Anacostia in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Big Chair
An East-of-the-River View
—Anacostia Heritage Trail —
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
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.
Erected by Anacostia Heritage Trail. (Marker Number 12.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Anacostia Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 51.927′ N, 76° 59.365′ W. Marker is in Anacostia, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Martin Luther King Jr Ave Southeast, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2100 Martin Luther King Jr Ave Southeast, Washington DC 20020, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Big Chair (a few steps from this marker); The World’s Largest Chair (a few steps from this marker); Transit and Trade (within shouting distance of this marker); A Neighborhood Oasis (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mother Churches and Their Daughters Rose's Row (about 700 feet away); Crossing Lines (approx. 0.2 miles away); Booth's Escape (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anacostia.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 31, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 465 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on December 31, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 2. submitted on January 15, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on December 31, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 11, 12, 13. submitted on January 7, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.