The History of Anacostia’s “Big Chair”

anacostia big chair - washington dc
Photo: Ted Eytan

It’s definitely one of the DC area’s most unique landmarks, and it’s been that way for well more than a half-century. The descriptively named “Big Chair” stands nearly 20 feet tall and does anything but blend in with its surroundings.

The chair towers high above the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and V Street SE in Anacostia. Much like other roadside attractions, the Big Chair is an icon of sorts for the local community.

First constructed in the late 1950s, the original chair was designed as an advertisement for a local furniture company. The chair was supposed to be a replica of a Duncan Phyfe dining room chair.

Originally constructed out of African Mahogany, the chair weighed in at a whopping 4,600 pounds. At one time it was deemed the largest chair in the world.

Old photographs show people standing below the chair to show its immense size, and even gathering as a group on the seat of the chair. To make it even more of a spectacle, the Curtis Bros Furniture Company soon added a glass cube to its seat.

The 10 by 10 glass house had a bed, shower, toilet and even a tv set and radio. Transparent on three sides, the cube offered little privacy, but it sure did bring in the crowds, especially after the store recruited a young model to live in the cube. It’s said she only made it 42 days.

Fast forward another decade or so and the furniture showroom closed up shop. Despite this, the chair remained. Some have equated the chair as a reminder of the neighborhood’s economic progress and potential.

The current chair standing at the corner isn’t the original. That one had reportedly deteriorated so much over the years that it had to be replaced. While the new chair resembles the old one, it’s now made out of aluminum.

Anacostia Homes For Sale

Anacostia Homes For Sale

16 Properties
Page 1 of 2
$665,000
Subdivision: Anacostia
3
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,052
Sq.Ft.
1921
Year Built
20
Days on Site
DCDC2020660
MLS
What a wonderful place to call home. Be home just in time for the holidays in this lovely 3 bed 3.5 bath home that features bamboo flooring and ceramic tile throughout. New kitchen and granite...
$635,000
Subdivision: Anacostia
4
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,300
Sq.Ft.
2021
Year Built
19
Days on Site
DCDC2021008
MLS
**SELLER REVIEWING OFFERS FRIDAY 12/3 @ 7PM** Delivering December 2021. Starting at $599,900. Eight brand-new, sleek, modern, contemporary townhomes with stunning unobstructed views of the...
$635,000
Subdivision: Anacostia
4
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,300
Sq.Ft.
2021
Year Built
19
Days on Site
DCDC2021104
MLS
**SELLER REVIEWING OFFERS FRIDAY 12/3 @ 7PM** Delivering December 2021. Eight brand-new, sleek, modern, contemporary townhomes with stunning unobstructed views of the Washington Monument, Thomas...
$635,000
Subdivision: Anacostia
4
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,300
Sq.Ft.
2021
Year Built
19
Days on Site
DCDC2021106
MLS
Delivering December 2021. Eight brand-new, sleek, modern, contemporary townhomes with stunning unobstructed views of the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the District's mesmerizing...
$615,000
Subdivision: Anacostia
4
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,308
Sq.Ft.
2018
Year Built
34
Days on Site
DCDC2017966
MLS
Nearly new, luxurious end-unit townhome! This spacious three-level home is ready for a new owner to love and to make memories, just in time for the holidays! The first level features a bedroom, full...
$599,999
Subdivision: Anacostia
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,920
Sq.Ft.
2009
Year Built
81
Days on Site
DCDC2003736
MLS
HUGE PRICE REDUCTION OF 65K!!! Great Home with Old-Fashioned Charm in a newer construction. Huge front porch completes this 3BR/2.5BA beauty located in Historic Anacostia. Gourmet Kitchen with wall...
$599,900
Subdivision: Anacostia
4
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,300
Sq.Ft.
2021
Year Built
19
Days on Site
DCDC2020496
MLS
**SELLER REVIEWING OFFERS FRIDAY 12/3 @ 7PM** Delivering December 2021. Starting at $599,900. Eight brand-new, sleek, modern, contemporary townhomes with stunning unobstructed views of the...
$599,555
Subdivision: Anacostia
3
Beds
3
Baths
1,400
Sq.Ft.
1900
Year Built
21
Days on Site
DCDC2020792
MLS
Brand new! This fully-detached 3 bedroom 3 bathroom historic single family home has undergone a top to bottom renovation. No detail has been overlooked. Open concept layout is perfect for...
$539,000
Subdivision: Anacostia
3
Beds
3
Baths
1,624
Sq.Ft.
1925
Year Built
61
Days on Site
DCDC2016474
MLS
Beautifully renovated 3BR/3BA rowhome with hardwood floors throughout. This 3-level home offers a main-level living room, separate dining room, a gourmet kitchen featuring stainless appliances, gas...
$499,900
Subdivision: Anacostia
3
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
1,762
Sq.Ft.
1927
Year Built
159
Days on Site
DCDC525570
MLS
Great Location In The Up And Coming Anacostia Corridor. Brick Front Row House With 3 Bed Rooms And 1.5 Baths. Individual Living And Dinning Room Hardwood Floors. Home Needs A Little Work. Priced to...
$489,990
Subdivision: Anacostia
3
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
1,486
Sq.Ft.
1938
Year Built
27
Days on Site
DCDC2020100
MLS
This one has it all! Great location in historic Anacostia! 3 bedrooms, 1 bath completely updated. Updated kitchen, floors, completely finished basement. Three spacious bedrooms with fully updated...
$452,900
Subdivision: Anacostia
2
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
1,165
Sq.Ft.
1939
Year Built
105
Days on Site
DCDC2007480
MLS
SELLER HELP AVAILABLE! PRICE ADJUSTMENT! This charmingly renovated 2-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom row house, is complete with all new lighting. A welcoming front porch leads into a spacious and...

Post a Comment