2010: 51,400, #1 in West Virginia

1950: 73,501

2010 Metropolitan Area: 304,284, #154 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan Area: 322,072, #59 in U.S.


Charleston, located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers, had its first permanent settlement in 1788.


Tallest office building: Kanawha Valley Building, 256 feet (1929)

List of tallest buildings

The domed State Capitol (1931) is 292 feet tall.


The Charleston Town Center, an enclosed mall built in 1983, has a JC Penney store.


Amtrak’s Cardinal goes through Charleston three times a week in each direction, west to Cincinnati and Chicago, and east to Washington, D.C., and New York City. Amtrak uses the old Chesapeake and Ohio Depot (1905), across the Kanawha River from downtown.

Downtown Charleston and Kanawha River


The West Virginia State Museum and the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences are in the downtown area.


The Park Place Stadium Cinema shows first-run movies. The theater at the Clay Center (2003) hosts the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, touring Broadway shows, and a variety of other concerts. The Charleston Stage is also downtown.


The West Virginia Power, Single-A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, play at Appalachian Power Park (2005). The Charleston Civic Center Coliseum (1980) hosts sporting events and concerts.

Map of Downtown Charleston

Convention and Visitors Bureau