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Stifel Fine Arts Center

Located at Edemar, the Stifel family mansion on the National Road in Wheeling, the Oglebay Institute Stifel Fine Arts Center is the headquarters for Oglebay Institute’s fine arts department. Exhibits of works by local, regional, and national artists and craftspeople are displayed in the center’s Hart Galleries. Art and Dance workshops and classes are also held in the century-old mansion.

Edward W. Stifel Sr. (1869–1947) built Edemar (named for his children Edward, Emily, and Mary) out of brick, steel, and concrete. Completed in 1912, the 39-room structure was meant to be fireproof. Formal gardens, a tennis court, fish pond, picnic area, putting green, and a swimming pool were located on the grounds of the several-acre estate. Stifel was president and chairman of J. L. Stifel & Sons, a textile manufacturing firm established by his grandfather, Johann Ludwig Stifel (1807–81), in 1835. Edward Stifel also promoted the cause of air travel and spearheaded the effort to build an airport in the Wheeling area.

In 1976, the Stifel family deeded the estate to Oglebay Institute for use as a fine arts center. Although remodeled to house galleries, craft rooms, classes and offices, the mansion, with its grand central staircase, retains much of its original character. Edemar is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Read the National Register nomination.

Written by Gerry Reilly