M.D. Angel Company (Movement Mortgage)
The M.D. Angel Company was a popular downtown Huntington clothing store for many years. It was the premier retailer for men's clothing in Huntington after it opened in 1929, and expanded over the years to include women’s and children’s departments. In 1961, the Union Company, a Columbus-based department store, purchased the building and operated out of it until 1963. A series of short-term tenants occupied the building and altered its appearance over the subsequent decades. In 2014, a Huntington developer bought the building and began renovations that were completed in 2018. It currently houses Movement Mortgage on the first floor and luxury apartments on its upper floors.
Backstory and Context
The Angel Company was founded by Henry E. Angel in 1910, originally operating within a general store on Third Avenue. The business proved successful, and in 1923, Henry turned it over to his son, Max D. Angel. At the time, Max had been working at one of the most popular men's stores in Huntington. Max opened his own store in the Florentine Hotel Building, but within a few years he sought to expand. He set his sights on a Fourth Avenue building that formerly housed Johnston Undertaking Company. With the help of his four brothers and father, Max purchased the building and opened the business at the new location in 1929. He transformed the front from a tired, red brick to an Art Deco style white facade with Belgian black marble and colorful coats of arms under each window. With these changes, the family opened one of the most modern and extravagant stores in the area at the time.
At first, Angel’s was strictly a men's retailer and only the ground floor of the building was utilized. In 1935, under the direction of Max's brother Abe, the store added women's apparel on the second floor. In 1939, the company further expanded its offerings by adding a boys’ department. Over the years, Angel’s grew into one of Huntington’s premier retailers and became well known for its advertising. The family hired Russell M. Carter in 1930 to head their radio, newspaper, and other advertising tactics, which garnered them much more publicity.
In 1961, M.D. Angel Company was bought by the Union Company, a department store based in Columbus, Ohio. The grandson of the original founder, Don Levy, said that it was named "The Union" because it was founded in Chicago during the Civil War. The Union Company was open in Huntington for only two years before the company decided to close the branch and focus more on its Ohio stores. After this point, the building went through a series of short-term tenants who altered the facade of the building. It is part of the Downtown Huntington Historic District, which was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. In 2014, Huntington developer Shane Radcliff acquired the building with plans of renovating it. Radcliff initially returned the facade to its original appearance, with black marble and colorful coats of arms under each window, but it has since been changed to a more modern and minimalist wooden front. The Angel Building currently houses Movement Mortgage on the first floor and high-end apartments on the upper floors.
Wallace, George Seldon. Huntington Through Seventy-five Years. Huntington, WV. 1947.
Casto, James E.. Lost Huntington: The M.D. Angel's Building. The Herald-Dispatch. January 02, 2017. Accessed February 22, 2017. http://www.herald-dispatch.com/special/lost_huntington/lost-huntington-the-m-d-angel-s-building/article_eeda85a9-9807-5558-881b-72d601f7162c.html.
Casto, James E.. Renovation Scheduled for Another Huntington Building. Your Ohio Valley. April 24, 2014. Accessed February 22, 2017. http://www.yourohiovalley.com/story/25330319/renovation-scheduled-for-another-huntington-building.