Photo courtesy of James E. Casto Huntingtonís second City Hall housed the city offices, the fire department, the police department, the city jail and for a number of years the county government as well.

Editor's note: This is the 100th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington landmarks.

HUNTINGTON - When Huntington was founded in 1871, its first City Hall was a small frame building built in the 800 block of 4th Avenue.

In 1886, the city bought a tract of land on the east side of 9th Street just north of 5th Avenue and there erected Huntington's second City Hall - a large red brick building that housed the city offices, the fire department, the police department and the city jail.

When the county seat was moved from Barboursville to Huntington in 1887, the county government shared use of the city building.

County officials planned to immediately construct a suitable courthouse in Huntington and to that end purchased the city block bounded by 4th and 5th avenues between 7th and 8th streets. But financial problems delayed a start on construction, with the new courthouse not completed until 1901. It wasn't until then that the county government could be removed from the crowded city building.

In 1902, the Cabell County Public Library was erected on the northeast corner of 5th Avenue and 9th Street, immediately next to the city building.

In 1911, Huntington's city fathers decided that the growing town deserved a larger, grander city hall. They purchased a tract of land on the northeast corner of 5th Avenue and 8th Street as the site, paying the then-unheard-of sum of $46,000 for it. Verus T. Ritter, one of the city's best-known architects, was hired to design the new building, which was completed in 1915.

The no-longer-needed city building on 9th Street was demolished and its site used for construction of a new three-story building for the Deardorff-Sisler department store, which moved there from its former 4th Avenue location. The department store went out of business in 1930, but the building still stands, now used for offices.

To read more articles from this series, go to www.herald-dispatch.com. Click on "News," then "Lost Huntington" series.


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