Lost Huntington: Nasser’s Department Store
Editor’s Note: This is the 264th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON — Toufeek Abu Nasser left his birthplace in Kfeir, Lebanon, in 1919 and made his way to Huntington.
In 1925, he established the Art Linen Shop at 316 9th St. The shop operated there for 22 years, selling quality linens. Over the years, Nasser gradually added other items to the store’s offerings — including lingerie, women’s sportswear and children’s clothing.
In 1948, Nasser moved his store across 9th Street and renamed it Nasser’s Department Store, adding a bridal salon and other departments. He was active in the downtown Huntington business community for 58 years before selling his store in 1983. He was 96 when he died in 1995.
The store building at 314 9th St., was built in 1915 and originally was occupied by Reuschlein Jewelers and later Wright and Walker Clothiers. During the 1950s and 1960s, an attempt was made to modernize the building’s look when the front windows were covered with a gold tone metal faade. However well intentioned the change may have been, it detracted from the building’s impressive original appearance.
Today the former Nasser’s building is one of several in downtown Huntington that have been painstakingly restored by Joseph B. Touma, M.D. With the ugly metal faade removed, the building has been returned to its original grandeur.
Currently the building is home to Rucker, Billups & Fowler insurance, McQueen Davis lawyers and the Touma Museum of Medicine.