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Oversized Chair Honors City’s Furniture History

From left front row, Kristy Kathman, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. deputy director, Zach Agett, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. marketing and events manager, Pete Scheira, Fancher Chair Co. president; from left back row, Gary Henry, Fancher Chair Co. CEO, and Brian Millspaw, Fancher Chair Co. master sample maker; with the new oversized chair located in downtown Jamestown along West Third Street near the BWB Building and Northwest Arena. Submitted photo

“Scenes From A Big Chair” is no longer just the title of a documentary about the 1980s band Tears For Fears, but it can also now be the view for tourist and local residents visiting downtown Jamestown.

On Monday, an oversized chair that was produced by Fancher Chair in partnership with the Jamestown Renaissance Corp. was installed along West Third Street near the BWB Building and Northwest Arena.

JRC officials said Fancher Chair Co. donated the chair to the community as a memorial to the history of the furniture industry of Jamestown and surrounding areas.

Zach Agett, JRC marketing and events manager, said the process took awhile from forming the idea to installation.

“Kristy Kathman (JRC deputy director) had gone to a conference two or three years ago and heard about ways to connect the downtown. Comedy was the first thought, but then we decided to look more at furniture because Jamestown was once the furniture capital of the world,” Agett said.

“About a year ago we reached out to Fancher Chair and they took the lead and found an old chair that fits.”

Gary Henry, Fancher Chair Co. CEO, said they were hesitant about the idea at first, but the more company officials thought about it the more enthusiastic they became about the project.

“Well, at first we thought they were nuts, but the more we thought about it the more excited we were,” he said. “Once a year, it’s nice to have a special project that is outside the ordinary and it was fun to do, and we really enjoyed it.”

Henry said JRC officials didn’t give them a specific design to go by, but company officials found a model of a classic chair that was made by a few different Jamestown companies in the past. He said it took about 150 man hours to produce the chair that is made of white oak.

“We took an existing chair and tripled the size of it,” Henry said. “If you took the chair and shrunk it, it would be the same chair.”

According to JRC officials, the chair is an effort to expand public art in downtown Jamestown, which is a focal point of the new Jamestown Urban Design Plan 2.0.

“I couldn’t be happier with the way this has turned out,” Kathman said. “Pete Scheira (president) and Gary Henry at Fancher Chair Co. took a vague idea we had and turned it into a true work of art. They have been wonderful to work with and created a beautiful piece of furniture sure to be enjoyed by everyone who sees it.”

Brian Millspaw, Fancher Chair Co. master sample maker, created the chair based on a design from Jamestown Lounge Company known as the “club” chair. The chair was permanently installed by Davis Concrete & Excavating.