Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"across from the big chair!"

Remember when I posted about THE BEST COMMERCIAL EVER? Of course you do. Remember at the end of said commercial when the guy tells us where America's Furniture is and he says, "Across from the Big Chair!"? No? Well, I do, but that's probably because I spent nearly all of my few precious moments of free time yesterday re-watching this epic snippet of Americana. (Why do you think I didn't blog? Heavens no, it couldn't be that I actually have a life offline! Never.)

Well, this "Big Chair" piqued my curiosity. Was it another furniture store? Was it a euphemism for something? It was time to stop wondering and just Google, and I'll be damned if "The Big Chair" isn't, well, a big ass chair!

Holy Mother of Chair! This is fantastic! Am I the only retard who had no idea of this mammoth chair's existence? I might be, according to The Anacostia Community Museum: "Everyone in Anacostia knows that the big chair is located on Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue and V Street, SE."

Um...I didn't. But then again, I'm an idiot. Also, I don't live in Anacostia. It'd be like expecting everyone outside of Columbia Heights to know that (my now second favorite landmark) Burritos Fast is located on Mt. Pleasant Street; it's something we all should know, but don't.

Anyway, this "Big Chair" is definitely worth hopping on the metro to go see. Why? Well, according to the Anacostia Community Museum, "The Chair is made from African mahogany and weighs 4,600 pounds. It is 19 ½ feet high and stands on a concrete, 4-foot-high pedestal. Its seat is as large as two double-sized beds."

Yowsa! I would make it my mission in life to spend a night on that there chair, but someone beat me to it: "In August 1960, Lynn Arnold lived on top of the Big Chair, inside of a glass house, for 47 days. She did this to promote Curtis Brothers. The Curtis Brothers Furniture Company closed in 1973."

Shucks. I'd say her efforts were for naught, but how could they be? She lived on the goddamn Big Chair! In an effing glass house! This woman is my idol.

But enough about me, let's go back to this ridiculously large chair. Who is the genius behind it? Tell me museum, perferably in choppy awkward sentences!

The big chair was built for Curtis Brothers Furniture Company, which was established in 1926. Bassett Furniture Industries of Virginia constructed it. Based on a Duncan Fife design, this special chair was built from original plans by Leo A. Jiranek. At the time, it was said to be the largest chair in the world. ... The big chair has been in Anacostia since 1959. It was built in Bassett, Va., and transported by truck to the community. Due to the chair’s height, a special route was chosen for the two-week trip.

Wait. Two weeks? According to Google Maps (it's the best) Basset, Va., is roughly 292 miles away from DC. Now, doing several complex calculations on my Casio MS-80TE, I have discovered that on average the truck toted the Big Chair roughly 21 miles each day. Going further then, if someone hauled the Chair eight hours per day, my Casio tells me the chair was moving at approximately 2.6 miles per hour. I guess you can never be too careful when Big Chair is involved. Lesson: Do not f*ck with Big Chair.


Anonymous said...

Well, I live in Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights and have been in the DC area for less than 3 years, and I knew about the chair... if that counts for anything. Haven't seen it in person, though.

the law said...

If you were a human calculator, you wouldnn't need the Casio MS-80TE. Take it!

DG-rad said...

the big chair is no longer mahogany-unfortunately. A couple years ago they "restored" it -- and remade it out of metal.

Honestly, I think the big chair is kind of over-rated. I would rather have a more meaningful landmark in Anacostia than a giant chair from a furniture store that is out of business! ha.

Marissa said...


Like I said, I'm an idiot.

the law--

If you were a human spell checker you wouldn't spell "wouldn't" with two N's! Take it. We still on for cable'n'couch?


Whoa. What did they do with the wood? What a waste. I hope they made a bunch of smaller chairs. Or just burned it up in one spectacular bonfire.

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