The Big Chair Sculpture
Washington DC 20020
Originally built in 1959 as a publicity stunt to draw customers to Curtis Brothers Furniture, The Big Chair in Washington, D.C. has become a beloved local landmark. In 2006 the original mahogany chair was replaced with a brown painted aluminum chair. Standing 19.5 feet tall and weighing more than 4,000 pounds, the chair is a replica of a Duncan Phyfe style chair.
Parking and public transportation at The Big Chair
There is typically ample street parking in Anacostia and there is a small parking lot at the base of The Big Chair. The nearest Metrorail station is Anacostia (green line.) From there, visitors can walk the half mile from the Metro station or hop on a DC Circulator or Metrobus. Cyclists can take the 11th Street Bridge.
Best and worst times to go to The Big Chair
Plan your visit during the day on a weekend in late spring or early fall and spend an afternoon in historic Anacostia. The Big Chair is a good starting location to tour the many historic sites in Anacostia.
Admission to The Big Chair
There is no cost to visit The Big Chair. Situated at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and V Street SE, the chair is publicly accessible and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Must see/do at The Big Chair
Take a photo standing at the base of the chair and talk with the locals about the history of the chair. Some locals still remember the 42 days in 1960 when a woman lived in a 10-foot by 10-foot glass box atop the chair.
Other places to visit near The Big Chair
Once a neighborhood to avoid, Anacostia is becoming rediscovered for its thriving arts community, parks and historic homes. After visiting The Big Chair go roller-skating and walk along the river at Anacostia Park, see a play at the Anacostia Playhouse, take a peek inside the 21-room mansion owned by freedom fighter Frederick Douglass and soak up local culture in the the Smithsonian Community Museum.
Insider tip for visitors to The Big Chair
Take a bike and tour historic Anacostia on two wheels after visiting The Big Chair. While there is ample parking in Anacostia and it is Metro accessible, the many historic homes and parks in Anacostia are more easily accessible on bike.
Jennifer E. Cooper is a writer and sometimes artist who has lived in Washington, D.C. for more than a decade. She is currently writing a book about her 3,000-mile walk across the United States.