Editor's note: This is the 224th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON - Dickinson Furniture was founded by P. E. Dickinson, who came to Huntington in the late 1800s from Louisa County, Virginia, to work in the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway shops. In 1906, while still working for the C&O, he and his brother decided to go into the furniture business on 20th Street.
The brothers moved their store several times before purchasing a building on the northwest corner of 4th Avenue and 8th Street in 1932.
The building was originally built to be Field's Fine Fashions, an upscale dress shop. Because of the poor Depression-era economic conditions, the building was never occupied until the Dickinson brothers purchased it. The store would weather the Depression and the 1937 flood and would go on to become a downtown Huntington icon.
Three generations of the Dickinson family operated their well-known furniture store for 102 years before announcing its closure in 2008. Company President Margaret Williams told The Herald-Dispatch: "Several of us are ready to retire, and there's nobody in the family to take over." An ailing local economy also played a role in the decision, she said.
Local developers Jim Weiler and Phil Nelson purchased the former furniture store in 2009 and updated it for use as an office building, naming it Capitol Centre. The developers said the $2.5 million project involved gutting the building's interior, and adding a new elevator and sprinkler system, new wiring, HVAC, plumbing, roofing and windows.
Today, Jenkins Fenstermaker, a law firm with 50 employees and an 90-year history in Huntington, occupies the top two floors of the three-story building. The Huntington branch of the Raymond James investment firm is a first-floor tenant.
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"Lost Huntington: Volume 1" is a hardcover, full-color book of some of the city's lost landmarks. The book is likely to be of interest to anyone who enjoys history and loves Huntington.
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