The Big Chair Historical

The Big Chair Historical (HM1WEP)

Location: Washington, DC 20020
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 51.927', W 76° 59.365'

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An East-of-the-River View

—Anacostia Heritage Trail —

This Anacostia icon once marked the entrance to Curtis Brothers Furniture Co. The business dated to 1926, when young Fred
and George Curtis acquired a Model T Ford truck to deliver ice, then progressed to moving furniture. They soon rented a storage facility on Shannon Place then opened a store to sell items abandoned there by customers. Eventually they offered new furniture too. Over time three generations ran the business, which grew beyond the Anacostia retail operation and warehouses to include three suburban stores.

In 1958 Curtis Brothers billed itself as · Washington's largest furniture display and had Bassett Furniture construct a 4,600-pound mahogany Big Chair as its symbol. It unveiled the finished chair with a ceremony presided over by "Miss World's Largest Chair": DC resident Maureen Reagan, daughter of movie stars Ronald Reagan (later U.S. president) and Jane Wyman. Numerous Big Chair publicity stunts followed.

The Big Chair survived the civil disturbances following the 1968 assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Though damage to Anacostia's shopping district was modest, many businesses and residents moved away afterwards. Curtis Brothers Furniture closed in 1975. Four years later the community began marking Dr. King's birthday with a parade along the avenue that passed the
neighborhood's longtime centerpiece.

Eventually time and weather got the best of the Big Chair, and the Curtises. removed it. The loss so upset the neighborhood that the Curtises made a replica in metal. Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown, whose career took off in the house parties and clubs of Anacostia, performed at the new Big Chair's dedication in 2006.
Placed ByAnacostia Heritage Trail
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, December 31st, 2016 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 327399 N 4303726
Decimal Degrees38.86545000, -76.98941667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 51.927', W 76° 59.365'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 51' 55.62" N, 76° 59' 21.9" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2100 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE, Washington DC 20020, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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