central project — rehabilitating and restoring the Peake as a combination restaurant and short-term tourist rental destination.

A little more than a week ago, the Greigers--fresh off their good news--took a tour of the old structure. Their work is cut out for them.

Is the Peake Building a World Record Holder?

Any undertaking of this magnitude deserves our ovations, certainly, but there's an additional aspect of the Peake Building that just might set it apart from the others in downtown Appalachia.

According to at least three different sources--this one, this one, and this one--the Peake Building sets a world record as the only building that can be accessed from the street on all four of its floors. But, in the interest of full disclosure, I could not find the listing anywhere in the Guinness Book of World Records. However, it is rightly on the National Register of Historic Places:

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Yes, the Peake Building features a unique and fascinating design, and I could see why one would think it's the only one of its kind on the planet, but, again, no listing.

Oh well, that hardly matters to the Greigers. They eyeballed this beautiful little Appalachian town--with the most appropriate name possible--as one that was crying out for an upgrade, and that's exactly what residents and travelers will be seeing over the next five years.


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