Editor's note: This is the 151st in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON - After 60 years of doing business in downtown Huntington, the Princess Shop closed its doors in 1981.
The Princess Shop was established in 1921, and for many years was located at 911 3rd Ave. Like other businesses along downtown 3rd Avenue, it was inundated in the historic 1937 flood. The interior and exterior of the popular women's fashion shop were thoroughly remodeled in 1956.
Steve Jacobson became the shop's owner-manager in 1961, and in 1969 moved it to a new location at 926 4th Ave.
In an interview with The Herald-Dispatch when the longtime store closed, Jacobson pointed to an ailing local economy and the opening of the Huntington Mall at Barboursville as the prime factors in the decision to close.
"You've probably noticed there are a lot more places to buy from, including the mall, and a lot fewer jobs in the area," Jacobson said. "I'm sure the mall brought this on a lot more quickly. This has been very difficult. We've had a very personal relationship with many of our customers." Many, he said, were personal friends and some were children and grandchildren of the shop's early customers.
The Princess Shop's 3rd Avenue store building was built around 1915 and housed Reuschlein's Jewelers prior to the apparel shop moving in. After the Princess Shop moved out, the building sat vacant and deteriorating until it was purchased and renovated by Dr. Joseph B. Touma, who has restored a number of downtown structures. Today, the building is home to Huntington's Kitchen.
Before the Princess Shop moved to 926 4th Ave., the store building there was occupied by a Fenton glassware shop. Today, it houses an antique mall.
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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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