A bit of Contemporary Galleries History

The brother & sister team of Leo and Mary Russell opened their new store in August of 1976 in the old Peter Pan Cleaners building at 3806 MacCorkle Avenue in Charleston's Kanawha City neighborhood. Just prior to that, Mary was working in Louisville, KY for a business office supply firm and was spending a lot of time shopping at a really cool store in Louisville called Contemporary Galleries. It was at this store that she found a Christmas gift for Leo, who was in the construction business then; a teak ice bucket designed to look like a carpenter's tool box. From there the idea was born to bring the same beautifully crafted furniture and decorative accessories to Charleston, WV. They bought a Contemporary Galleries franchise from the Louisville and Cincinnati founders and set up shop.

  • In the beginning the franchise included stores in Cincinnati, Louisville, Dayton, Lexington, Columbus and Charleston. Although the franchise has dissolved, the stores in Louisville and Charleston are still going strong. These two stores are owned and operated independently from each other.

By 1982 the store had grown so much that more space was needed, so the business was expanded into the building next door at 3808 MacCorkle Ave. and prospered there until 1995.

In 1995, with a growing commercial division and need for more office and showroom space, the company moved into Charleston's East End Warehouse District which offered the perfect location at 1210 Smith Street. This location has been the home for Contemporary Galleries since 1996. The first through fourth floors are Residential showrooms; the fifth floor is home to the Commercial sales and design staff; the sixth floor houses the purchasing and accounting offices and has space for displaying the open office systems and products that are available for today's corporate environments.

Around the same time that Contemporary Galleries found its current home and moved in, the company found itself doing a lot of business in eastern Kentucky and realized the need for office space in Lexington. So a branch division doing business under the name CG Concepts was opened in Lexington in 1995 and includes sales and design staff to service the Kentucky market. Contemporary Galleries actively covers from these two locations not only West Virginia and Kentucky, but Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.

1210 Smith Street, Charleston WV Phone: (304) 344-1231 Toll Free: 800-292-6984 Fax: (304) 344-1262

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