Martinsville, Virginia


Something Big Has Returned to Uptown Martinsville

Something Big Has Returned to Uptown Martinsville

A new, redesigned Big Chair was installed at the Furniture Heritage Plaza, 100 E. Church St, in Uptown Martinsville on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.

The original Big Chair, made by Bassett Furniture Industries to celebrate its 100th anniversary, stood in the center of The Furniture Heritage Plaza in Uptown Martinsville from 2009 to 2013 when it was removed for in-depth maintenance. It was during this maintenance, that the chair was deemed unsuitable to reinstall outdoors. Since its removal, signage from the Deep Roots campaign has stayed on display in the plaza. Deep Roots gives a respectful nod to Martinsville’s past, bringing relevance to the present by celebrating contributions and providing a gift to the future with repurposed activities. The new Big Chair will be on display to those visiting and shopping in Uptown at one of our furniture specialty shops, artisan shops and other stores.

Since 1902, the manufacturing of furniture has played an important role in Martinsville - Henry County, Virginia. The Furniture Heritage phase of the Deep Roots campaign recognizes the contributions made to our community by area furniture manufacturers and the thousands of skilled craftsmen employed by them.

“As our area continues to grow and diversify, it is important to celebrate our history in furniture manufacturing and those who helped build that legacy,” said Sarah Hodges, Director of Tourism for the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation. “The Big Chair was a hit in the past with locals and tourists who came to Uptown Martinsville to see one of the largest chairs in America. With many local groups partnering to bring new development to our uptown district, the Big Chair really couldn’t have returned at a more perfect time.”

Fast Facts:

  • Height: 21’ 3”
  • Weight: 4,400 pounds
  • Time to Build: 519 man hours
  • Chair Material: Metal
  • Style: Grove Park Mission (replica of the original Bassett chair)

Due to the current COVID 19 pandemic, the Martinsville Henry County EDC did not host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the installation.

A special thanks goes out to all of our partners who have contributed time, resources, and materials to the Big Chair. Without their help this project could not have been completed:

The 2020 Project: Anstey Hodge, Bassett Furniture Industries, City of Martinsville, Guy M. Turner Crane Services, PAC Custom Woodworking & CNC Routing, and Solid Stone Fabric.

The Original Project: B & M Finishing, Bassett Furniture Industries, Blue Ridge Architecture, Bowles Construction, Boxley Materials Company, City of Martinsville, Fred Martin & Associates, Guy M. Turner Crane Service, Martinsville Block, Mrs. Dudley Walker, Naff Welding, Patrick Henry Community College, Piedmont Arts Association, Prillaman Landscape Dimensions, Southern Virginia Artisan Center, The Garden Study Club, The Martinsville Garden Club, Triangle Electric, and Wooden Creations.

To learn more about the Deep Roots campaign or local history, go to