Burdorf’s originated from Burdorf’s-Brecher, which started in the early Eighteenth Century manufacturing gas lighting, fireplace mantles, tile, fire brick and fireplace accessories. It was located at 423 Jefferson St in Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1918, Brecher split from Burdorf’s-Brecher to form Brecher Lighting Co., which still operates in Louisville today. Burdorf’s Furnishings Co. was created from the split to be run by Fred Burdorf, Sr. Burdorf’s was originally located at 6th and Main Streets. It moved to several well known locations throughout Louisville including: the third floor of the Seelbach Hotel; on 4th Street; on Broadway; and 2nd on Street south of Broadway. The name of the company is still on the 2nd Street building named for Fred Burdorf Sr.
In May of 1976, the company was purchased from Fred Burdorf Jr. by Herman Kessler, Jr. with his father joining as an owner in 1978. The Kessler’s had recently sold their company, Standard Printers, an office supplier, and wanted to get into the home furnishings business. The Kessler’s moved the company in 1981 to a freestanding building, which was the original cafeteria for National Distillery, on the Distillery Commons campus at Lexington Road and Payne Street. Mr. Kessler Jr. ran the company until 1985 when it was sold to his senior sales person, Mr. Robert Linker. Two years later the company changed hands to Robert L. Smith, the owner of H&R Block’s-Kentucky franchise.
The current owner, Allan Morris, purchased the company in 1993 after Mr. Smith became ill. The company moved into the main complex of Distillery Commons after a major flood in 1997 that destroyed all of the working assets of Burdorf’s.
In the meantime, Mr. Morris, in 1995, purchased an existing residential furnishing company that specialized in “to the trade” business named Design Resource Center, Inc. (which is now named the Louisville Design Center).
These companies were merged into the current company and re-established as Burdorf’s Furnishings & Flooring or Burdorf’s for short. The name Burdorf’s was preserved to recognizing the company’s founder. Following extensive remodeling in October of 2001, the company was moved to a four story building at 3939 Shelbyville Road in the heart of St. Mathews, site of the former Bacon’s/Dillards home store. It currently houses the following departments: residential furnishings, home office furnishings, flooring; including area rugs, carpet, wood, tile, and laminate, bedding/sleep center, and a commercial division.