Littlepage's furniture store in West Baltimore is closing after 126 years in business as the fourth generation of family owners nears retirement. - Original Credit: Google Street View
Littlepage's furniture store in West Baltimore is closing after 126 years in business as the fourth generation of family owners nears retirement. - Original Credit: Google Street View (Google Street View)

Littlepage’s is closing its West Baltimore furniture store after 126 years serving generations of Baltimore area residents, its owners announced Thursday.

The home furnishings business was started in 1893 by William T. Littlepage and his son, also named William. It moved from Baltimore and Calhoun streets to the 1300 block of W. Baltimore St. in the 1970s, becoming one of several retailers that made up what was known as furniture row.

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But sales have declined steadily over the last several years as more people shopped online and businesses left the block, said Sarah Littlepage, a fourth-generation owner who runs the store with her brother, David. Both are at retirement age, as are their employees, she said.

“Everything has changed," Littlepage said. "Brick and mortar retail has changed, and younger people are used to shopping online for furniture and everything else. Our business has gone down. ... And Baltimore Street is not what it used to be.”

The retailer at one time also produced two items, clothes trees and hall seats, which gave Baltimore rowhouse owners with few closets a place to hang coats and store shoes, according to a 1999 Baltimore Sun obituary for Arthur D. Littlepage, Sarah’s and David’s father.

Littlepage, who has been with the family business for 42 years, said none of the younger family members was interested in taking over the business.

The retailer had been planning to close and sold its nearby warehouse and the store building and leased them back, Littlepage said. A liquidation sale started Thursday and is expected to continue for several months.

“We’ve gotten a lot of emotional calls this week,” from people whose parents and grandparents bought dining room or bedroom sets at the shop, Littlepage said. “It is a bittersweet moment for us.”

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